By: HiLite Staff
With the implementation of weighted grades, this school has joined the majority of senior high schools in the US who weight grades. According to a study conducted by the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut, most schools that responded to their survey weight some classes. The same source also stated that schools said they enacted their policies as part of a “commitment to defining ‘excellence’ and to giving credence to what excellence means to them through the process of weighting grades.”
The reason for Carmel’s switch to a weighted grading system? According to the administration, students in the advanced courses will get a much deserved boost in their classes based on the level of difficulty. For this effort, this school should be commended.
Still, the new program of weighted grades is not perfect. In response to the new weighted grades system, numerous teachers have gotten rid of the curves this year that they gave to their students in advanced classes in previous years. Curves were implemented by teachers in previous years to compensate students in advanced courses for a more rigorous class load. This policy is paradoxical to the direction the school seemed to try to go with the policy of weighted grades. Without these curves, the new weighted grades policy maintains the status quo of previous years rather than “giving credit to those who go above and beyond the educational requirements of the state.”
In addition, depending on the colleges or universities students choose to
apply to, teachers removing curves may have a more detrimental effect on their students’ chances of acceptance into those schools. According to Petersons.com—the most comprehensive and heavily traveled education resource on the internet—most college admission offices unweight grades to try to arrive at a more standardized, comparable GPA across various high schools. With this in mind, the absence of curves may drastically hinder students’ chances of acceptance at certain higher educational institutions.
The fact is simple. Uncurved (and usually unweighted) GPAs may place students at a disadvantage for college admissions and scholarship awards. As a result of the assessment on giving weights to advanced classes conducted by the University of Connecticut, school districts and, at times, state legislatures recognize the importance of giving more credit where it’s due.
The solution is clear. Keep the weighted grades, but also retain the old system of curving grades. By doing this, teachers will be able to give students in advanced courses the boost they deserve. Otherwise, the current system is simply taking one step forward and two steps back.