Counterpoint: Should teachers be permitted to grade their own students’ tests?

Dylan Schor, Staff Writer

Imagine, for a moment, the worst teacher you’ve ever had. is teacher obviously picked favorites, chewed out innocent students for next to no reason, and showed absolutely no passion for their profession. Imagine further that you were on their bad side and the perfect paper you just submitted received a C grade. After visiting the Writing Center, you learn that there are some minor grammatical errors, but nothing worth the horrid grade. Upon further research, you realize a friend who had a worse paper than you got a better grade.

This unfairness is the exact problem with teachers grading their own work. When one views the world in a subjective manner, perception tends to dictate their actions and their reality. is reality leads to unfair advantages and disadvantages for students who already have enough stress on their plate, balancing classes with extracurriculars, sports, and a social life.

“Teachers shouldn’t grade their own tests due to knowing the students. Not only can a teacher be biased towards their students, but students can also take their grades personally. If tests and essays are graded by a third party, it would be fair game on both sides,” said sophomore Jae Longaro.

It’s far too possible that grades are dependent on the teacher’s opinion of the student rather than the quality of their work. Longaro also brings up an interesting point in that certain grades and unfair treatment can lead to bad blood between the two parties. Unnecessary animosity o en results from students who feel they’ve been mistreated by teachers who gave them a grade they didn’t deserve. This anger can lead to decreased e ort, perpetuating a cycle of bad grades, failing to improve the student.

“I think it’s not only bias in terms of liking certain students better than others — although that certainly is the case — but it’s also having different expectations for different students and then grading people who tend to do better unnecessarily harsh,” said junior Daniel Ruskin.

Moreover, as Ruskin noted, under-achieving students tend to have a much easier time than those who put in a lot more effort due to the burden of expectations. As a result of all this, student submissions should always be turned in anonymously online or graded by a third party teacher. Although Turnitin allows teachers to grade anonymously, it does not fix the problem altogether, as teachers could potentially recognize a certain student’s writing style and thus not treat the assignment objectively.

“I don’t think it’s common, but there’s definitely a lot of potential for this to happen. I know personally that I’ve gotten lower grades than I deserved because of teachers who hated me. It’s unfair. It really is,” said junior David Gold.

Ensuring the least biased academic process is imperative for schools to have the most equal and meritocratic education system. Anyone who looks at any assessment must know the exact criteria to ensure the fairest grade. Moreover, every essay must be graded by the same person to ensure the same standards are applied to every person.

One may argue that anonymous grading could be unfair to students with natural disadvantages — it is definitely true that not all students are born with equal intelligence and many would argue that effort should be counted in determining one’s grade. It is not fair to hold anyone to a higher standard and give someone who by the standards of the class deserves an A but gets a C due to the unrealistic expectations of the teacher.

Also, it may seem fair to argue that an obnoxious genius may deserve to be penalized for their behavior in class and the natural dislike that teachers may have for people who question everything they do. Moreover, poor grades are often the best way to send a message with these types of people. However, annoying they might be, it is not fair to justify threatening one’s potential college and future by dropping their GPA due to a personal grudge.

Detention is a fair enough punishment for any student and there is no need to discriminate. Charming C students should still be treated the same way as everyone else. Ultimately, teachers grading their own students’ work will only lead to unfair treatment and personal vendettas — detriments to successful education.