School Reform: Grade Level Elimination

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In modern times, it comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of issues and negative occurrences throughout the traditional educational system. Schooling is not a choice, but a mandatory duty that each and every child must fulfill almost daily. Depending on grade level and work load, the average student spends nearly 8 hours per day either learning in school or completing assignments from that day (U.S. Bureau). This indicates that a majority of a secondary education student’s time is consumed by school and school related work. Because this is an obligatory role, it is imperative that these students are not being forced to do such work, but instead are interested and engaged so that they may enjoy this work. Although there is a multitude of reasons that a student may do poorly in school, a substantial cause is the flaws with the grade level system that most schools implicate. The elimination of grade level systems is not entirely unheard of or practiced, but it has not been extricated enough to show the advantages of alternative schooling systems.

One of the practical and advantageous counters to the grade level system is the non-traditional standards-based curriculum. This reform disbands grade levels in its entirety (i.e. 3rd grade reading or 7th grade math), but keeps a level corresponding to the difficulty of each course. These 10 different levels are measured by the student when he or she chooses proficiency out of the following four categories: “I need help”,”I think I can”,”I know I can”, and “I can teach it” (Carpenter). This would allow students to progress not only when they are viewed as competent by teachers and administrators, but also when the student himself believes that he is competent. A student would ide...

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...ies are no longer trivial, but are becoming problematic to an unacceptable level. Not only does the standard-based curriculum provide a positive improvement to the weaknesses in effect, but it also is capable of dismissing larger issues altogether. A student’s educational experience can be immensely enhanced and advanced with a radical change to a system such as the standard-based curriculum.

Works Cited

Carpenter, Jennifer. "Eliminating the Grade Level System in Public Schools." Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo! Contributor Network, 9 Apr. 2011. Web. 06 Mar. 2012.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Charts by Topic: Students." United States Department of Labor. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Dec. 2011. Web. 06 Mar. 2012.

Parkhurst, Emily. "Portland Schools May Move Away from Traditional Grade Levels." The Forecaster. Sun Media Group, 5 Dec. 2011. Web. 6 Mar. 2012.
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