No report cards, just a graduation cap that determines your future

By Rachel Nussbaum

Graphic by Elena Toumayan.

Report cards are just bad. There’s no other way around it.

Who likes seeing all of their effort and lost hours laid out in thick, dark, final print?

Sycophants—that’s who. Really, no one in their right mind enjoys receiving any grades, especially right after tests.

Tangent alert: to those teachers fond of revealing the correct answers to tests and quizzes right after students take them, please stop. Nothing’s worse than finding out what you did wrong minutes after handing a test in.

This devilish habit has always bugged me, because personally, I’m in the superstitious camp towards grades. I firmly believe that up until the moment I look down and see a grade, it has the ability to somehow change, based largely upon how hard I wished last night at 11:11 p.m.

Now, I realize that not everyone is irrational enough to believe in this theory. However, even Polly Practical has to agree that all grades, and especially report cards, create huge amounts of stress and hassle that are just not necessary. Which is why I think that the school should explore an alternative system.

Wait, wait, don’t click away. I’ve put extensive thought into this.

Instead of report cards, the school should create a digital portfolio for each student on the computer. Every semester, instead of teachers handing back grades, Edline would combine the individual grades into a quarter grade. The quarter grades and the exam grade would result in a semester grade, and that would be transferred into the portfolio.

For four years, four blissful, stress-free, wonderful years, students would just get the grades that they get, without the pressure of parents or peers. The grades would be reported back to the system, not the students, so they would have nothing to worry about.

Then, graduation day arrives—the culminating moment of the system. Students receive their caps and gowns as usual, but with a twist: taped inside the cap would be their final GPA, what college they’re headed to and what career they should pursue.

For example: “Congratulations! 4.5 weighted GPA. You’re headed to Yale.  Apple is preparing your cubicle!” Or, “Ouch. 2.2 weighted GPA. You’re headed to DeVry University. Comcast Tech Support is waiting!”

See, everything in this system works out for the best.