Are to­day’s stu­dents mak­ing the grade?

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Ben Shifrin, Bal­ti­more The writer is head of Jemicy School in Owings Mills.

I strongly dis­agree with the Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools’ new Grad­ing and Re­port­ing Pro­ce­dures Man­ual (“Bal­ti­more County won’t give grades for home­work,” Sept. 4).

The way the county schools changed their grad­ing pol­icy is un­fair to stu­dents and in the long run it will be detri­men­tal to them.

The schools will no longer pe­nal­ize stu­dents for late or miss­ing home­work as­sign­ments or non­com­pli­ant be­hav­ior. On the flip side, stu­dents’ grades will not take into ac­count neat­ness, par­tic­i­pa­tion and ef­fort or their com­ple­tion of home­work as­sign­ments.

The school sys­tem be­lieves that record­ing a zero on straight-A stu­dent’s as­sign­ment will not mo­ti­vate the stu­dent to work harder or learn con­tent at a faster rate, so the low­est grade a child can ever get is 50 per­cent.

But re­search shows that team­work, time­li­ness, re­spon­si­bil­ity, co­op­er­a­tion and ac­count­abil­ity are the skills kids need to be suc­cess­ful in life. How are chil­dren go­ing to learn re­spon­si­bil­ity if they have the op­tion to turn in as­sign­ments late or not at all? What is the mes­sage con­veyed by giv­ing them a 50 per­cent for ab­so­lutely zero ef­fort?

If a child comes in ev­ery day, puts forth the ef­fort, does her home­work and par­tic­i­pates in class but is a ter­ri­ble test taker, that child will now only be graded based on her test scores. And for very bright kids, where is the in­cen­tive to work hard when all they need to do is just study for the test and not put in any other ef­fort?

In­creas­ingly, col­leges are not just look­ing at grades when they are de­cid­ing on can­di­dates. A’s are great, but schools now want to know the com­plete pic­ture. Are their ap­pli­cants de­pend­able and re­spon­si­ble? Do they have the ex­ec­u­tive func­tion­ing skills to make it in col­lege?

The new BCPS poli­cies may be a wake-up call that we need to over­haul the en­tire grad­ing sys­tem to in­clude the bench­marks that are crit­i­cal for suc­cess in life.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.