Grades More Important Than Learning

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Starting at a young age, we are taught the importance of grades. We are constantly reminded to get good grades by our teachers and parents. Learning the content we are being taught is extremely important, but are we more focused on grades than actually learning?

Ella Stepan ‘20 is just one of many students that agrees that our focus is misplaced.

“I think everyone focuses more on grades because our parents expect us to do well in school,” she said. “So we feel like we have to please them by getting good grades.”

According to the teacher support organization Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the past decades of education have trained students and teachers to focus on grades rather than learning.

“I think we focus a lot more on grades than learning and none of us really care about learning anymore,” eighth grader Trey Searles said.

Because grades matter more than learning, students readily copy homework off each other. Not because they don’t want to learn it, but because they don’t have time to learn it and copying the answers is the only way they would be able to get a good grade.

Too often, the value of education is forgotten and we are too focused on pleasing teachers and parents with the GPA on our report cards rather than actually being educated.

Jayla Elsenheimer, seventh grader, thinks the reason grades remain the focus is because that’s what colleges look at in the admission process.

“[Grades] are what colleges pay attention to, so we do what we can to get the best grades we can,” she said. “We don’t even try to learn. We just try to get good grades.”

Not that having good grades isn’t important. It is. But learning should be a priority in schools. If learning occurs, the grades will follow.

So next time you’re in a situation where you don’t know the information and you just want to get a good grade, try and take a little time to actually learn. It just might help you in the future when you wouldn’t expect it.