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Coming Up Through the Ranks

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Ilana Williams

More stories from Ilana Williams

That’s How He Rolls
February 19, 2017

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Competition, the strive to win something by defeating others who are trying to do the same thing, is considered healthy.

But, is education considered a competition? Apparently, so.

As a student, I am told it’s better to take AP classes if I want to go to college (because everyone wants to go to college, don’t they?).

When I started high school. I knew how important grades were. I grew up getting lectured about them. However, I didn’t realize it was a competition to get those grades.

Students are constantly competing for the best grade and rank, because when they have good grades, they get a higher rank, and when they have a higher rank, they are noticed by school administrators.

The thing is, teens already compare themselves daily, so why do they need something else to add to the equation?

I’m not saying AP classes are the reason there is competition in education. I’m just saying competition happens everywhere else, so why do we have to bring it into education? Maybe it’s because competition happens everywhere, and it’s the circle of life.

Honestly, I hate it when students show off their grades.

Congrats. You got a great grade, would you like a medal?

Okay, I’m just being sour, but I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Whenever someone gets a higher grade than me, it means I’m going to have to work 10 times harder just so I can reach “their level” of achievement.

I know it’s something I shouldn’t worry about, but what if they are on the road to success (or whatever it’s called) just because they got a better grade than me?

When we started school as kindergartners (aka the good ol’ days), we were immediately thrown in the battle without even knowing it. Although we thought grades didn’t matter until high school, we were taught at an early age that grades did matter for the future because many of us wanted to grow up and work similar careers

As high school students, most of us are subjected to the same teaching methods in each classroom. A lot of teachers use the notes, quiz, test, repeat method, which doesn’t benefit many students. Although this method can be beneficial for students who take notes in an organized matter, for others, it can be a problem.

The organized students keep achieving success and “winning the race,” while others are left behind, wondering if they can ever catch up.

If the school system wants a competition between students, they need to make it a fair competition. This means teachers should offer more variety to students when it comes to taking notes. Although quizzes and tests are unavoidable, it would help if teachers made projects test grades. This would allow students be more creative and could help them achieve better grades.

Because, after all, that’s what it comes down to, right?

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The School Newspaper of Rouse High School
Coming Up Through the Ranks