Grading for Equity is beneficial for students


Aliza Bellas

Information about Grading for Equity (GFE) and how it relates to CESJDS

Eitan Rattner, Reporter

When I finish my soccer practice at 7:30 p.m. after a long day of school, there is nothing I dread more than having to complete an hour-long assignment in which I don’t gain any skills or knowledge just for some points. I also feel defeated when I take a test, do poorly and I am unable to retake it. 

This used to happen all the time last year but now the school has made the decision to change it and change the way that we are evaluated.

Our school implemented a new Grading for Equity (GFE) system this year and it has helped students stay less stressed and master the material more.

The overarching goal of the new system is to create a transparent expectation of what is deserving of a certain grade. For example, if a student was assigned a reading section of a book in English class, they would be told that they will have a reading check the next class to make sure that they read the section and understood it.

That also brings in the second big idea of GFE: grades should reflect a student’s attainment of knowledge and skill rather than mere completion points. The intention behind this is to have students focus on completing an assignment to understand the material rather than simply working for the grade.

Although many students enjoyed the “free points” in the past, this new system will help us change the way we think about our effort toward assignments. 

In school, I have found myself and others putting more value on a grade than learning useful material. This would result in rushing through the questions without paying attention and learning the material, which was an ultimate detriment to my education. 

With the new system in place, I have learned to pay attention to the material and  strengthen my understanding because I know that there will be a quiz or discussion afterward to check my comprehension.

Among the pros of the new system, I have also found that teachers do not assign work that does not have any real learning value, better known as busy work. This has meant no more hour-long assignments that don’t teach us anything and is overall better for mental health and combating sleep deprivation.

As high schoolers, we have a plethora of extracurricular activities, such as sports or jobs that take u a lot of our time. With the new system in place and with less of this busy work, we can have more time to attribute to these important activities.

Additionally, we have the ability to redo assignments to receive up to a certain amount of points which ensure that we understand the material and are able to improve our understanding. 

Even though this system has only been implemented in a couple of classes, it should be implemented throughout the whole school because of its opportunities to make us enjoy learning.

This new grading system has given us the opportunity to learn the material and gain a deeper understanding of the material instead of hyper-focusing on grades.  The system has reinforced the core value of strong education that is rooted within our school and has shifted the focus of students toward learning and understanding.