Students and faculty debate how an open grade book will provide more transparency for the student body


An open grade book may help students at first, but will it end up causing even more stress?

After a month or school into the trimester, students await their progress reports, then a month later it’s their trimester report card, and then it’s finally their end of year grades. An open grade book could reduce a lot of this unnecessary stress, so why not have one?

Currently, Hackley’s grading system allows teachers to have full access to students’ grades in their specific class, but with no transparency to the students. This is frustrating and causes anxiety for many because they don’t actually know how they are doing in a certain class. 

Although teachers return work on rolling basis, it’s often difficult to see one’s progress because of how spread out assignments are.

An open grade book means that students would be able to  log in to Schoology and see their most recent and exact grades in any class. In addition, they could see what assignments led to that grade and how many assignments they have left for the grading block. Parents would also have access to these grades, allowing for better communication when it comes to talking about grades. So instead of awaiting that suspenseful email, parents can simply log onto their profile to check in on their kids. 

Many other private and public schools have implemented an open grade book to reduce student stress and allow for more transparency among families and the faculty. 

“Junior year is very stressful and sometimes I don’t even know how I’m doing in a class so I’d like to have an open grade book to know these things.” Junior Nina Mital noted. 

While many students would love to implement a system like this, others are worried about the amount of stress it could cause. Another reality is that students and parents will overuse this system and at a high-stress school like Hackley; it’s possible that we will get too caught with the number and not the actual class. 

I feel like an open gradebook is pandora’s box, once we open it up to students, we can never close it. ”

— Andy King

“I feel like it’s a good idea to stay organized, but I also see people getting too wrapped up in their grades.” Freshman Liam Abraham noted. 

It’s evident that the idea of an open grade book is a stressful thought to some students while others see it as a way to stay organized and on top of their work. 

The administration discussed the idea of an open grade book while keeping in mind the mental health of the students.

Director of the upper school Andy King explained how he feels about an open grade book and why we don’t have one. 

“I understand the arguments of having an open grade book and that transparency, I just worry that it will have a ratcheting up effect on stress and competitiveness. I don’t want our culture to become too cutthroat,” Mr. King said. 

It seems the currently, Hackley will not be implementing an open grade book. Although this is the current situation, there is a possibility of one in the future if the administration had a change of heart. As long as the students who feel strongly about this issue keep voicing their opinions, the administration could eventually adopt an open grade book if they believe it’s the best for the community. 

The fact that the administration has had this discussion before shows that it’s clearly a topic of interest and concern.