Students’ Grades Are Open For Negotiation At Ontario High School

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David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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An Ontario high school has decided to let its students negotiate for their final grades.

CTV News reports that school principal Jim Kardash has no issues with the plan.

Ontario’s Liberal government approved the concept, and it may someday be used across the province.

Education Minister Mitzie Hunter expressed her enthusiasm for the program. “We welcome the use of innovative projects to explore best practices in student achievement and well-being,” according to a statement.

Mayfield Secondary School in Caledon, Ontario is beginning the experiment with ninth grade students who are invited to provide “feedback” to their teachers after being assigned work. The results of these discussions will provide the basis for what students feel their mark should be at the end of the school year.

“With that feedback, hopefully there’s growth,” Kardash told CTV on Tuesday.

Kardash dismissed concerns over students helping themselves to higher grades because the final marks are only the “culminating part” of the grand experiment and “students are really quite in tune with where they stand.”

He believes, “The real important part is the feedback that happens during the semester of learning,” he insisted, adding that he can document his claims that “feedback” is a vital part of education.

Kardash says he’s read that “students are really good at articulating where they should be,” he said.

If a teacher decides a student’s grade is utterly inaccurate, Kardash told CTV that teacher, student and parents will all “sit down and take a look a the evidence.”

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