Another year, another grading system


Photo by True Van Dyke

Students spend copious amounts of time scouring and analyzing PowerSchools to understand their grades.

True Van Dyke, Features Editor

Three different grading systems in three years has diminished the success levels of OHS students, confusing both the teachers and students. The current year’s version of the grading system has eliminated homework grades entirely, hindering people who are typically bad test takers.

 Although it has settled certain complaints about the previous number-based system, the letter grades have only limited the opportunities students have to improve their grade, while raising the bottom line for poorly performing students, whose worst possible grade is a 69 percent.

 If the goal of the most recent changes to the grading system was to make it easier for students to do well, they achieved that motive when it comes to kids who typically have below average grades already. What the district could not predict, is how it hurts the students who have previously made higher standards for themselves. 

It is obvious that kids who do school work outside of school, and complete the day to day assignments, have higher success levels than those that do not. Taking away the credit that comes with homework hinders the students that represent themselves by doing their school work thoroughly. It simultaneously strips away any incentive for students to actually follow through with what their teachers assign to them. One bad test day for a student can discredit all the consistent effort that they might put into a class, regardless of how much they already know the material. 

The new practice of graded standards lessens the accuracy of determining motivated students versus ones who are just good at winging tests. The recent change of rounding student’s individual grades is disheartening for those that rightfully earned their higher grade, by earning the same amount of credit as someone who did not. One who got a true, high B on a test has the same effect on their grade as someone who only got an 80%. Current OHS students can feel discouraged from trying as hard on their assessments knowing that it will just be getting rounded up regardless. 

The new direction the grade system is moving towards not only confuses the students on what to do, but creates a greater divide between teachers and students’ expectations for their own grades. The constant changes are hard enough for teachers to keep up with, having to put the grades into the gradebook a new way each year, confusing the students in what they expect to see. All of these aspects contribute to the new mass of angry parents, confused students, and stressed teachers. 

Therefore, even if the district keeps changing the grading system to assist the success of the students, it is only lessening the motivation and consistency that people our age need. In order to move on to higher levels of education and further determination to do well in the education system, we need a consistent grade pattern to translate and keep us engaged in our courses.