Grading policy makes life harder

Kelly Wesolowski, Reporter

This year the county has implemented a new grading policy. With this new policy, homework no longer counts towards students’ grade for the class, only tests and quizzes contribute. Teachers may still collect and grade homework so students can see their progress, but it does not affect students’ cumulative grade for the class.

Although the new system is supposed to prepare us for college, it is not necessary and it is unfair.

“I’m one of those students who doesn’t test that well but works really hard on homework and class work in order to keep my grade up,” Jessica Rudy (’17) said. “This new grading policy ruins that.”

And because I have a sister in college, I know that some professors do sometimes collect and grade homework.

Secondly, we are not in college yet – we are high schoolers. Some students are able to break down objectives and ideas on their own in order to prepare themselves for college, but others need it broken down for them. The main purpose of high school is to prepare for college, and if the teachers are not treating students like high schoolers, and not giving them individual steps along the way, then how are students supposed to succeed when they are on their own in college?

“I think this policy resembles college to a certain extent, but there are certain things that make it different,” Rudy (’17) said. “For example, the re-dos are something that would never be offered in a college course. And honestly, in my opinion, if you want to see how a college grading system works, you can take an AP class. There’s no need to reformat everything.”


Even more, the students who are poor test-takers are at an extreme disadvantage.

“The students who have test anxiety or get nervous when they take tests are at a disadvantage,” Tony Cabral (’17) said. A lot of those students, including myself, rely heavily on homework and class participation.”

I know personally, I can completely understand a topic and then sometimes do poorly on a test just because I get nervous. I feel as though the new policy is a disservice to the students who experience this daily.

“I think this new policy is going to take some getting used to,” Social Studies teacher Teresa Trebilcock said. “I think the goal is to create more opportunity for students on paper, but a lot of it is very different from anything we have done in the past.”

Some classes, such as AP Physics, are challenging and consist of difficult tests and quizzes. In order for a student to earn an A or B for the quarter, she needs to have that homework credit count towards her grade percentage, which will no longer be happening.

Even more, what is the incentive or motivation for students to complete their homework now that it doesn’t count for a grade? Many teachers will say something like, “If you don’t complete you’re homework, then it will just show later on tests and quizzes.”

This is true, but some students do not care at all about their grades and if homework is not being counted, they will just continue not completing it.

Not completing homework because you simply are not required to, is more detrimental to the process of preparing for college, rather than not having homework count towards your grade and having students complete their homework. If homework is not mandatory in high school, then a lot of students will not complete it, which will not prepare them for college. However, if homework in high school continues to count for a grade, then students will have more motivation to complete it, which will set them up to develop good work habits for the future.

I understand and agree with this new policy to the extent that the schools want to prepare us for college; however, I do not think that this change was necessary – things were running smoothly with the old grading policy.