Keeping the Standard

Carly Weigel, Reporter

I was sitting in Mr. Burkle’s first period class, listening to his pre-teaching discussion when I realized he was saying something that piqued my interest. The mixed reactions that the news brought got me thinking about how I feel knowing my senior schedule would be affected by the scale change.

I came to the conclusion that I would have liked to keep the 4.0 system. For one, all the other years in high school we have had the 4.0 scale, and the school is not changing grades retrospectively because of complications with classes and the mass undertaking it would be. It would look weird for juniors to have three years of 4 point and one year of the 5 point scale. For another, the 4.0 scale is simpler to understand. It’s easy to see that a 3.2 out of 4.0 converts to a B letter grade. However, a 4.2 in one class translates to a B letter grade but with the added consideration of the B being in an AP class. It gets complicated.

It’s also hard for me to understand the confusing ratios and how they all somehow go into a cumulative average. In order to be “suma cum laude” come graduation, a student needs an A in at least one AP class, bringing their cumulative GPA up to a 4.1. This brings me to my next point, which is that colleges don’t look just at the GPA out of context. They take into account all of the things that make up a high school student’s life, including extracurriculars and diversity of classes as well as difficulty.

A concern I have with ending up with weighted grades is that students will no longer have the freedom of choosing diverse classes because of the toll it might take on their GPA. The best part of going to City High is the different things you can try, and try it with different people. If the motivation for picking out classes is GPA-oriented, people could be missing out on opportunities for learning what they like and dislike. If weighted grades were a thing when I had been a freshman, I don’t know if I would have taken the classes or met the people I did.

At the same time, taking the AP test at the end of the year is part of the reason I even take AP classes, and I don’t think that will change. It would encourage students to enroll in more advanced classes and push themselves harder, although I still think all students should consider their own ability, regardless of GPA.

Even though I am still a little cautious about the scale switch, I realize that it’s a decision that was made based on reasoning with the entire district in mind. The counselors at City will write reports with college applications to explain the weird scale change, and the ICCSD school board is working hard to create a better system so we are not disadvantaged compared to other schools. It will benefit future generations of high school students with a weighted GPA, and I’m sure that it will all work out.