Extra credit deemed unnecessary in a student’s learning experience

Teachers express their thoughts on additional credit in curriculum


Sandy Song

Some teachers award students extra credit, something many students appreciate. But a few students say they disagree with the practice and think teachers should avoid giving extra credit.

Sandy Song, staff writer

Normally, when students hear about extra credit, they tend to get excited. Extra credit, to them, is a lifesaver.

However, some students said they think it is unfair for teachers to give out extra credit. They think when teachers do give certain students extra credit, they are practicing favoritism.

So the real question is: should extra credit be allowed?

“I use it on occasions because I know, especially teaching freshmen, there can be a bit of a cultural shock … when you come from middle school to high school,” said John Macleane, a health teacher at Granite Bay High School.

High school is tremendously different than middle school.

The teachers are stricter, the assignments are harder and the expectations are higher. So it’s understandable that some freshmen need extra help.

Despite this, some students think teachers should only give out extra credit when the student has done something that exceeds expectations.

You should be able to do what you need to without extra credit.”

— Susanne Peeples

“I just don’t think the extra credit is really needed,” said Meghan Cole, a freshman English teacher.

Although she has only two years of teaching experience, Cole makes a clear stand against extra credit. She has never utilized it before and doesn’t plan on it in the future.

“If students are doing what they’re supposed to be doing in the classroom … your grades are going to reflect that,” Cole said, “So I don’t think that offering extra credit … is really aiding anything.”   

According to Cole, students who must depend on extra credit to improve their grades is not an effective way to learn. Students should know the material, and they shouldn’t rely on extra credit for success.

Choir teacher Susanne Peeples agreed. 

“You should be able to do what you need to without extra credit,” Peeples said. 

In addition, if only a fraction of students got extra credit, then those students would have more opportunities to be academically successful than others.

“We’re only exposing a certain population in our classroom to that opportunity,” Cole said, and that, Cole explained, isn’t fair. It goes against students’ equity in education. 

Extra credit was designed to help students, but is that really what it’s doing?

Students who did not do their work could rely on extra credit points to cover up for the missing assignment. This could encourage the students to procrastinate instead of actually doing the work.

“It’s just free points to the few people that will choose to do it,” Cole said.