Clapham Christian Classical School

Clapham Journal

Really?

by Julie Reynolds, Director of Instruction for Upper School and Middle School

 

Really? An A+?

 

“Christian schools are notorious for grade inflation.” That’s the message a colleague and I received at a college counseling conference last Spring. Admissions counselors roll their eyes when they see a Christian school student with a 4.0. Why? Often their
corresponding SAT and ACT scores don’t correspond. They are just so so. The lists of classes don’t compare to what other independent and public school students take. And so, these college admissions counselors don’t know what to think.

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There are other reasons an A+ as part of a grading scale is dangerous. An A+ suggests such a perfection of mastery that there is no room for further knowledge. Philosophically, isn’t knowledge an infinite gift of God? Don’t we have the privilege of a lifetime of knowing in any subject? How then does an A+ encourage lifelong learning?

 

Practically, what does this tell our students? Rest on your laurels, don’t worry, cruise through the rest of your educational future – you’ve got this one.  Don’t bother trying to work harder. Or, an A+ could set up false expectations for SAT, ACT and AP test scores – if you’ve got an A+ going, shouldn’t you expect perfect scores?

 

The spiritual ramifications of a grading scale that allows for an A+ are the most tragic.  Isn’t any sense of perfection in our intellectual formation or learning completely in contrast with a mind dependent wholly on the enlivening of the Holy Spirit? A student can learn to depend on these kinds of grades for affirmation instead of the truth of a God who has formed him, made him and loved him.

 

Can’t just an A say, “Well done so far, and by God’s grace, keep growing and learning.”

 

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