Should Teachers gift one point if it makes the difference in a student’s letter grade?

Written by Mister Wilson-Astoryplus Children’s Books

 The class itself has ended and all the opportunities to impact your grade have passed and you’re one point short! Perhaps you’ve been there as a student where one lousy point kept you from a better letter grade, the Dean’s list or even from passing a class. It must be one of the worse school experiences or at least it feels that way in those immediate moments.  It’s especially so, if it leaves you one point away from repeating a class or grade and not being able to continue your scheduled curriculum path.

Many may empathize with the students and reason that they should be given the benefit of the doubt and gifted the point. Then should gifts of two, three, five or even ten points also be considered for the sake of students? And you might be amazed at how often these situations occur and how many would be deserving of the extra point. Few if any students are immune to this predicament so the frequency of these occurrences could potentially escalate. I have certainly been there, and I have also witnessed classmates struggle to come to grips with this crisis of a situation. There is perhaps nothing like being within one point of something and yet being powerless to obtain that one point. The situation is filled with feelings of failure, anger, disgust, and shame. It is horrible, and I don’t wish it upon anyone.

As for the teachers, are they the blame? They have provided multiple opportunities for you to make one, five or even ten points during the course. So why are you desperately using a scheduled teacher’s office hour to beg for what you have had ample opportunity to earn outright?  Afterall the tests were administered to other classmates who received the actual score that they earned. Sure, it’s one lousy point that would stop the sky from falling upon you if the teacher would gift it. Well let’s just say that you are not gifted the one lousy point, then what? You leave the teacher’s office with watery eyes, a bowed head, and some severely slumping shoulders. Hope that scenario didn’t open any old painful wounds for you.

But let’s expand the discussion a bit, say with you out of school but with children. Now your children bring home a test or report card with a point separating them from a letter grade or failure? Oh well let us hope that security is on duty at the teacher-parent conference when you are scheduled! Of course, it shouldn’t provoke you to any physical violence, but you might be ready with a full criminal-like cross examination of the teacher.  And no doubt you would have already secured a petition signed by all the parents of the other students for their discipline or removal.

However, it’s the teacher’s discretion to gift the point or not to gift it. They are justified with either decision because test themselves may have a statistical margin of error of at least plus or minus one point. It’s not like teachers desire any student to perform unsatisfactorily and they certainly do not want to subjectively decide a student’s fate one way or the other. Teachers rely on the grading scale to determine the score or average score. The grading scale is presented beforehand and in and of itself it is objective and fair. It is not about the teacher’s principles nor their philosophy because the grade falls within or without a preassigned grading interval. Teachers do not want the responsibility of gifting or not gifting points.  Children-students should prepare to maximize every testing opportunity so that their final scores do not leave them in the undesirable situation of needing help. Written by Mister Wilson-Astoryplus Children’s Books

Written by George Wilson

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