Too Much Pressure from the School System?

Jimmy Carter, Shelby West, and Riley McGraw


Chloe Henderson, Writer

Students are often motivated by pressure–pressure from grades, that is. Neil deGrasse Tyson recently tweeted out, “In school, students cheat because the system values high grades more than the students value learning.”

Students in America often grow up learning about grades and what they mean from an F to an A. C, in the middle of the two, is considered an average grade, yet is still commonly frowned upon. In a recent poll to see students opinions on some commonly said things about school, the results were interesting. Out of the 28 people, 89.3% said that there is pressure to make good grades, 3.6% said no, and 7.2% said other. 60.7% said they would not cheat to make a good grade while 39.3% said yes. 

Mrs. Lakso, a Bob Jones teacher, agreed with the perception that there is too much pressure on grades rather than genuine learning. “Yes, there’s so much pressure on kids; they should be enjoying their lives.”

This issue is not isolated to Bob Jones. Jordan Hagood, a sophomore at James Clemens High School, believed that the schools focus too much on how students test grades look. “All they care about is how the school and you look on paper. We’re constantly told to worry about tests when we should be worrying about if we are understanding the material.”

Some students did have different opinions. Bob Jones sophomores Love Lundy and Anna Crouse said that while they do feel pressure, it’s from themselves rather than the school system.

Sarah Beth Besherse, when asked if she actually feels as if she’s learning, said, “ I do sometimes, but most classes I just memorize it for the test.”

Anna Grace Pell, a senior here at Bob Jones, shared, “In preparing for college, getting good grades is seen as more important. But once you get to college, if you have not learned anything in high school… then you will fall behind. It seems like grades matter more, but they are both imperative to succeeding.

Overall, both polls and interviews revealed that most high school students in Madison City felt pressure and felt that test scores and grades had too much emphasis in comparison to actual learning.