Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Grand Haven's student publication of community significance since 1927

The Bucs' Blade

Accuracy Based Grading

As a student it is easy to side with effort-based grading, all you have to do is try your best and get points for it. As an anxious student, it’s even easier to pick a side, you don’t have to speak to your teachers when something doesn’t click. Despite being both of these things, I can’t bring myself to side with effort-based grading. 

Effort-based grading, which is grading a student based on how much work they do, creates a standard that almost sets a student up for failure, doing well on homework but then scoring poorly on tests and exams. 

Effort-based grading first began its implementation as the pandemic statistics brought concern for the coming academic year. The new way of grading was introduced to boost graduation rates after the time spent in online learning affected students’ learning journey.

A student might think they understand a concept and apply that to their homework, then as the teacher goes to mark who gets points for writing something down, the student wouldn’t know that they’re doing something incorrectly until it’s too late.

In the context of a math class, a student can work hard, check their work, ask for help, and there’s no difference between their perfect score and the score of another student who scribbled down a couple of numbers. When it comes to effort-based grading there’s no need to do the correct work if it’s not getting scored.

Accuracy grading gives teachers the chance to notice students’ strengths and weaknesses, this gives opportunities for teachers to provide one-on-one help. In most cases, students feel intimidated and won’t ask for help, but if a teacher reaches out it creates a much less stressful environment for students. 

There are dozens of studies done on effort and accuracy grading, one of these conducted by the Annenberg Instition for School Reform which works closely with the Division 1 Ivy League, Brown University. Annenberg is an institution that works to, “…understand the causes and consequences of educational inequality and to reduce this inequality through innovative, multidimensional, and research-informed approaches.”

A study at Annenberg explains how schools and local governments enacted policies to boost graduation rates, but when there is no academic advancement to work with these policies, the students graduating may have impressive transcripts but when they are given something their gradebook says they can handle, they may find otherwise. Overall, the Annenberg study showed lenient grading, such as effort-based, creates, “widen long-term achievement gaps as measured by ACT scores.”

Not only is effort grading an unfair way of looking at a student’s progress, but it can create issues for students down the road. Accuracy grading is the best way to help students legitimately learn and progress.

 Effort-based grading undermines the grading system as a whole because of the contrasting ways of grading. Accuracy grading is a reflection of a student’s understanding of understanding 

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