Watch: Students Explain Why They Don’t Want ‘Pass/Fail’ Grading

Many college grads feel their grip on middle class loosening
Seth Wenig/AP

A group of students is pushing back against recently adopted grading policies that have softened academic standards for students in response to the ongoing Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Many universities and colleges around the country have adopted a “pass/fail” grading system that is mandatory for all students.

According to a report by Campus Reform, some students are opposed to the grading policies that have been adopted in response to the Wuhan coronavirus. Many students, however, have celebrated these new policies for making their spring courses much less rigorous and demanding.

In a compilation video, students at universities and colleges around the country urge institutions to reconsider their adoption of a “pass/fail” system. They argue that these softened grading policies destroy incentives for hard work and make it harder for students to demonstrate to graduate programs and employers that they are qualified.

“I say that the hard work that students put in should be rewarded in the form of allowing us to maintain a letter grade,” Arizona State University student Cameron Decker says in the video.

“I really urge other universities to do the same [as ASU]. I really urge other university students to advocate for the same measures at their own university–not a pass/fail grading system, but one that allows flexibility for students under hardship to work with their professors on an individual basis,” Decker continued.

“Students aren’t going to learn the material that they’re supposed to be learning…they’re not going to retain it, which ultimately will hurt people long-term,” student Meredith Watson said.

“Not only does it create a lazy work ethic among students, but also professors,” Watson added. “I’ve heard of professors saying ‘oh I’m just going to take this chunk out of the syllabus and give you credit elsewhere.’”

“Professors are frantically trying to adjust schedules for a 10-week class that was supposed to take place in person. Guest speakers? Canceled. Labs? Canceled…you can only teach so much before you have to resort to more practical elements,” one student added.

Breitbart News reported last week that Harvard University adopted an “emergency grading system” that will force all professors to grade by a “pass/fail” system. The university adopted the policy after students demanded a “pass/fail” grading system in a column that was published in the Harvard Crimson.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.

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