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Grades Of Wrath: Why Schools Should Switch To A Pass/Fail Grading System

1992 words - 8 pages

Once a person graduates from law school, before they can begin working as a lawyer they have to take a test called the Bar. The test is not graded with A’s; B’s, C’s, D’s, or F’s and instead is graded by the pass-fail system. Once the test is graded it shows that the person either passed the Bar or failed the Bar. What is important with the Bar is that persons passes which indicates the competency of their understanding of the material to use it in the real world. Whereas the current letter grading system shows who understood the material. The pass-fail system should also be implemented in all U.S. high schools, this revolutionary idea that is practical in nature would benefit students because letter grades can cause unneeded stress and do not accurately measure the practical knowledge and intelligence level of students.
The letter grading system has been in existence for many years and has become a major factor in every student’s educational career. Parents support the system because it shows them where their children place in school. Another reason for the system is to motivate students to get higher grades in order to outperform themselves on each quarter’s grades. This supposedly encourages students to excel. The letter grading system also functions as a way for colleges to rank applicants and determines outperforming students who are eligible for academic scholarships. Some might say for these reasons the letter grading system is reliable and has continued to work over the years. Furthermore, supporters of the current letter grading system may believe that replacing it and implementing the pass fail system in all U.S high schools would be a poor decision. People who contend that in the pass fail system students would not be motivated to work hard and would just pass with the bare minimum. Those who oppose the pass fail grading system also feel that it would put B and C students on the same level as A students. People who are against the pass fail system object to students with letter grades lower than an A receiving the same recognition since they do not work as hard. Protestors of the pass fail grading system like the letter grading system because it creates competition between students which is needed to show the better and brighter students. Groups against the pass fail system, additionally, believe that grades are necessary for college admittance. If passing were on every student’s report cards colleges would be taking a “shot in the dark” and would not have an accurate appraisal of the students they are considering. Supporters of the letter grading system would argue that implementing the pass-fail system would only hurt students and imply to them that there is not room to excel, only to pass.
With the pass-fail system it is easy to judge and give all the negative reasons for why it would not work; however, when digging under the seeming faults of the pass fail system one will be able to see the ways around the faults. The pass...

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