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

Abraham Franchetti, Staff Writer

Over the past few years, the concept of one teacher educating students in their own fashion may become less common.
In order to fight this trend, teachers must be given more autonomy when it comes to interacting with their students.

“It makes sense for the teacher who assigned an assignment to assess a student on how well they completed it,” said junior Kristin Kalmus.

An important aspect of this “autonomy” is for teachers to retain the ability to grade their own tests. Knowledge of what material and methods were taught, as well as familiarity with the curriculum, is very important when grading. Partial credit is another important reason teachers should grade their own tests.

“In classes like math, where partial credit is critical, teachers know best how many points to take off,” said sophomore Olivia Platt.

A teacher’s specific style and subject matter are critical to the grading process and must be taken into account. In an English class, for example, how could a teacher who hasn’t read a certain book grade essays or assignments related to it? Even if a teacher has read the book, teachers often have different requirements, standards, and objectives for each essay. The same applies to social studies, since some teachers include more details in their lessons, while others focus on the bigger picture.

Another important reason to have teachers grade their own tests is that they know their students’ capabilities. While services like Turnitin can help detect plagiarism, it takes someone with specific knowledge of an individual student to know if his or her grade is on par in relation to both their yearly performance and their recent work. A teacher’s knowledge of a student’s
specific circumstances and ability is invaluable to both the grading and teaching process.

Having a teacher multiple times over the course of a student’s high school career can also help students. It helps reduce rough transitions and allows for a better human connection.

“It is beneficial to have the same teacher for a given subject for all four years of high school. is helps you develop a good relationship with that teacher, who then knows what conditions you learn best in. This means that the teacher would know you and hold you to a certain expectation, which will help you work harder and learn better,” said sophomore Daniel Grielsheimer.

A teacher who knows his or her students well is able to mentor and educate them better than someone who doesn’t for many of the same reasons that we have the same guidance counselor all of high school. The value of education is not rooted exclusively in just the subject matter. For example, in math, it’s less about the actual material and answer, and more about the problem-solving process behind it. Teachers teach ways of thinking about the world.

“Teachers not only teach you information for the class, but they also instruct you on certain life lessons and provide a figure for students to come to with issues,” said sophomore Isabelle Kitay.

School ought to remain a place where human connections are made and individual lessons are learned alongside subject matter. As a result, we need to keep grading in the hands of people who are emotionally connected to their students and prevent the encroachment of new grading policies.