As a junior dealing with a rigorous IB workload, I find myself monitoring my grades constantly; to that end, the Student Information System offers a convenient way to access grades, and for teachers to keep track of their assignments and responsibilities for each class. As the academic year progresses and classes demand more of their students, it is crucial for teachers to grade and return assignments in a timely manner. However, I have found that many times this is not the case.
Since students can only retake or remediate work after they have received a grade, a problem arises when teachers do not abide by the set grading policies and return assignments well past the specified time window. For most courses Marshall offers, the syllabi states teachers have one week to grade and return assignments. It also states tests and quizzes are subject to a longer grading period. This unspecificity leaves students completely in the dark about when they should start taking remedial action to work on their grades. It is especially difficult for them considering that the syllabus is intended to represent a “contract” between students and teachers.
Dealing with getting grades back late is especially challenging during times like the end of the quarter or before a long break, when more students than usual are trying to remediate before teachers finalize grades. Remediation policies differ from subject to subject, but there is usually a deadline for when test retakes, quiz remediation or make up work must be completed.
Even with many classes grading on a standards based scale, these deadlines still exist and they serve students no purpose unless they have ample time to review for retakes. There have been times when I received test scores so late, that there was a short three to four day window for me to retake the test if I needed. If Marshall requires students to respect and honor the deadlines set for remedial action, then teachers should be held accountable in the same way.
Despite the annoyance of having no time to remediate or retake assignments due to receiving a grade late, I think it is important to account for the equally difficult workload teachers have to handle. Grading is not the only aspect of a teacher’s job; helping students after school, monitoring clubs and organizations within the school and staff meetings are only a fraction of the tasks teachers face on a daily basis. According to a survey conducted by the Washington Post, public school teachers work an average of 53 hours per week, which equates to nearly 10 hours and 30 minutes each weekday.
As all parties involved deal with the stress of graded assignments, it only seems fair for teachers to respect the deadlines they have set for themselves and return assignments within a week. Students deal with strict remediation deadlines, and we are constantly reminded that there is no excuse for failing to keep up with retake dates and make up days. Likewise, teachers should have a stricter implementation of grading policy deadlines so that students have a reasonable amount of time to review and remediate assignments.