Pass/fail grading for MVLA seniors for the rest of the semester

Pass/fail grading for MVLA seniors for the rest of the semester

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MVLA District tarafına Akhand Dugar bu kampanyayı başlattı

We, the undersigned students and parents of the MVLA district, petition the district to implement pass/fail grading as the default grading system for seniors for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Our reasoning is as follows:

  1. We are about to embark on our adult lives and will be forced to be more independent and self-directed than ever before. Spending almost all our time at home, we haven’t had the traditional growth opportunities that senior year brings. Pass/fail would give us greater agency in balancing our academics with the increased commitments we’re taking on this year, including jobs and familial responsibilities.
  2. Distance learning has taken its toll. Classes have had to move much faster because of the shorter school year; we’ve had to be more proactive and self-directed because we have each class fewer days of the week; the missing energy of learning in the classroom has made classes more draining; and our classes, especially APs, have all maintained their rigorous curriculums. As such, we’ve seen an anecdotal increase in cheating and “gaming the system” over the past year. Pass/fail would alleviate this tension by disincentivizing cheating – emphasizing test content rather than grades allows teachers to better understand how their students are learning.
  3. Letter grades directly cause many seniors stress and anxiety, and COVID-19 has exacerbated general mental issues while weakening our access to emotional support networks. Pass/fail grading would constitute a change in mindset – for example, instead of spending the night studying to get a 95 on an upcoming math test, students would study to understand specific concepts. It would alleviate stress while still preserving the district’s commitment to academic rigor and integrity.
  4. Pass/fail grading allows us greater personal, humanistic development by not binding us to test scores. We’ll be able to place greater emphasis on personally valuable skills from cooking to playing the guitar, and will have more energy to develop our interpersonal relationships, especially given the year's distance-learning environment. Having a pass/fail system would give us the time to focus on our individual development and our dormant social skills, allowing us to feel more emotionally supported.
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