School cracks down, allows only 5 errors per writing assignment

Starting in January, students at the Summit Christian Academy in Summit, Mo. will have to rewrite their papers if they have more than five errors — and they can’t score any higher than 75% on the second try.

“Students and parents were somewhat shocked to hear these changes,” a student reporter wrote. “The immediate reaction from the student body was that the changes were too harsh.” One kid told the teen journalist: “I understand that it is a college prep thing, but we haven’t been taught well enough for it.”

I called Kim Gill, the school’s curriculum/principal, to see what she’s hearing about her five-errors policy. Some parents are protesting, she says. “We have some who are thrilled and others who are highly concerned because it’s tied to scholarship dollars,” which are tied to GPAs.

“One concession we’ve made is if it’s the same error that’s repeated in the paper, the teacher has the discretion to say, for example, I’m going to take these five run-on sentences and count them as one error.”

The principal says students have come to accept the policy. “As they discussed it, they realized it was in their own best interest.”



  1. Howard Witt said:

    Good that the principal is exercising disgression in this situation.

  2. Jim said:

    I have four errors left.

  3. R Thomas Berner said:

    I worked with a prof who said a rewrite would earn you half a grade higher and no more. Where, I wondered, was the incentive to do the rewrite?

  4. anonymous said:

    Seriously? With five errors, a student could get a 80-90. A 75 isn’t fair. We might have to be looking for a new school.

  5. Stephanie Jones said:

    Yes…. Agree with above ^

  6. Sally Smith said:

    I believe in fairness more than anything else. I would like to find a place with fair grading for my children.

  7. It has been interesting to watch the healthy debate Summit Christian Academy’s new writing policy has inspired. Many of the comments reflect our own internal discussions prior to the policy being implemented for juniors and seniors. One additional fact that has not been pointed out is that the policy has nine components to ensure fairness for all students.
    George Orwell once stated, “If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” Whether you support or oppose our new policy, we are confident that we are offering skills for our students that will give them an edge in the highly competitive marketplace.
    If you would like more information about Summit Christian Academy, we ask that you check us out at