Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Proposed policy changes for AP, Honors and Dual Enrollment classes.  
Another example of why we need control of our own schools!

Dear (Insert name of Board of Education Member) ,
I’m writing to urge you NOT to approve the policy regarding Advanced High School Courses .  Implementing this policy at this point is detrimental to currently enrolled high school students.

This policy changes grade calculations for AP, Honors and Dual Enrollment classes.   Making this change at this point in the year seems inappropriate and ill-advised because high school students are already locked into class selections for next year.  My son, a Junior at Collierville High School, carefully weighed the advantages and disadvantages of A.P., Dual Enrollment, and Honors classes.  The new grading scale changes the class selection dynamic.  Eliminating the 5 or 3 points added to the semester grade will also change the way grades are reported on a transcript.  Given that many college scholarships are awarded based on GPA, this change could negatively impact scholarship opportunities.

There is no “grandfathering” listed for this policy change; therefore students in the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 will have transcripts with a mixed grading scale.  Changing the grading structure during a student’s high school career can negatively impact the college application process.  Every high school transcript produced for the next 3 years will need an explanation of the multiple grading scales used and require additional resources from our depleted guidance staff.  College admissions officers will need to be educated about the change and many colleges will struggle to create a process to “normalize” or “equalize” every grade for every class for every year.  This difficulty will be exacerbated by the lateness of this policy change.

Major changes such as this can be best applied to an incoming freshman class so that students have the same grading scale for all 4 years of high school.

At a time when we are trying to encourage students to take higher level courses to prepare them for college, this grading change “mid career” is discouraging.  This change occurring when students are unable to consult with guidance counselors and teachers is unfair. 

I urge you remove the Advanced High School Courses policy change for further review to be implemented beginning with the 2014-15 school year and BEFORE students make their course selections for 2014-15.  I also recommend further review concerning grandfathering in students who have already matriculated into high school.

1 comment:

  1. This is terrible most colleges do not use the weighted GPA and the Current SCS policy rewards those who take the tough courses. Just another attack on us in the county.