Noah Ohayon, Staff Writer

The controversial “50% rule” has been around for 15 years now and there are still debates on whether or not it is fair to all students. 

According to this grading policy, all students who submit work, regardless of accuracy or quality, must receive a minimum of 50% credit.  This gives students the false impression that this rule is beneficial to them. In reality, the 50% rule rewards students who show no effort and undermines student work ethic.

Since its implementation in 2006, the 50% rule has been detrimental to  many students throughout the county. It creates a bad work ethic, as many abuse the system, relying too heavily on getting their entitled 50%.

“I think [students] who don’t really show effort in school are dependent on this rule to keep their grades alive,” junior Josh Pasternak said.

Procrastination is an immense struggle amongst teens nowadays, and this rule is only adding to this dilemma. A staggering 86% of high school students say they procrastinate on assignments according to This policy only amplifies procrastination as many students don’t get work done, thinking the 50% is “good enough.”

“I’ve pushed off assignments knowing I wouldn’t completely fail,” senior Maddy Bamba admits. “I think a lot of other students share that same mindset.”

Teachers also take issue with this rule. They care for their students and know this policy will lead them in the wrong direction.

“I think that it is a short-sighted policy designed to appease unreasonable parents and skew statistics at the expense of long-term academic growth and sustained success for our students,” English teacher Jessie Rutter said.

As students continue throughout college and their career paths, they can’t have this “put it off” mindset the 50% rule promotes. For example, in the professional world, if one chooses to not work, they can’t expect to still get 50% of their paycheck. Unfortunately, the 50% rule instills this delusion of entitlement in thousands of students’ heads. 

Not only in a career path can this rule set you up for failure, but in college as well. Most colleges throughout the country do not have a rule of such sorts, many may be rudely awakened by this unexpected change. It also gives colleges a false representation of a student’s work ethic. Colleges may receive an impressive transcript, but not the contradicting reality: heaps of pushed-off assignments and a developed apathy towards learning.This rule allows for these indolent acts to continue throughout our county daily.

The unethical nature of this rule makes students who do put in the effort to feel cheated. Seeing peers who don’t put in the same effort reap the benefits of this policy and get the same grades, leads diligent students to think, “What’s the point of putting in all this effort?”

“I think that many may resent this rule as it lowers the gap between them and ‘failing students,’” Pasternak said. “It doesn’t do justice to the amount of work they are putting in.”

This absurd policy does our students a great disservice as it lowers work ethic, inadequately prepares them for the future, and unfairly rewards academic laziness in students throughout the county.