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Uneven quarter grading system calls for student support

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Don’t you just love it when you get one test in a quarter and you fail it? Well, 40 percent of your grade isn’t that much anyways, right? *cries* I mean, if you’re not crying every week about stress are you really in high school? *sobs*

In the quarter grading system, it doesn’t matter if you had 1,000 points in quarter one and 12 points in quarter two. The way it is currently, cries and sniffles included, 40 percent of your grade goes towards those 1,000 points and the other 40 percent of your grade goes toward those meager 12 points in quarter two.

As South has it now, folks, our school year is compartmentalized into four quarters, which is intended to display a learning curve and students’ accumulated knowledge. However, if that system does not take accountability for the number of points in each quarter but averages the two grades as if they are equal, can it really portray what it is intended to?

As much as every student loves a good game of catch up, the Oracle Editorial Board believes that swapping our quarter system out for a semester grading system is the ideal way to measure a given student’s growth and knowledge.

The idea behind the transition to a quarter system would be two-fold. Firstly, a semester system would give a student more leverage over their grades. Secondly, it is a great way to accurately relay to all the information their students are learning.

Before we get ahead of ourselves here, let’s explain how the semester system would give a student a better handle on their GPA. In reference to the example above, each quarter is averaged at 40 percent of a student’s grade regardless of the actual number of points. So, a student could have 12 points count for 40 percent of their grade. And if they fail those 12 points, they get an F for the whole quarter. Seems a little nuts, right?

In the semester system, all of the points total to a value of 80 percent of a student’s grade. In this scenario, the students can still have the distinction of a quarter ending, but the quarter ending does not mean that those last two months make up 40 percent of their grade. A student would now have a half year to improve or maintain a grade while also ensuring that all points are given the percentage they deserve.

In addition, there are such things as helicopter parents. When students aren’t given all the proper tools to take care of their grades in a fair matter, their report card doesn’t reflect what they know. What it does show is an A for one quarter that had 1,000 points and an F for the quarter that had 12. Explaining to your parents 1) why you did so well and then so poorly is a slippery slope and 2) describing how the grading system unfairly gave you that C for the semester can be a bit of a doozy.

That is an awkward conversation that we, as students, are bound to lose. We should be held accountable for our grades by taking away all of our excuses for why that C in Chemistry exists.

The way to do that is by giving us all a shot and putting the responsibility in students’ hands. Help students help themselves by giving them more control over their grades and a more fair system that actually shows what we do and do not know.

In the end, Titans, if we want to make a system more fair, we have to advocate for it. That is why the Oracle Editorial Board formally invites you to say, “Hey, it’s not everyday that we want to talk about our grades, but today we do. And we want to have grades that display what we know now not which quarter really punched the other in the gut and gave us a C in Chemistry.” Okay, maybe paraphrase that, but you get the idea.

We think that if it is your GPA and your future, you should be given the chance to control it, and the best way to do that is by getting a system that accurately shows your knowledge, growth and learning. Yeah, that about sums it up. Now you have to go make a change.

P.S. Titans, you should not be crying. Yes, it is normal with the quarter system, but no, it probably shouldn’t be happening. *Oracle hands you tissues*

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School
Uneven quarter grading system calls for student support