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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Downers Grove South High School

Blueprint

Z4 culture undermines the ‘Mustang Way’

Teachers+are+often+frustrated+with+students+who+dont+accomplish+their+work
Itzel Sanchez
Teachers are often frustrated with students who don’t accomplish their work

DGS has shifted their grading policies in the last few years with students receiving an automatic 40% on any assignment no matter what they do. They also can retake any test no matter what grade they received the first time, and they can turn in late work months late. These standards are so laughably low that an L4 grade would be the only appropriate one for the school.

It cannot be overstated how harmful the grading policies are to the mission of educating students and preparing them for a successful life.

The Z4 culture has given students a “green pass” to miss class, not do assignments or generally just not care about school. When one is in no danger of failing, there’s no urgency to change self-destructive behavior.

Currently, a student can get Z4’s all semester and then get a good grade on one assessment of learning and pass the class by the skin of their teeth. This promotes bad habits and essentially kicks the can down the road. By the time a student is in senior year, it’s very possible that they’ll still be far below their grade level in terms of their abilities, and this is a disservice to students.

School may not be for everyone, but promoting good habits by requiring students to meet deadlines and do well on a test the first time they take it is for everyone. In a deadline, performance based world, students are being set up to fail.

The school holds students to such a low standard that there’s no incentive to go beyond it. Why would students stop being absent if it doesn’t affect their ability to pass a class? When people are held to higher standards, they usually try to meet them.

The guard rails need to come off at DGS. Z4’s and L4’s need to come to an end. Our slogan is to be responsible, respectful and engaged, yet in practice students are never held to the Mustang Way.

The main goal of any high school is to prepare students for college, trade school or just life in general, and in order to fulfill that obligation, the core grading policy has to change. They need to be comfortable with students throwing a few gutter balls as eventually they will be throwing strikes.

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