Grades v. an Education

After being in school for a decade, students begin to wonder the reason for going to school every day-grades or the development of learning.
  Some students are satisfied with the way grades are emphasized in school.
 “Our school is great in getting us prepared for college, letting us take an AP class sophomore year and building up. I feel very ready to go and perform at the collegiate level and part of me says that our grading system helps that,” senior Sam Parker said.
  However, others feel that school is more justified in accentuating learning for the sake of learning.
  “Education’s role should be to better society. If we don’t foster better society through good learning, society as a whole worsens,” junior Alvaro Papa said.
  “The greatest value to the student is what they learn and how they can apply that knowledge because they take you to the next level,” counselor David Cantwell said.
  But despite the idea that school does promote learning, many students feel that their motivations for succeeding in school are largely based on pressures to make a grade.
  “There’s always part of me that says you’ve got to do the homework to get the grade,” Parker said. “It’s just the way grading scales work and the [way] colleges look at you based on your academics.”
  “I think that I want to learn, but school promotes more of a need to get the right grades and so do my parents. The tests we take at the end of the year make it so that teachers are forced to teach by the test,” junior Gabbie Fried said.
  Ultimately, students and faculty are able to see how grades may cause a skewed motivation and yet how they are necessary for tracking the success of a school.
  “I’d like to see the emphasis on learning, but grades are also essential for the way our society works because our society has mandated that we give points for progress,” English teacher Susie Schweiker said.
  “Once you’re in the real world, the expectations are often very different than grades,” Cantwell said. “[But] I think the pressures of school, the pressures of meeting deadlines, the pressures of doing well in classes do have some real world benefit. But it is different in the real world, and we have to apply those skills differently.”