Good enough is not enough

A-‘s should not exist in the grade book


Nargis Ibrahimi

Jefferson students work together on an assignment. A policy that eliminates A-’s would better recognize student work and accomplishment.

Ayesha Khan, Staff Writer

Studying math every night for hours, doing your best all year, successfully taking the final, and you realize you have fallen a little short of an A. You end the class with an A-, feeling as if your perfect grade was crushed. 

Imagine a world where the letter “A” stands alone, unblemished by its inferior cousin, the “A-.” In this world, students can celebrate their achievements without the unnecessary stress and pressure of striving for a perfect grade. 

At Jefferson, the presence of A-‘s have sparked a contentious debate. Jefferson draws students from various school districts, many of which do not use A-‘s, making it difficult for some students to adjust to the grading system here. At the same time, some argue that A-‘s promote a higher standard of excellence, others believe that they create an unfair and demotivating standard for students. 

While both sides offer compelling arguments, the need to eliminate the unnecessary pressure and stress created by A-‘s outweighs the existence of A-’s. An A is an A, and the inclusion of A-‘s can be detrimental to a student’s mental health and academic performance.

A-‘s can have a significant impact on a student’s GPA, affecting their future opportunities. A student with a 3.7 GPA may be considered less competitive than a student with a 3.8 GPA, even though the difference between the two is only one A-. This puts students under unneeded pressure and anxiety to achieve a perfect grade in every class, which can be detrimental to their mental health.

Furthermore, the existence of A-‘s can create a sense of unfairness in the minds of students who receive them. An A- is not considered an A, and it may seem unfair to a student who has worked hard to achieve a high grade in a challenging class. It creates a standard that is difficult to maintain and can demotivate and frustrate students.

However, some argue that the existence of A-‘s promotes a higher standard of excellence and provides students with a more realistic view of their academic performance. They argue that the inclusion of A-‘s provides students with a more accurate representation of their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to work harder to improve their performance.

Although adding A-s to the grade scale might seem like a means to reward achievement, it sets an unfair bar for students, especially those with differing educational backgrounds. A-‘s significantly affect a student’s grade point average and might put them under unneeded strain. A-s should thus not be given in schools; instead, they should concentrate on offering a fair and uniform grading system to all students. Without including A-s, schools can have a consistent grading system that fosters a healthy learning environment for all children.