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Grading Policy and Devices Cause Controversy

Photo+courtesy+of+Kayla+Ain
Photo courtesy of Kayla Ain

Photo courtesy of Kayla Ain

Photo courtesy of Kayla Ain

Hannah Jenarine, Assistant Grab Bag Editor

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Although the school year is partially complete, education improvement efforts are still being made.  The majority of students are not only confused about what they are being assessed on, but are also infuriated about educational websites being blocked on their devices.  In fact, these students are beginning to have mixed feelings towards the constant refinement of the grading policy and the implementation of devices.

The grading policy is one of the most controversial topics throughout Pikesville High; at the slightest mention of grades some students groan in displeasure while others grin in relief.  For instance, many have developed a deep aversion towards the policy and view it as the bane to their existence.

“The new grading system is the reason why my grades are terrible.  I’m not the best test taker and it is unfair to me and others like myself who are judged [solely] on assessments” declares Asha Jackson (‘19).  In fact, the policy is not only unjust to those who struggle as test takers, but homework-an essential factor for success-is not even graded.  Consequently, the few students who actually take the time and effort do homework are just wasting their time because teachers do not even check it for understanding.  However, despite their relentless oppositions, there are a few students who believe that the grading policy is designed to be in their favor.

“If I scored low on a test, I know that I would have another chance to improve myself and my grade.  The grading policy is here to help me, not hurt me,” states Jamaiah Crawford (’18).  Sure enough, the benefits of having second learning chance allows these high schoolers to redo any work they feel they have not mastered, which in turn opens up communication between the student and the teacher.  These advantages are enough to outweigh any of the disadvantages.

Nevertheless, the implementation of laptops is also enough to inspire students to voice their opinions like never before.  There are some who feel as if the devices are the worst things that Pikesville could have introduced to their curriculum because not only are they a distraction, but they also cause migraines and are a restriction towards the learning process.

“Staring at a screen and doing work for hours on this device has caused my eyes and my head to hurt.  I am not used to reading on a screen and I would much prefer to have a paper copy” says Kayla Ain (‘18).

These opinions shows that although Pikesville has earned its prestige as a lighthouse school, our students are not appreciating its noteworthiness.  Since high schoolers have become so accustomed to reading on paper and taking notes in the margins, adapting to a new learning process is very difficult for them.

Nonetheless, there are others who feel as if the utilization of devices has helped improve their learning experience.

“I think our devices are very helpful because we are able to learn new things much quicker and be more productive in classes.  Also, we are saving more trees,” states Elijah Edwards (‘19).

In essence, although the grading policy and the implementation of laptops are viewed as hindrances to some students, they prove to be very beneficial to others.  Nonetheless, it appears that Pikesville High School will have to determine the most effective approach in terms of how students should be graded and how teachers should incorporate technology in their classes to keep students happy.

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Grading Policy and Devices Cause Controversy