Make It or Break It
April 29, 2014 •
Filed under In Depth
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This week, Renaissance Cards will be dispersed among students. The card states that recipients have the privilege to drop any test or quiz grade that is a C or higher. However, the ability to use Renaissance Cards is limited based on teachers’ policies.
“[My students] can only use Renaissance Cards on tests,” said Sandra Smith, an English teacher. However, she believes it benefits those who earned the right to employ these cards.”It allows some students to raise their grades in a class when they are able to drop their lowest, passing test. It also gives perks [to students], such as free entrance into events.”
Although Smith views Renaissance Cards as a positive influence on the school, others, such as Ron Simmons, strongly disagree with the guidelines previously initiated by Robinson in 2010.
“I do not like Renaissance Cards, because it is like horse-trading for grades,” said Simmons, an American Government and World History teacher. “It puts the focus on the grades themselves instead of the academic work students put into [tests or quizzes].”
Despite his strict policy, he accepts Renaissance Cards for homework assignments.
With various opinions and perspectives of Renaissance Cards, many students do not understand the restrictions that apply to them.
“I get confused for what [teachers] let us use [the cards] for,” said Laura Hill (’17). “It is very frustrating because [the school] gives us the cards for a reason, yet they don’t let us use them.”
Hill is not the first to admit that Renaissance Cards have generated confusion. Other students confessed that grades may have already been submitted before they even apply the cards to their average.
“It gets confusing when the teachers have different policies,” said Summer Ayoub (’16). “One teacher might let me drop bigger tests, while the other might only let me use my Renaissance Card for small quizzes or homework.”
Patricia Griffin, who administers the Renaissance Program, believes the Renaissance Cards are a great incentive for students, despite the differing views of teachers.
“I have no control over what teachers do, and ultimately, it is always up to them to what they accept,” said Griffin. “Students earn their own grades, but I think that the school should continue to provide [the cards], because it gives [them] motivation and something to shoot for.”