Grading Policy Pro

Michael Gray '20, Opinion Editor

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The recent change in the school’s grading system to a standards based policy, one with greater emphasis on assessments, has raised questions over the ability of such a program to enrich Riordan’s educational value.

Although some may view this new policy with scepticism over its effectiveness, further examination reveals that this new system is not only better for the well being of students, but a better way to teach students course material.

In weighing assessments such as projects, presentations, tests, and quizzes as the large majority of the grade, students are given speci c focused tasks to complete instead of busywork assigned out of a perceived necessity for homework. Homework, or “practice” assignments, which once made up a good part of a student’s grade, are now worth no more than 5 percent, thereby allowing students to focus on practice assignments for concepts they do not understand and put less of their time into learning concepts they already know.

Less busywork and a decreased emphasis on homework gives a student more breathing room to complete assignments at their own pace, taking the stress off of their shoulders. At the same time, these assessments are a better indication of how well a student understands the material. Instead of using homework to bolster grades, grading based on assessments provides a more accurate representation of a student’s mastery of his coursework.

Teachers are therefore better able to know which students are legitimately struggling with the course’s concepts without the homework grade to obscure their view. Lastly, a standards based grading system allows for clearer objectives for students, giving them more direction in their study and practice of material.

These new grading policies may seem strange to many, but their implementation creates a less stressful and more educational environment for our student body, resulting in an overall positive impact on the school.