80/20 rule not beneficial for students

With the end of the first midterm, students and parents are starting to see the impact of the 80/20 grading policy. Eighty percent of students’ grades are decided by mastery assignments, tests and projects, and 20% of students’ grades are everything else. The everything else category is called practice, which is homework and in-class assignments. Additionally, students are allowed to retake tests, so it This policy does not help students as in college and the real world they will not be granted these second chances on deadlines. 

This new policy combined with the 50% minimum grade policy promotes laziness among students. Incomplete homework assignments almost have no impact on grades anymore, as a zero out of six turns into a zero out of three and it goes into the 20% practice category. A student theoretically could not do any work in a class beside the mastery assignments and still get a 90% in the class. The retake policy adds to this further. It implants the idea that students can just blow off a test if they do not want to study and take it some other time for no penalty. 

A patient would not want a doctor that completes half a surgery and gets paid the full amount. If an employer does not hire someone they do not get a second chance at an interview. If a teacher only teaches and does not show up to meetings, they will eventually get fired.

Another question raised among students is what is the reasoning behind the change. This is a unique grading system that is not commonly used elsewhere. Colleges do not use it, so if the idea is to prepare students for higher education, the correlation is not really there. 

The policy also restricts teachers from running their class how they want. In AP European History, the weight of different areas in the class is all different, with the main focus being on essays. Now, all assignments classified by mastery are all thrown into the same category on Skyward. In honors pre-calculus, the tests were weighted 90% and homework 10%. These classes had reason to be run this way and now all classes must grade the same, despite not being the same.

The 80/20 rule should be dropped and should not have been put in place at all. The weight of class grades should be up to the discretion of the teachers.