Students should receive weight of class if changed for following year’s class


Kiersten Riedford

Disheartened. That was the emotion the students in my Accounting I class and I felt last year after we were told the following year’s (this year’s) class would be counted as a dual-credit course. I can still remember the students in the class immediately asking, “Why can’t we get the credit if the kids next year are doing the exact stuff we already have?” The announcement came while we were already in our third quarter and there was little we could do at that time. However, the amount of work we did in our unweighted version of the class was a lot more than what some may expect out of a high school accounting class, and hearing a little over halfway through the year that the following year would get the credit and we couldn’t was discouraging. 

While there is no official class ranking system at this school, weighted classes are still important to students. There are many classes considered to be “regular” or “normal” that are rigorous for many students, such as chemistry and precalculus, but students do appreciate the weighted aspect to courses that are considered to be accelerated or advanced like AP language and composition and many of the dual-credit technology classes. 

The only downfall to changing those rigorous regular classes to courses with an AP, IB, dual-credit or half-weight/honors weight is for the students currently enrolled in the unweighted class that will be weighted the following year. Those students may feel cheated on having the chance to further prove they took difficult classes. Many students take weighted classes as a way to not only boost their GPA for college applications, but also to prove to colleges that they can succeed in challenging classes. That grade weight holds additional “weight” to a student’s abilities. 

The amount of time and effort students put into school is definitely recognized, but it would be more fair to students if they were allowed to at least have a weight on their class for the second semester if the weight has already been decided for the following year while the current school year is still in session. I’ve witnessed the change happening twice now, but regardless of the appreciation we receive from our parents, teachers and administrators for taking those rigorous classes, having a weight on our classes can make us feel as if we’ve put in all our effort for a reason.

*This is a more updated version than the column on the print issue.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Kiersten Riedford at [email protected].