Straight A's don't matter

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Do you care about what one letter means?
Do you care about what one letter means?

Straight A’s don’t matter. Plain and simple. In the schematic system of school, a grading based system is better and much easier for the school itself--heck, all you have to do is put points into the grade book and the teacher’s job is done. It’s easy for them to put in grades--it’s only a letter after all. And for students, it shouldn’t mean anything more than just a letter, it won’t affect your life that much, in the grand scheme of things.

We tend to pressure our students to get straight A’s, emphasizing that these grades engender success. According to Adam Grant in his New York Times’ Article “What Straight A Students Get Wrong”, he states that “Academic grades rarely assess qualities like creativity, leadership and teamwork skills, or social, emotional and political intelligence.”

People thrive when they get to work at their passions, putting in time and effort to ensure the best quality which, in turn, resembles success. As a theater student, I consistently work hard every day after school for five hours to make sure my craft and effort is at the highest level. I’m open to critiques and one on one interactions with relevant feedback to become better. No grading is need needed, yet I feel smarter and am achieving more by expressing myself in a creative manner-- something that grades don’t account for.

In a article on thnk.org called “3 Reasons Grades Are Bad For Education”, they discuss that “[Schools] advocate for an educational model that’s a safe haven for failure. Instead, emphasis should be placed on constant iterations and rapid prototyping, allowing students to acquire the ability to cope with failure and bounce back.”

Students must conform to ‘system’ and complete hours’ worth of tedious work to get an A. Even kids who study hard might get stressed and fail a test, but all we will see is the fat F on the report card. And these grades are not necessarily reflective of our true capabilities. Grades do not account for everything, and only really analyze a student's persistence to memorize trivial concepts and turn in busy work.

Albert Einstein once wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Grades don’t matter, when all things are considered. Straight A’s should be applauded but don’t always result in success. Success is should be “graded”by one’s own feeling of their achievement, and we don’t need grades to tell us how successful one can be. One grade doesn’t matter. It won’t determine your worth as a human, or set you up for failure. It is what you do after it that truly matters.

 

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