FCPS must trust students with access to SIS

With the announcement of Fairfax County Public School’s Student Information System, I was excited that us students would finally be handed greater control over our grades. I believed that this would be an opportunity for me to manage myself more effectively and always know which classes to push myself a little harder in. The SIS that we ultimately recieved, however, has one major flaw: FCPS underestimated the maturity and potential of their students.

While allowing exclusively parents to monitor their children’s grades might benefit some students, as it takes away their ability to hide bad grades and gives parents the chance to realize their children’s grades are slipping before too much time passes, I believe that flipping the system would have been better. Call me an optimist, but I believe that if instead only students were able to see their detailed grade reports and parents received general bi-weekly reports, SIS would be far more effective.

At the end of the day, people like higher grades, and while not everyone might expect an A in their most difficult class, all students would like to have good grades. For this reason, if students could monitor the grades they received on every assignment and had clear set goals for what they want to achieve in each class, they could improve their grades through carefully monitoring SIS and not having to stress about their parents misunderstanding one of SIS’s many shortcomings, which may make a student’s grade to appear much lower than it actually is.

Of course, parents should be involved in their children’s education and should be able to see grades at certain points throughout the year, but the fact of the matter is that students understand class structures and grading systems far better than their parents do.

My previous high school used a similar system to the one I am describing named Edline and it was very effective. Students were able to monitor their missed assignments or a slip up on a test and still had time to correct such issues before their parents caused them further stress.

The creation of SIS in general is a step in a positive direction, and it may be hard to change the basic premise of this entire system now that it has been established and implemented, I believe that there was a better alternative to the current system and that FCPS simply did not trust their students enough to be concerned with their grades.