Editor: Recent proposals to standardize grading policies seem to have good intentions but also several pitfalls.
At times, extra credit has been used outside the boundaries of core study simply for “score recovery.”However, balancing its absence by eliminating zeros for missing assignments doesn’t exactly teach students the importance of doing all the work expected of them.Neither does prohibiting grades for homework.That tool is a motivation to keep up with the current lesson plan.Without it, the habit of procrastinating and cramming for tests only gets worse, as does the real mastery of the material.
No one wants a student to get in a hole they can’t crawl out of, but is setting a minimum score the best answer?I once scored so low on a test that the teacher wrote, “I am unsure why you are still in this class.”It was deflating for sure; at best curt.Even so, it made me realize I needed to make some serious changes.Hitting the same safety net as everyone else wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful.And honesty is as important to the “growth mindset” as a student’s desire.
Maybe instead of relying on do-overs, we should focus on the day-to-day learning that can render them unnecessary, or at least few and far between.But we can’t do that if poor performance isn’t given accurate review.
Charles Smith, Leesburg