Ready for College? Senior Doubts Proficiency Helped

May 3, 2018

I started going to school in Richmond in sixth grade, and in my first year there, they changed the grading system to standards-based.

For the first year, the new passing grade was 2.5 out of 4.0, but the next year they changed the passing grade to 3.0. A score under a 3.0 meant you weren’t proficient in that topic, and you could not pass without the teacher’s help. 

When they raised the passing grade, some people had to finish work from the previous year that only had a 2.5 because it wasn’t passing anymore, and that was when I started to dislike the new grading system.

In high school, my friends and I thought “we figured it out.” With this grading system, we thought that we never had to study because we could take the same test as many times as we wanted until we got a 3.0. 

Why would we have to stay up late stressing about studying before a test when we can take the test as many times as we want? Also, the teachers, when they set deadlines, are very lenient. For example, teachers set deadlines on Google Classroom, but if people don’t turn anything in, it doesn’t affect their grade until they complete the assignment.

Another reason this system doesn't work is that a lot of people don’t understand how much athletics takes up time, especially during basketball season when we have away games and might not get back until 11 p.m. During basketball season, we leave for games after school around 3:00 or 3:30 and don’t get back until late at night, so we don’t really have time to study on game nights.

Some people stay up almost all night just to study for a test the next day. A lot of athletes, like myself, know that we can take the test as many times as we want until it is a 3.0. There is no need to stay up all night stressing about studying when you know that you have a second chance.

Overall, I do not think that this grading system has prepared me for college because it does not enforce due dates. This grading system has not taught me how to study for a test because we have second chances, and I don’t have to worry about deadlines because they don’t put our grade in the grading system until we have the work done.

When I am in school I have to manage my time by actually focusing during my study halls and during intervention. Those days are usually game days because I know I will be out late and won’t have that much time when I get home.

I have learned this way of time management the hard way, when I would come to school the day after a game I sometimes would get in trouble because I didn’t have my work done before that class period. That is how I figured out I need to use study halls and intervention wisely. 

A lot of students get in trouble or detentions when they don’t have their work done before class. If someone gets a detention then that means they’ll either miss practice or be late to practice and that makes the coaches mad, and we will lose playing time.

Nathan Kendrick is a senior at Richmond High School.