Should Students be Held Accountable for their Failing Grades – Yes

While grades are only one measure of a student’s success, they are a critical assessment for which students must be held responsible. Just as employers require employees to perform, so, too, must students if they are to succeed and move forward. Failing to hold students accountable for their grades only serves to handicap them later in life and it nullifies the entire purpose of education.

Teachers want to help

Professional teachers spend countless hours preparing lesson plans, learning objectives, and assessment tools to ensure that students understand what is expected of them, have the tools they need to achieve those objectives and pass the assessments satisfactorily. If a student is failing, the causes of that failure must be examined and addressed by the student, parents and teacher. Tutoring is always an option for struggling students, even for families that cannot afford a private tutor. Most teachers are more than happy to provide whatever assistance is needed to help their student succeed.

Personal issues that interfere with learning

In rare situations, there are personal matters or learning disabilities that genuinely interfere with a student’s ability to learn. Death, serious illness, divorce and natural disaster are common examples of valid personal issues. Again, it is the student’s responsibility to speak to a school counselor, teacher or parent to find a solution, unless they are too young to understand this responsibility. In this case, it is up to the adults in the child’s life to step in and provide assistance. 

Wrong class

Occasionally, students find themselves in a class for which they are ill-prepared. In this situation, it is their responsibility to speak with the teacher or school administrators to remedy the situation by transferring to a more appropriate class or receive the extra help needed to be able to handle the current class.

Laziness & entitlement

The biggest culprits behind failing grades are laziness and a sense of entitlement. Parents who have made excuses for their child’s irresponsible behaviors have trained them to avoid responsibility and dismiss demands made upon them by others. This type of parenting is crippling millions of students each year.

By holding students accountable for their failing grades and requiring them to put out the necessary effort to correct the problem provides them with valuable life skills that will help them succeed later in life, both personally and professionally. Teachers and parents owe it to future generations to teach them to value the effort required to succeed.