PCP: Reforms to the pass/no credit system

Changes to the Pass/No Credit system have caused discussion among Park students

November 27, 2022

Parks pass/no credit system is crucial to students

The pass/no credit system is a big issue when it comes to kids and how their grades can be determined. There’s a lot of talk about if it should be removed completely from the way we grade. Park should keep the pass/fail system for many reasons. For one, it helps kids who struggle with certain classes determine their Grade Point Average (GPA). 

Pass/fail is something all schools should use. It shows that the school cares about academics and wants students to succeed. If we give a student a failing grade, it can ruin their chances of being able to succeed in their education when it comes to a GPA. It’s like a crutch you can use to help your GPA. Same with the pass part of the rule, it gives kids who had a C the chance to use the pass credit to protect their GPA.

People might think that giving out a No Credit (NC) to kids to keep a good and balanced GPA is cheating out of what their actual GPA was. However, it gives kids who really struggle a Get out of Jail Free card and helps them maintain a certain GPA. Because they might have all A’s in a certain class and one F, that F would lower the GPA. With the NCclass option it gives kids the GPA they deserve with the classes they did succeed in.

This rule also helps benefit students who might be struggling in a class and say for example they get a C. The pass portion of the rule helps so that your GPA doesn’t drop and can give kids a form of an advantage to make their GPAs better. This is a great benefit for kids who are struggling to keep their GPA at a good level and are generally good students.

This Rule gives a form of sustainability to kids who struggle in school and need a little extra help. I don’t think this rule is gonna be a miracle and work all the time but when you don’t see your GPA going a certain way and dont have the time to change it. This rule gives that help. It’s a nice little add on, and should not be used all the time but for last resort resources for these kids it is very beneficial. 

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Pass/no credit should be replaced with a more accurate system

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, students at Park are only allowed to take a Pass/No Credit grade in two elective classes this year, or one per semester. As students, we have grown accustomed to taking a pass or a ‘P’ rather than a letter grade that would negatively affect our GPA, but this new system will encourage us to put in the extra effort needed to get good grades as well as get the help we need to succeed.

Because the Pass/No Credit grading system has no effect on GPA, someone who got a D and opted for a P instead would have the same GPA as someone who scored all A’s. This is not only unfair to the students who earned their GPA without any ‘P’ grades, but will end up hurting the student who took P’s. 

Although I tend not to think of a P as a low grade, most colleges and universities view it as somewhere between a C and a D- on a transcript, which could hurt the student’s prospects more than their original grade would have. This assumption about grades could prevent a school from giving scholarships to a student, making it a lot harder to go to college. 

Now that school is in-person and has been for over a year, we have better resources to help us succeed, whether that be the ability to work one-on-one with a teacher before or after school or the ability to work in the Learning Lab. When we need help, all we need to do is ask. 

As a junior, though I have had the option to take a P for every class in high school, I haven’t. I don’t have perfect grades, but I would rather my grades reflect my ability, as well as the effort I put in, than an assumption someone might make because of a P in my transcript. 

Since I’m motivated primarily by grades, I know this new system will push me to ask for help more when I am struggling, instead of relying on a P. I see this change in policy as an extra reason to make sure we are doing our best.

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