It seems more and more like public schools are more concerned with the work that kids do rather than the knowledge that they gain. Many kids go through school failing courses yet gaining knowledge, while other kids know how to work the system and get good grades yet never really learn a thing. Some kids are great at completing daily assignments while others understand the information but for some reason fall short on completing homework and daily assignments. The A-F grading system does not show whether or not a child has gained knowledge from school, it only shows that the child is good at paperwork.
There are many reasons why some children do not complete homework and daily assignments. Many children understand the information. They gain the knowledge but get bored with the daily busy work and do not require homework to complete the assignment. Many of these same kids can take the test at the end of the unit and pass it with flying colors. A person can sit down and talk to them about the information they have studied and these children can tell the teacher exactly what they have learned. These children have gained a great amount of knowledge.
On the other hand there are students who know how to jump through the hoops, they complete all assignments and all of the homework. Many of these kids know how to complete the work without actually studying the content. Some of them can even do well on the test because they know how to study. Some kids will fail the test because they do not know what has been taught in the class. Regardless of whether or not these kids pass the test, if a person tries to discuss the content with these children, they will not have a clue what they learned, they do not have the knowledge but will still get an A in the class.
It is sad when a child will get all A’s on unit tests but fail a class due to the assignments and homework. For some kids all of the paper work is simply busy work and they do not need it to gain knowledge. This says that schools are not at all concerned about knowledge, they are concerned about grades and statistics. It is more important to schools that kids complete the paper work and get high grades in the class than what the child actually knows and learns.
Some kids, gifted and higher learners do not need all of the busy work that schools give them. They gain the knowledge without it and the busy work bogs them down to the point that they become discouraged with school and lose interest. The gifted children are the ones who are suffering the most in public schools because the focus is not on what a kid learns but how well he or she performs.
If a child can pass a unit test and appears to honestly know what is being taught, educators should see that and recognize that the child is actually gaining knowledge even if he or she is not jumping through the right hoops. The A-F grading system really needs to be looked at and educators need to focus on the knowledge children gain, not the papers they complete.