A Potentially Harmful System

Why No Marks Should Be Abolished

A Potentially Harmful System

In a culture where school is mandatory and already stressful enough on its own, one might assume a fair and lenient system is instated. This idealized system did once exist, but has long since been replaced by one which makes school even more stressful and difficult: the “No Mark” system.

Until recently, students were given an A, B, C, D, or F as a grade to indicate knowledge of the topic displayed. D’s allowed students a certain degree of leniency, promoting them to the next level so long as they had no more than two D’s.

D’s counted towards one’s GPA positively, serving as low Cs, with the percentage range being 60-69 percent. Some schools believed this system to be flawed, as it allowed students to get away with a level of mastery not deemed complete by the standards of 2018.

The minimum proficiency a student could display and still pass a class was set at 70 percent. This supposedly had the effect of getting rid of Ds and Fs. In reality, it became the substitute for an F, having the exact same effect, while getting rid of the D.

This system functions especially poorly in the Rocklin Unified School District, where the threat of failure is constantly looming over the heads of students. Rocklin High specifically has unusually high standards for academics as it is, and is already stressful enough without no marks.

High levels of stress cause other issues over time, such as high blood pressure and depression. What is simply a poor grading system on the surface becomes a much more concerning issue once a deeper look is taken.  

“I think we should go back to D’s and F’s because it’s more simple.” Trevor Bell says.

Students dissatisfied with this system have the option of creating a petition and presenting it at a school board meeting. The student will be given three minutes to explain why they hold their position. Only through students like this can this harmful system be changed.