Kids’ stress rising, GPA scores declining

    Imagine this: You do all your homework, every night, every day of the year. You get 100’s on every classwork and every homework. Then, just when you think you’re going home to see that big smile on your parents’ face with a $20 bill in their hand, BOOM.

    You get that test back you tried so hard for, and now, the only thing you will see for weeks is your bedroom because your grounded.

    The new grading system works so your overall grade is split into three sections. Practice, process, and product. Practice is 20 percent which consists of homework and classwork, process is 30 percent which consists of small quizzes and projects, and product is 50 percent which consists of tests and larger projects.

    So, let’s say you have a 100 in a class, and then receive a 50 on a test, you drop down to a C- two whole letter grades.

    Before this grading system was put in place, school has already taken a mental toll on many students whether it’s from stress, anxiety, or depression. According to reporter Meg Anderson recent studies have shown that one in every five students have a mental health disorder in a given year and out of all high schools in the United States, 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year.

   If these numbers were so high, why did we decide to make school more stressful for these students?

Patterson Mill High School sophomore Soraya Abuhantash says, “It’s not fair. Everything is weighted so much that if I get a bad grade on a test or just miss one homework assignment, my grade drops dramatically. I can never do anything outside of school because I am always thinking about when my next test is or when my next assignment is due.”

    On a poll of 289 students all over Harford County, 260 students said that they do not like the new grading system, and it has dropped their GPA dramatically from last year. That is 90 percent.

    North Harford High School sophomore Lily Macatee says, “You cannot fail a test, and I mean cannot, or else you will fail the class. I turn in all my homework and classwork and get perfect scores, then receive one bad grade on a test and I’m at a D with no hope at bringing it up. I lost my motivation to try.”

    One day a classroom was filled with about 20 students, give or take. When you walked in, you would think something terrible had happened. Half of the class was balling their eyes out because of their AP test, on which they felt they did poorly . The teacher couldn’t teach his own lesson because of how many students were upset.

    According to North Harford High School senior Gillian Ribeiro, “This new system is terrible for people like me, bad test takers. I have always tried so hard in school, but recently it has been so hard to keep up with all of my work and still do other things that I have to do outside of school.”

    This system is not just affecting students’ grades, it is affecting their mental health and disturbing their other classes and classmates.

    Are tests worth all this mental stress and self-hate? If students’ mental health is affected this young in age, they will be affected negatively for the rest of their life. Schools need to be more aware of students and how they are feeling mentally, rather than just a grade on a single paper that we will never see again.