Point: Should teachers grade student assignments anonymously?

Aaron Bialer, Staff Assistant

Whether based on sex, race, or just on a previous impression, bias causes inequality, and letting bias influence work is utterly unacceptable and unprofessional.

Unfortunately, prejudices often go unnoticed, even by those who hold them.

The student body and instructional faculty at Schreiber attempt to be accepting and unbiased.  However, further steps should still be taken to ensure a completely impartial environment.

For example, teachers may hold biases against either certain groups of people or personally against a specific student, causing discrepancies in their grading.  If teachers were to grade assignments without looking at the students’ names, then grading would become more fair.

An anonymous grading system would also prevent teachers’ personal relationships with and preconceived opinions of students from affecting students’ grades. Also, favoritism would no longer play a factor.

“Grades can be unfair if your teacher isn’t close with you or your personalities don’t click,” said junior Lauren Livingston.  “In this case, especially on essays, the teacher may not grade you as easily or bump you up if you’re on the verge of a higher grade.”

Similarly, teacher’s expectations of certain students can majorly affect their grades.

A student who generally works hard and does very well on assignments is expected to live up to certain expectations on every assignment they complete.

If they happen to do poorly on one assignment, they may receive a worse grade due to not living up to these high expectations placed on them.

“Anonymous grading significantly reduces the effects of biased grading; however, a teacher who does know a student cannot fully grade somebody,” said social studies teacher Ms. Renee McClean.  “Anonymous grading is based upon an incomplete profile.”

With this in mind, participation or behavior grades would be important as part of the mainly anonymous system.  These grades would assure teachers a more complete profile of their students and force teachers to directly target behavior and participation rather than indirectly adding it in to subjective grades.

The only fault of anonymous grading is the difficulty in setting up an appropriate system.

Most methods of anonymous grading would allow teachers to view students’ grades if they chose to do so.

“Instead of having names in their grade book, teachers could have numbers for each student,” said junior Matthew Brandes.  “The teacher should grade it first without a name, like the Regents is graded, and then, if they want to give points for improving, they could check the number to look up the name.”

Such a method would greatly increase fairness in grading, even though teachers who do not appreciate the benefits of it would easily be able to ignore the system and hold bias over students.

The benefits of the implementation of an anonymous system far outweigh the negatives.