Grading in Math Classrooms Should Be Based on Accuracy, Not Growth

BY ANTWAN HUNT staff writer

Classes like english and math are often placed into two different categories.  Many Berkeley High students have also noticed a somewhat contrasting grading system between the two. In an english class, one would be graded on their distinct perspective, insight, composition, and possibly their growth.

A math class is based solely on the accuracy of an answer. The variation in grading between the two subjects is already confusing enough. For some, even a small struggle will make them feel that they can’t understand the material. This creates stress. Despite the dissimilar grading system between humanities and math classes, it works.

In a literature class, everyone can present a different point of view. In math, there is usually only one answer. There is no room for varying opinions.

Because of this, it’s fine to grade math classes this way. The subject has a more straightforward method of grading because there is only one factor to consider.

“It is important to understand that students enter a classroom with different skill levels and will therefore take varied amounts of time to achieve that accuracy,” English teacher Morgan Tigerman said. It is true that everyone is on a different level of learning.

However, this is hard to consider when grading in a math class, because students either understand the material and thrive, or they don’t.

Even if math is mostly about accuracy, math teacher Ashley Daly said,

“My biggest priority as a math teacher is instilling a ‘growth mindset’ in my students so they internalize the notion that effort and persistence and hard work pay off.”  If a student doesn’t do well on a test, a teacher should let them know that there is room for improvement as long as they apply themselves. Going over practice problems clearly also helps. Nonetheless, a teacher can do all they can, but if a student does not pay attention, cries for help will become invalid. Overall, the grading system in English and mathematics classes are obviously different. To combat confusion in math classes, a teacher can make the class more comfortable and truly ensure that their students understand.

This can help prevent the students from feeling “dumb” and possibly contribute to higher grades and a better relationship between educators and students.