What is the purpose of a high school education? Some would say to inform youth about the past, present and future. Some may say the purpose is to create a smart consumer. And some may say high school should instill a willingness to learn and create. All of these are correct. However, the current state of high schools in the modern era reaches none of these goals.
Too often the focus drifts from student learning to pitting students against each other. High school grade-point average, especially with the traditional letter grading scale, is considered incredibly important, and is the only thing on which the student is supposed to focus. However, grades are hardly ever an actual demonstration of learning, rather a demonstration of responsibility.
We need to bring the focus back to actual learning. And, believe it or not, the problem already has been solved.
It is called “standards-based grading,” and currently is being implemented all over the country. Rather than a letter scale, teachers grade on a number scale of 1 to 4. Instead of grading assignments and tests, teachers grade proficiency of the student on a particular subject.
So, support local school boards trying to implement standards-based grading, and let’s bring focus back to the students.
Springville HS junior