Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
79° Rockville, MD
The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

Lt. Col. Avi Levi presents on the Israel Air Defense System.
JDS hosts speakers from Israeli Embassy
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor • May 22, 2024

Following Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut, CESJDS invited three speakers from the Israeli embassy to further inform students about Israel and...

Joe Vogel speaking out to the community. Photo from
It takes a village
Adam Salomon, Reporter • May 22, 2024

While, door-to-door campaigning, Junior Rafi Seigel knocks on the door of a family household in Maryland’s sixth district, asking them to vote...

Sophomore Oliver Silver teaches his grandparents what hes been learning in math this year.
Dor L' Dor Day
Gila Safra, Reporter • May 22, 2024

Summer vs. winter
Summer vs. winter
Eliana Abrams and Maya GreenblumMay 20, 2024

Lions hold up banner after defeating Sandy Spring in the championship.
Varsity softball wins championship two years in a row
Tyler Portnoy, Reporter • May 19, 2024

Crack. The bat hits the ball and sophomore Carrine Shemesh sprints towards first base as sophomore Eliana Wolf crosses the plate, scoring the...

The baseball team has two managers who can be found at the majority of the baseball teams games, Jordan Levy (‘24) and junior Josh Berl.
All bases covered: managers support the baseball team
Vivi Ducker, Features Editor • May 17, 2024

When in attendance at any of the CESJDS varsity baseball team’s games this year, next to the players on the bench, the baseball team managers....

Grading gone wrong

This school year, the CESJDS high school administration introduced a new grading system. With new policies such as no grade penalty for late work, classwork and homework often ungraded and much more lenient retake rules, students are confused and worried about what these changes mean for their high school career. Although created with good intentions, the policy inhibits students’ motivation and doesn’t prepare us for college.

The system diminishes the amount of effort students put in. When homework and classwork were graded, students had incentive to master content. This encouraged learning for students who were less motivated otherwise.

These policies are also unclear to students, leaving more stress as they try to navigate this new system. The assignments that are graded and available to be retaken vary by department. There is no explicit “absolute” regarding such rules, and this uncertainty is worrying for students.

The new policy is believed by administration to reduce an emphasis on grades and have students focus on learning. They say that since homework isn’t graded, students won’t feel like they’re wasting their time practicing content they already know. This way, they can focus on the content they haven’t yet learned, without stressing over other work.

However, the new system actually causes students to worry more about grades. The few assignments that are graded now hold a greater weight and therefore have a larger impact on grades. Essentially, the system is backfiring. Since summative assessments have such a large impact, students end up stressing more over those assignments while paying little mind to non-graded homework.

The elimination of a late penalty also causes a dip in student motivation. The policy is such that rather than asking for extensions when needed as was the policy in prior years, students can turn in summative assignments late, free from penalty. This policy fosters poor time management, as it gives students the opportunity to consistently turn in work late.

In college and the professional world, there are deadlines, and professors and employers won’t allow work to be submitted late without a penalty. The late policy does not adequately prepare students for this reality, and it leaves students with harmful habits that could inhibit their future academic performance.

It’s unfair to expect us to succeed with a system that isn’t designed for us. I understand the principle: grading should reflect learning. But the new policies don’t accomplish that goal. Instead, they eliminate many students’ motivation, cause students to stress more on summatives and foster poor learning and working habits.

Students should learn how to properly manage their time and find intrinsic motivation, but by high school, it is much too late to do this with such a drastic change. These beneficial work habits will come in time, perhaps naturally or with a little extra help, but expecting students to immediately adopt them and succeed is an unreasonable expectation.

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About the Contributor
Ruby Kotok
Ruby Kotok, Features Editor

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