How the New Panther Points System Hurts Students

The new Panther points system only sets students back and discourages positive behavior.


What now? As the new PP system unfolds, the benefits of the old system disappear. Its lack of flexibility has affected students’ drive to exceed expectations when possible.

Jose Guzman, Staff Writer

The recently-instilled Panther points system removes the benefits of the original system that gave students an incentive to go above and beyond as a student and an individual.

As of second semester, the school’s Panther point policy has changed. Teachers aren’t allowed to give Panther points freely now. Instead, the entire class gets a Panther point once a week if the teacher thinks they deserve it. Even though the new policy was instilled for “fairness,” the system only debilitates students and discourages going beyond expectations.

First of all, the system debilitates students by removing the positive reinforcement necessary for improvement. According to a 2015 study by the Queens School of Business, a lack of positive support results in 37% more absenteeism and 60% more errors in business settings. Even though the statistic is based on workplace behavior, it can apply in a school setting. Both environments have productivity standards and schedules. In a classroom context, students might be apathetic about participating in class because there is a lack of a reward for doing so.

Secondly, the new Panther Points system discourages going above and beyond expectations as there is no reward for doing so. Before the change, teachers could give Panther points when they saw a student doing something spectacular or helpful, e.g., helping the teacher outside of class time. The old points system had an incentive to go above the bare minimum in the form of extra prizes. When this reward is taken away, the temptation to exceed expectations is gone.

Also, the lack of individuality in receiving Panther points can result in a small handful of students ruining it for the entire class. “Trouble makers” or apathetic students have caused full classes to be punished, and this may also apply in this situation. For example, if most students are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, but one group is being disruptive to the point that it affects teaching, the teacher might hesitate on giving the class their weekly Panther point.

In conclusion, the new Panther points system is worse because it debilitates student improvement, discourages going above expectations, and it allows for a small group of students to weaken the entire class.