Opinion

Restrict the reach of TAs

We’re not always happy with our grades so sometimes we like to discuss these substandard scores with the source. Unfortunately, at the University of Miami, this often means chatting with the guy you just played in beer pong.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) can be very helpful in assisting with review groups and lessening professors’ workloads.

TAs should not, however, assess anything subjective; papers and Blue Book examinations should be off-limits and graded solely by the professor. Students have the right for their papers to be evaluated by the instructor hired by the university. A professor’s duty is to teach, not only to lecture. Students can learn a lot from the feedback they receive on their essays, and it should come from a qualified professor, not the girl down the hall.

It’s understandable that some classes are simply too large for the professor to read everyone’s essays. It’s unreasonable for students to be graded by other students, and it is doubly unjust that, in many cases, there are several TAs grading one class’ materials. In one class this semester, four different TAs are grading papers and in-class essays. Some students receive letter grades while others get number grades. Inconsistent grading leads to bewilderment and frustration.

For many students, grades are important. The letters lining our transcripts and the numbers that makes up our GPA encapsulates our university experience. TAs should not have the ability to influence these letters and numbers; especially since many internship programs, graduate schools and potential employers ask students to explain their records. Students at UM need to know that they will be evaluated by the instructor they sign up for during registration, not the kid standing behind them in line at the registrar’s office.

Pat Cunnane is a senior majoring in political science and journalism. He may be contacted at pcunnane@themiamihurricane.com.

February 3, 2010

Reporters

Pat Cunnane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Shakey Rodriguez, the Miami high school basketball coaching legend, vividly remembers the first time ...

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez gives "Major League" advice to UM’s fall graduating c ...

Becoming the Man of the Hour ...

Always a little bit of a flair for the dramatic. ...

A scholarship created by retired Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez and born out of his love ...

New Multi-State Institute Focuses on Reducing Damage from Severe Storms ...

Eighteen Hurricane student-athletes graduated from four schools and colleges at the University of Mi ...

Miami director of track and field/cross country Amy Deem's incredible career earned her a place ...

Check out the latest edition of Hurricane Magazine. ...

Members from the Miami track and field team spent the afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club in Miami ...

UM administrators, coaches and alums took part in yesterday's allCanes Holiday Shopping Spree f ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.