Impact of bias on grades

January 25, 2023

There are many factors that can impact grading, though Superintendent Astein Osei said he isn’t sure if disparities in grading are necessarily due to the grading system in place.

“Just because we may have spaces where we don’t see disparities, doesn’t necessarily mean that grading is consistent. From department to department there’s sometimes some slight variations between that, but I don’t necessarily know if it’s the grading itself,” Osei said. 

For some, racial bias may be a factor in grading sophomore Kiran Alwy said that she has seen racially motivated grading and treatment within Park.

“I’ve definitely watched students who are white or female be favored and get treated better and have better grades versus kids who are trying equally as hard,” Alwy said. 

Grading bias can also occur based on a teacher’s opinion of a student. Sophomore TJ Brayboy said a grade can be altered based on the teacher-student relationship.

“Teachers may have a bias depending on what students they like. Say in English you write an essay the teacher can relate to, I think they will be a little biased when grading,” Brayboy said.

Osei said that if criteria is given more straightforward, then it will build less inconsistency within grading. 

“In places where there are clearly defined rubrics and standards for what grades mean, I think we’ll see more consistency.”

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