Buying extra credit equals buying grades

You’re having a bad day. You just failed the only test your teacher has given you this semester, and your grade is bound to plummet as a result. You’re worrying about how horrible your life will be after your parents ground you, when all of a sudden the teacher mentions an extra-credit opportunity for anyone who buys supplies for the class. Hallelujah!

Although bringing in staplers and mints can be an easy way to change that grade of a C to a B, is it really beneficial to your education? If someone doesn’t have the grade he or she wants in a class, then clearly that person isn’t understanding the lessons well enough to earn the higher grade. Therefore, the teacher should be willing to help improve the student’s understanding and knowledge. However, sometimes this is not the case. Instead, teachers send their students out to Walmart, paying no attention to the information that the student missed. Thus, the student gets away with basically buying a grade. Where is the fairness in this?

Maybe there are students in desperate need of this extra credit, but also can’t afford to take $25 out of their limited budget to waste on chart paper. Or perhaps the students’ families can afford to lose a few bills, but just don’t have the time or transportation to go out to buy one insignificant item. Getting an education should be about who knows their stuff, not about who can afford to buy classroom supplies or who is able to get to a store.

If teachers wanted to offer an extra-credit opportunity that would be fair for everyone and also be beneficial to their education, all they need is a short worksheet, or any small assignment for that matter, that would encourage students to learn the information. It’s  as simple as that.


Christina Baylen, senior