Extra credit fosters undeserved grades

While extra credit is seemingly beneficial to all, it is actually a gigantic slap in the face to teachers and students. When it is offered exclusively to students who are doing poorly, teachers create special opportunities for only a portion of the class, while excluding students who are not “failing.” This is unfair to those who made an effort to maintain a good grade all semester and essentially rewards those that have low grades with bonus points.

Extra credit inflates students’ grades and makes their final grade unrepresentative of their merit. When teachers give extra points, they equate students who have done the bare minimum to those who have tried all year to earn a good grade. This lets failing students boost their grade enough to make up for the whole semester, while invalidating all of the work and effort others put in to do well in the class. Both students have the same grade in the class, but the failing student only tried at the end while the other was diligent all semester. Extra credit does not set up students for success. Allowing extra credit near the end of the semester only condones students’ behavior and reinforces the notion that they can slack off during the year yet still make it up in the end. When students know that it is offered, they may not become as invested in the class.

Teachers give opportunities every day for points through assignments, and if a student does not put in effort to get full credit, it is no one’s fault but the student’s. It is unfair when students do not reciprocate the effort that teachers put into making lesson plans. Students are really asking for a favor, not extra credit. If students cannot even bring it upon themselves to do their assignments and study for tests, they are undeserving of teachers´ sympathy.

Students, parents, administration, and other teachers should refrain from pressuring teachers to give extra credit, as it is wrong to trouble them with more work to grade. While it is important to give students the resources needed for success, it is not a teacher’s responsibility to go the extra mile to make sure a student does not fail.

Students should learn how to succeed without extra credit—life does not always give second chances. When students grovel for passing grades to meet A-G requirements, they demonstrate poor work ethic that will not benefit them in the future. In college, many professors explicitly say that they do not offer extra credit. Students should consider this when they rely on it to repeatedly salvage their grades. Houston Community College professor Wayne Stauffer said, ¨What can you do to bring your grade up? Maybe you should start with your work… when it is assigned.¨ In the workplace, it is expected that an employee puts effort in and hits the mark the first time; students should be held to the same standard. Students should not get through life begging for things they do not deserve and should instead, earn them.

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