A grade is not objective -- it’s up to the  teacher’s standard of what is considered just okay versus what is considered excellent. By that logic, a student can do the same work but be deemed intelligent by one teacher and average to another. This will leave a student confused and take away their ability to accurately gauge their own intelligence. Grades are not a good incentive for doing good work in school because it is less about learning, but more so based upon a person's opinion.  

BBC, published  an article addressing a study done by Stanford University. The study was trying to figure out the effects of praising a child’s abilities or versus telling them that they worked really hard. According to the article, “Praising a child’s intelligence can teach them that this is a fixed trait that they can’t control. It can make them wary of trying anything new in case they don’t maintain their high standards.” If a students gets an A, it means that the student is “advanced”. All the work that a student does is going to maintain their advanced status. If for whatever reason a student was struggling with a certain subject and a received a C or B, they would just push it off because they think that they just aren’t good at the subject. They will not work as hard to get to the A they want because they have a fixed mindset. posted an article about a high school student who decided to worry about learning instead of her grades. ” I would focus on actually learning about the topic rather than just doing what was required for the project. My grades on assignments actually improved from this decision and I did make straight A's in all my classes.” The author of the article was trying illustrate that learning is more than trying to pass. When students focus on trying to pass they absorb all the material in class and once the assignment is done they will no longer retain that information. Therefore, striving to get A’s and B’s hinders a person’s ability to gain new, long term knowledge. A person can cheat and find slick ways to get an A or a B and a person could hard really hard and that is not fair nor is it encouraging learning.

On, a website for teachers, posted an article about the effects of a bad teachers on good students. ”A painful few educators regularly appear bored with their subject material, lecture constantly instead of engaging students in intellectual conversation, or even seem to specialize in classroom put-downs.[...], since even hardworking students who face ineffective instruction can end up unhappy in school and incapable of getting much out of their relatively short time in the classroom.” A teacher’s ability to teach is another key factor in the whether or not a student, who wants to learn, will be able to grasp the content. A teacher can be unfit for teaching and the students will suffer, so giving the bad teacher the power to judge whether or not a student deserves a good grade is unfair to the kid. It is unfair to the students because they have to do a lot of work to gain some sort of content from a lesson that wasn’t the best to begin with. In the end, the grade will not reflect the student’s actual intelligence, instead it will only reflect how hard they worked.

When asked, teachers might say that grades are a good incentive for doing good work. But on close inspection, grades do more harm than good. In the end, going to school to get an education is about learning and what a student takes away from it in the long run. However, traditional grades do not support that. Grades do not reflect a person’s knowledge but their work ethic instead, and they tend to do more damage in the long run because they cause less motivated students to fall behind even though they may still be very smart. Over time a student will not


“Is Praising a Child Good or Bad for Them?” BBC. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

“Punished By Rewards?: A Conversation with Alfie Kohn - Alfie Kohn.” Alfie Kohn. N.p., Feb. 1995. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

Rubino, Jen. “Grades Vs. Learning.” The Huffington Post., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

“The Secret To Raising Smart Kids.” Scientific American Global RSS. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

“When Bad Teachers Happen To Good Students: Communication Is the Key to Change.” Edutopia. Web. 12 Oct. 2015. <>