Do Teachers Have Rules for Updating Grades?

By Jared DiRosa 

If you get frustrated in school, especially when a teacher has not uploaded grades, you are not alone. There are a lot more students than you may think who have these same problems. This begs students to ask why some teachers are uploading faster than others.

Throughout the three years I have been here it is quite obvious that teachers may not have requirements for grading things. Being a senior I did not let myself forget about it since many people have the same question. I set out and began to look for teachers who would want to talk to me.

I was able to meet with Mr. Babb, a Latin teacher going on his third year at Stoughton High. “There is no required amount of grades or specific time frame for teachers and the students’ grades,” said Babb when asked about grading policies.

After a few more questions I was able to determine that teachers can basically choose how their students’ grades are handled and how long they will take to grade assignments. To me this does not sound right because the students deserve to have their grades back in a certain amount of time and should not have to worry about an assignment affecting their overall grade last minute.

Of course teachers have a lot to do as well, and this article does not minimize the weight of teachers’ responsibilities. Rather, it seems that things would be fairer if there was just some standardization with regard to grades across the faculty.

With this information I moved to the next faculty  member for answers.

Mr. Handleman is a new physics teacher this year. He spoke about how often he typically upgrades his gradebook. “I like to update my grade book when I'm finished grading the papers so I do not fall behind, but I do not update them right away in case we refer back to them,” said Handleman.

Most teachers at Stoughton High keep their grade books updated pretty well, but on the other hand there are teachers who wait until just before grades are due, impacting a student’s ability to stay on top of his or her progress.

I asked a number of teachers how they go about grading and some answers were disappointing. One teacher who did not want to be named said, “I grade when I can and if I need to put something on hold then it will just have to wait.” Another teacher who also did not wish to be named said, “Grades go in when they can and I do not try to rush them if I am not ready.”

As you may notice, the Massachusetts education system puts certain power into the teachers’ hands so that the teachers can have the best possible outcome. Because teachers have so much work to do, being slow to update does not always mean teachers are just slow to grade. It can simply mean they are busy.

At Stoughton High School the faculty tries to help one another to make the students’ lives as good as possible. “Teachers help other teachers out when needed so that this controversy of grades doesn't spiral out of hand,” said a teacher who did not wish to be named.

Updating grades just happens to be one of those things that does not get strictly enforced by the office and high school officials. This makes a lot of students unhappy because it basically gives teachers permission take as long as they wish with grades.

Not only does this get on students’ nerves but it can hurt a student's grade and leave him or her unable to bring it back up. With this knowledge, I hope that students better understand the grading policies here for teachers. I also encourage students to push for this lack of policy to be changed, so that this issue will not grow bigger in years to come.  

Jenna KellyComment