Opinion: It’s time for a change in the grading system

Stephanie Hultgren-Tagliere, Sectional Editor

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Are grades really as important as we think they are?

There is a new outlook on grading, according to Elk Grove High School social studies teacher Mark Heintz. This new method is known as the mastery transcript, as found on Mastery.org.

A criticism of the letter grading system is that is does not do justice for students showing their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom. All they show is how well a student can perform on a test or quiz.

Grades are not always the strongest motivator for learning in school, because the letter itself does not always acknowledge the skills a student has acquired. Mastery transcript gives a better idea of what you are able to do in a more motivated fashion.

Mastery transcript showcases the skills that students can actually do. Instead of giving A,B,C,D, or F it shows every subject a student may excel at and areas that students needs to improve. In all honesty, if what students are failing a subject they actually like, it puts them down and makes students not want to work as hard.

“Mastery transcript is the reflection of what students actually can do,” Heintz said. “It is in the hands of the students. It is a way for students to create their own portfolio showcasing their skills. This gives them the opportunity to focus on learning instead of the grade they are trying to recieve.”

The mastery transcript paints a more realistic picture of what students can do. This helps students organize the pathway they want to go into in an organized manner and provoking them to do better in school in a more positive way.

In order for mastey transcripts to go into play, a lot of people need to change their mindsets from old fashioned grading systems to new methods in which students can take part in learning.

Schools should get rid of the normal A,B,C,D, and F grading system. It’s out of date and doesn’t demonstrate mastery. Schools do not understand that the grading scale that they are currently using can be hurting students’ futures and self esteem.

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