Students value grades over learning


Kaylee Lemons, Co Editor-In-Chief

Parents, teachers, and other adults always tell us to put our grades first and to be good students. But what exactly defines a student as good?

Typically, one would consider having straight A’s as the main characteristic of a good, smart student. However, are report card letters and GPA really what defines one’s intellect?

Nowadays, behind those perfect marks and grades, there can often lie occasions of cheating. Teachers consider cheating a result of laziness, which can often be an accurate assumption, but is this the only reason?

“When students cheat on exams, it’s because our school system values grades more than students value learning,” stated Neil deGrasse Tyson, and suggests a greater cause.

Youth today are taught that grades are most important, over actually assimilating knowledge. Due to this flaw within our education system, some students will go to whatever means necessary to be successful in the classroom, whether those means are cheating or sacrificing their sleep to complete homework.

Expectations set by our schools and parents could be considered ridiculously high. In order to earn an A on the American grading scale, one must memorize and comprehend at least 92% of the information taught within a class – a high number compared to other countries, such as the United Kingdom, with a 70% A, and Canada, with an 80% A, according to

Obtaining this amount of information has become increasingly difficult as teacher to student ratio gaps widen, resulting in decreased teaching quality. Ask a student if they are truly learning anything at school and they will likely reply “maybe in one class.” Ask them what they remember from their classes last semester and they will say “not much.”

Often the students with these replies are considered the best and brightest, the top of their class, or even the future of our country. But all of these praises are often based solely off of a GPA number or an ‘A’ written at the top of a math test, despite how it was achieved.

Students will spend the first eighteen years of their lives chasing a college acceptance letter rather than chasing their dreams. Without developing passions, they dedicate their youth to schoolwork, graduate, then spend the rest of their lives working a job they don’t enjoy and living a life with no meaning.

Every day students of MV go through the same, tiring routine of completing busy work, taking standardized tests, and having to complete homework in our free time. Instead we could be truly learning, building life skills, exercising creativity, and developing passions.

Society plants the idea into our heads that we must have perfect grades, join certain workforces, and follow the ‘ideal’ life path. However, MV students, do not allow this idea to grow too much. Work hard and do your best in school, but do it for yourself and your future. Don’t attend college solely for a title or degree, go so you can learn more and pursue your dream career. Make schoolwork a priority, but always find time for your passions. Remember that your grades do not define you – nobody’s perfect.