Rocket Fumes: Should Grades Be Abolished?

Alice Lin (‘22), Editor

On Friday, October 5,  quarter 1 grades closed for all students at RMHS. During the beginning of remote learning (spring of 2020), there was a semester where students were only given a pass (P) or fail (F) grade. Then starting last year, students were finally receiving actual letter grades again which consisted of A, B, C, D, and F. Ultimately, grades are composed of a variety of factors such as tests, quizzes, homework, and possibly extra credit and the student’s behavior. Although letter grades may increase a student’s stress level, they also push students to work harder for good grades.

Two RMHS students were willing to express their differing view points on whether American high schools should abolish grades as we know them.


Kylie Encarnacao, (‘22)

We, as humans, recognize that no two people are alike. So, why do we use a ‘one size fits all’ approach to measure students in the classroom? High grades are crucial for certain scholarships and acceptance into competitive universities. However, a grade tells very little about how a student performs in academic settings. A student who studies for hours on end while also going in for extra help might earn C’s. Compared to a student who doesn’t need to study and still achieves A’s. Letters cannot represent student work ethic, and that is one of the most important skills in life. I believe having teachers use comments instead of grades would be very beneficial to students. Not only would these reports cause less academic stress, they would more accurately portray students in school environments.



Colby Markham, (‘25)

Grades are the best at displaying a statistically accurate summary of a student’s performance. They eliminate as much opinionated scoring from class work as possible. It’s very hard for a teacher to score a student badly due to anything other than their performance. Also, grades can provide parents with a somewhat realistic picture of their child’s academic progress in school. So if the student is performing poorly in school, parents would most likely talk to the student and see what kind of support they might need. However, I don’t think that it’s [the grading system] even close to perfect at determining one’s true intelligence, but it’s definitely not horrible at it, and a decent summary can be given by letter grades despite the lack of true precision. I feel that the current grading system is clearly flawed, but thus far it is superior to any other system of scoring put forward.