From Careless To Careful
Grading Practices That Make a Difference
Children today bring home report cards for their parents review about four times during the
school year. Parents can attend two to three parent teacher conferences to receive reports on how
their children are doing academically and behaviorally. During these conferences teachers at
times communicate to parents that their sons or daughters are doing fine, but they need to take
their time with their work because they just seem to make careless mistakes. In reality their
children are not doing well academically but for some reason teachers feel that poor student
performance is a reflection of their teaching ability, not a student’s work ethic. There is only one
way to measure a student’s performance and to determine whether a not they have mastered the
material that was taught, and that’s by assigning a grade associated with the work that the student
completes. Grades like and A. B. C. or 80%, 90%, or 100% are part of reality and children and
parents need to be given a clear idea of whether or not the material that was taught was actually
mastered with an appropriate grade assigned.
So, why are children careless? The biggest reason is that teachers from the first grade on accept
work that is sub par, and doesn’t communicate the truth to the student or parent that the work
submitted is unacceptable. Carelessness just becomes part of life and parents believe their child
isn’t academically deficient but just makes careless mistakes, doesn’t pay attention, is a day
dreamer, or just plain old lazy. The truth is the child hasn’t mastered the material that was taught.
The way for teachers to resolve the problem is to raise their level of expectation and to put in
place more stringent grading practices that give a true indication of the student’s performance.
By doing this students will have a better understanding of their abilities, and when taken
seriously will motivate the student to pay attention, and to be more careful with