Students have mixed feelings about assessment recovery policy

Part of the new competency grading system is the practice of "recovery," or a means by which students can make up or redo assessments to increase their grade.

Some teachers have been supportive of this new policy. Matthew Fenlon, the AP World History teacher, has mixed feelings.

"Recovery is good," he said, "but it should be at the teacher’s discretion."

To prevent students from recovering work they never did in the first place, many teachers require that all homework and classwork must be turned in before starting the recovery process.

However, the recovery system is a matter of controversy and anger among the student population. Proponents of the recovery system believe it allows students who made errors they don’t normally make prove their knowledge of the topic. Critics of the system say it incentivizes laziness by allowing students to rely on recovery so they don’t have to study the first time around. Detractors also point out that students with high grades are abusing recovery to change their already good grades to even better grades.

Advocates for keeping the recovery system say it allows students to revise grades that were only accidentally inadequate.

"Recovery has helped me fix grades that were only bad because of stupid mistakes," said South freshman Jacob Hart.

Joshua Kinghorn, a freshman at Nashua South, said the route of redos to excellence isn’t a problem.

"If kids are willing to work harder to get a better score, why stop them?"

Anish Iyengar, a senior at South, agreed.

"Recovery just reinstates that effort is necessary. When you don’t try the first time, you have more work to recover. So recovery just shows that you must try harder when it is assigned, because that work is required."

Critics of recovery believe the system can easily be abused by students and that the system isn’t representative of real life or college.

"In college, professors won’t give you the same recovery opportunities," said Nikhil Prasad, a freshman at South. "So, we better get used to that system now."

Recovery also is not fair, students said, to teens who study hard and work to be prepared.

"A student who doesn’t study can relax the day before the test (have longer to study) and retake it for same grade as a student who studies extensively before the original exam," said freshman Sahith Kaki.

Generally, the consensus is that the concept of recovery is good but the consistency of the idea’s execution is lacking.

"It was a good idea for students who needed to learn material at a slower rate, but now it has mutated into something where kids feel like they don’t need to study to get good grades," said Sherry Cupak, a Latin teacher at Nashua South.