Does the School Give out Too Many As?

In an area and a school filled with students who strive for academic success, one might question whether getting an A in classes is too easy, given the number of students that can achieve this goal. Is getting an A too easy? To answer this question, it is essential to look at it from several perspectives. First, one should look at it from a black-and-white perspective of whether or not it is too easy. While classes depend on their difficulty to receive a good grade in, depending on the course and the level one is pursuing it in, getting A’s, especially straight A’s, is not easy. I think anyone from Belmont Hill, including students, teachers, and administrators, would argue that getting A’s in the more difficult classes offered at the school is difficult. This begs the question, though, whether it is better to get an A in an easier class or a B in a more challenging course. Although the GPA’s may be the same with grade weighting, straight A’s in an easier class might look better than poor grades in a challenging class. However, the myth that GPA is all colleges look at is incorrect. It is much better to challenge yourself and risk a bad grade than to go through your Belmont Hill experience without ever giving yourself a challenge.

Second, asking yourself whether getting straight A’s is worth it is important. Most children want to do well in school, which often includes seeing A’s on the report card. They often believe that good grades in school will guarantee that they will lead successful, productive, and happy lives. While good grades may be an indication that children will excel in life, it is a far cry from a guarantee.

While we all want to receive good grades, we must ask ourselves what exactly it is that grades mean and what they show about a student. Grades should reflect how much a student has learned, and often, that can be what they show. However, looking at it from a different perspective, grades may simply reflect what a child knows and not what they have learned.  Straight A’s may be a sign that children aren’t learning what they need to learn to have a successful life.  The main difference is that if grades are supposed to reflect what a child knows rather than what a child has learned, a student can get straight A’s without having learned anything. In that sense, if getting straight A’s becomes too difficult and relies more on memorizing and “knowing” and not on “learning,” by making it harder to get A’s, we might be depriving students of the ability to learn. 

Is knowledge enough to allow someone to be successful? What do grades necessarily say about the exertion a child put into the assignment that earned the student A’s? If a child happens to already know the information, it’s unlikely that they had to do much to get those A’s. For example, it is not uncommon to find student’s taking an AP in a language they are either fluent in or nearly fluent in. This means that students would rather have an extra AP on their manuscript than learn, which questions the learning environment we learn in.

In conclusion, I don’t believe that getting an A is too easy. I also believe that that is not the question we should be asking. How easy it is to get an A in any specific class depends entirely on the person, and while one person might find it easy, others might struggle to get a good grade. The more important question we should ask is whether or not our learning environment is keeping us from learning. 


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