Saying Goodbye To Extra Credit

Saying Goodbye To Extra Credit

Extra, extra! Read all about it! The benefits of receiving extra credit that Cowboy Crazies have grown accustomed to are no more. As of the 2015-2016 school year, non-academic extra credit is prohibited, meaning that, although students can still snag a few points for doing something extra inside the classroom, buying a ticket to support the basketball team or bringing in cans of soup is no longer deemed worthy of extra credit.

The district believes that students should be doing good deeds and volunteering for their own benefit,” says Mr. deMarrais, Pascack Hills principal and No. 1 fan of Cowboys athletics, who believes that the policy is for the greater good.  “There shouldn’t be any extra credit attached for doing something for the benefit of the community as a whole.”

DeMarrais’s argument holds some truth in it. Students shouldn’t be motivated by the idea of a two-point bump on their latest algebra quiz for doing something that benefits society, or specifically, their school. Although this may be the correct moral decision, several students aren’t exactly seeing it in that light.

Sophomore Olivia Lein believes that the flaw in it is that, “…if you work really hard in a class and you’re close to your goal grade (e.g. ending with an 89.3 and your goal is a 90) but not quite there, the extra credit really helps.”

After writing this article, this reporter has realized that is a common belief students have: It’s reasonable, but, quite frankly, it stinks. Seniors Deanna Hoffman and Kristina Hughes support Lein’s beliefs, with Hughes adding, “Even though we were receiving points which benefits us, it also benefits the world… or supporting our sports teams.”

A group that’s not as united as we thought were the educators at Hills. Although English teacher and newspaper advisor Ms. Rome admitted that she’d miss the extra boxes of tissues, she believes that, “…it makes sense that extra credit is only given if it’s relevant to the class.”

On the other end of the spectrum lies Mrs. Bloom, who, on top of teaching, is also the advisor for the PHHS Interact club, which recently organized a can drive. She said that it was a nice showing, but half of what they typically get, and many of these came from Interact members. Bloom strongly believes the cause relates to this removal of non-academic extra credit, saying, “I understand where administration is coming from but I feel it doesn’t make a huge difference on grades and teaches the valuable lesson of giving and, sometimes, we all need incentives. Eventually, the hope is it will become internalized and it will become something you want to do without an incentive.”

There’s an evident separation between the students and the administration, and a less noticeable, but just as present, separation between the teachers. Regardless, non-academic extra credit is still gone, and students have to wait until the end of the 180-day marking period and see if the extra credit could have even helped.