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Chase Fox

Student, St. Vrain Valley School District

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Instead of testing student's comprehension on material, teachers use the standard grading system to justify a student's future.

I tend to think that grade books are only used for the sole purpose of determining a student's future. I consider myself to be an educated student, with a 4.2 GPA. However, I still disagree with the grading scales commonly used by teachers in the US.

First off, students usually spend most of their time at school socializing about the latest gossip or post on Facebook. Social networks have forced a barrier around our learning capabilities. An average student might go home after school with a few friends. When nine o' clock hits, the student either forgets about the homework or decided not to work on it. The next day, 2 minutes before class starts, the student might ask another student to copy the homework given the previous day. During class, both student receive the same grade, while only one student may interpret the lesson of the homework.

Secondly, students take school for granted. The importance of school is not derived by teachers talking, but derived from the students listening and comprehending the material. Students don't take school as a learning opportunity, which usually tends to be free.

Lastly, grades can't depict one's education. I could have easily completed the homework given, but, as the test is being taken, I might not remember a section of what I learned, or a certain name or phrase I read. Failing to correctly answer a few problems on an assessment may drop my class grade, which overall, affects my GPA.

What college is going to accept a student who has bad understanding of the molar ratios of different elements and compounds? How is learning this material going to help me in my future, when I know I'm not going to be a chemist? I could easily decide not to answer the questions that appear on my test, but how does that signify what I've learned? A simple dot on a piece of paper can determine one's future. A student's education should be approached in a more individualized manor, preparing students for their future, and not for their present.

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  • Mar 11 2013: I agree with you that schooling should be more individualized, but many areas lack the manpower and funds to create such a system.

    It can definitely become frustrating as you go through more and more schooling to have subjects you consistently struggle with (I completely understand). However, the very same subjects you struggle with may be ones others excel at. And the subjects you excel at may be ones that the same other person struggles with. But, it is essential that students are exposed to all these subjects so they can find what they are and aren't interested in/good at. It's the only way to address the potential interests of the masses, since it is hard to create super individualized education. Additionally, it is good to have background on numerous topics (even if you might not like them), as a lot of stuff does end up being interconnected.

    Although it can be annoying to go through schooling & struggle and not do as well in some classes, just remember that ultimately, it's not your GPA that predicts your ability to succeed in life. If you are motivated and hardworking when it comes to what you want to do career wise, a slight dip in grades in certain subjects will be trivial when it comes to your future.

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