Grade Transparency


The end of the school year is always filled with parents coming to the teacher’s office to argue about their child’s grade. These grading discrepancies nearly always happen when when a student receives a drop in score when expecting a much higher one. The end of the year hits and the student realizes they have no other option to raise their grade by either lack of class assignments or it being too late to complete any extra credit opportunities. Could this not be eliminated by giving the student a heads up on what their grade is so they have a more accurate prediction of their final grade? Not only a heads up, but a complete list of the students grades up to that point, otherwise known as grade transparency.

Why do so many parents, and even students, argue for grade transparency? Well from a parent’s point of view, they get complete access to their child’s grades. It helps them monitor their grades throughout the year so there are no surprises at the end. This also makes it easier for the teacher because there will be no surprised and angered parent storming into their classroom demanding why their child received such a low grade.

This is beneficial for the student as well. I know personally I did not have grade transparency at the first high school that I went to and neither did I have it during my elementary and middle school years. When I switched high school after my sophomore year, I remember the feeling of control and motivation I got from my grades. I was able to keep track of what I was making in each class and knew exactly when I began to falter on assignments. If I saw a bad grade, it instantly motivated me to do better on upcoming assignments as well as going back to make sure I mastered the previous content that I did not receive as high of a grade on.

Particularly in the younger years of schooling, grade transparency opens direct channel from the teacher to the parent. Parents can be more diligent about getting their child to complete assignments if they see they are missing too many or may become more relaxed if they can see that their child is managing themselves well. Seeing the future due dates and assignments can allow them to manage their own schedule around their child’s by knowing exactly when their child has a major assignment due and can take the proper measures to make sure their child isn’t waiting until the night before to complete it.

When technology is at the touch of our fingertips nowadays, it is easier than ever before for schools to implement a grade transparency program. I know many programs and websites have their own mobile apps that a student or parent can just download and log in and everything is posted right there. It provides real time feedback so your child is not waiting weeks until after the midterm exam for their teacher to grade and hand back all of the exams for students to know how they are doing. Furthermore, these programs calculate averages for you, even eliminating that aspect of it. It is a quick, simple, and effective measure schools can take to boost student and parent engagement.

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One Response to Grade Transparency

  1. liznels says:

    I think that you raise some good points about grade transparency in this post. I was in a school system that had grade transparency from middle school on and did see the benefit of no surprise grades. However, parents contacted teachers frequently about their child’s grades during the week. From a parent and child point of view, I think that grade transparency is good, but from a teacher’s point of view, it creates an excess amount of work, more room for errors (computer and transfer) and more parent chaos to deal with than normal. Do you think that the demands on teachers outweigh the benefits to parents and students and is it fair to put this additional demand on teachers?


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