Let’s admit that for any given year high school GPA is a better gauge of game playing and parental oversight than academic performance.
Let’s change the game.
Here’s what I would do.
First, I wouldn’t count lower level courses for GPA calculations. Why should it matter if one freshman got an A and another freshman got a B in Algebra I? It’s Algebra I, not Calculus. If you disagree, then my question is, “Does the score at the end of the first inning in a baseball game really matter?”
Like it or not, Algebra I is a first inning course.
Second, I would rank upper level courses and weigh them accordingly. Examples…
Calculus – 3, Trigonometry – 2, Algebra II – 1
Physics – 2, Biology – 1
English IV – 2, English III – 1
Spanish III – 2, Spanish II – 1
This would mean that an A in Calculus would count more than an A in Trigonometry. An A in Spanish III would count more than an A in Spanish II.
You see the pattern.
Early, foundation courses are just that. A foundation course, like English I, essentially minor league baseball. Do the time, hone some skills and learn something. The advanced courses represent the major league. That’s when things get serious. You want a high GPA? Take tough courses. You want a higher GPA? Take more tough courses. You want the highest GPA? Get high grades in a lot of tough courses.
It’s still a game, but now the game makes more of the players step up, instead of side-stepping strategically.
One last note… For everyone who has a problem dealing with the lower level courses not counting towards the GPA, there is a precedent. A number of our top universities make Freshman courses Pass/Fail. Those institutions understand that performance at the end is more relevant than performance at the beginning.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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