Should high schools and universities only use 'pass-fail' grading this semester? | The Tylt

VOTING CLOSES: 4 days
Culture
Should high schools and universities only use 'pass-fail' grading this semester?
#GradeOnPassFail
#GradeOnPassFail
#KeepLetterGrades
#KeepLetterGrades

The coronavirus lockdown has led to school and university closures nationwide. Although some schools are equipped with online learning tools, many are not, and few are accustomed to an entirely virtual model of learning. As a result, many students are calling for the spring 2020 semester to be graded on a pass-fail basis, opting for more simplistic grading so as not to punish students for unexpected circumstances. Others say a pass-fail system would fail to acknowledge the hard work put in by students throughout the first half of the semester. What do you think?

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Should high schools and universities only use 'pass-fail' grading this semester?
#GradeOnPassFail
#KeepLetterGrades
Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Should high schools and universities only use 'pass-fail' grading this semester?
#GradeOnPassFail
#KeepLetterGrades
#GradeOnPassFail

It's true that more and more educational resources are found online—virtual textbooks and tutoring abound—but these are simply tools capable of improving a students' overall education. Moving all students to a virtual classroom for every class, every day of the week is a jarring change to say the least. From elementary school to college, students and teachers alike will struggle to adjust to this new normal, and learning comprehension will undoubtedly take a hit. 

As a result, many students and educators are calling for a pass-fail grading system for the spring 2020 semester. Doing so creates a sort of safety net for students across the board. Forbes' Robert Farrington reports:

According to a recent report from Inside Higher Ed, an increasing number of schools are moving to a pass-fail system in order to help students move through the remainder of the school year without negative consequences due to coronavirus.

Keep in mind, students not only have limited access to the classroom and to their teachers, but they also do not have access to the library, TAs, tutors or their peers. It's not just a matter of sitting at a desk in a school versus in a home; students' entire interaction with the educational system is now different. Grading should therefore adjust as needed. According to the New York Times' Anemona Hartocollis, some are even arguing that rather than "pass-fail," schools should only offer "pass." Hartocollis reports that some students...

...are seeking a “universal pass” — meaning that nobody would fail, regardless of performance and whether they can continue to take online classes, and that letter grades would be abolished.
#KeepLetterGrades

But both Forbes' Farrington and the New York Times' Hartocollis admit there are cons to moving to a pass-fail system, and not all students are jumping at the opportunity to change the grading scale. According to Hartocollis: 

The debate is of particular concern to students trying to raise their grade-point averages in their final year or two of college to qualify for law, medical or business schools. Some fear it will hurt their chances if their college careers end with a “pass” instead of high marks.

Hartocollis spoke with at least one Yale student who would prefer to keep their letter grades. Lydia Burleson, an English major who was working three jobs prior to the coronavirus lockdown, says she was counting on this semester to be her "breakout." 

“I have not been working 70 hours a week to not feel confident,” Ms. Burleson said. “I want those grades. I’ve been working for those grades for the majority of the semester. So yeah, I will ask for grades if the option remains available to me, which is still up in the air.”

Some students would prefer to at least keep the option to "reveal" their letter grades if schools opt for a pass-fail system this semester. 

VOTING CLOSES: 4 days
Culture
Should high schools and universities only use 'pass-fail' grading this semester?
#GradeOnPassFail
#GradeOnPassFail
#KeepLetterGrades
#KeepLetterGrades