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Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

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Replies to: Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

  • missypiemissypie 17976 replies503 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    Face it - there is going to be some sort of program to even the playing field for kids who are stuck attending less than great high schools, for whatever the reason. Was the old affirmative action program better? I remember special programs for "Spanish surnamed Americans", so no matter how advantaged the Spanish surnamed person was, whether their family had settled here in 1650 or 1990, they got preferential treatment. Certainly that's not the right approach.

    I think the top 10% rule is an okay method (although it hurts my own kids.) And it's not a bad thing to compute GPA the same way state wide. But you can't spring it on kids the semester they are applying for college. (AND, I have no faith that the Lege can get the method right.)
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  • SherBearSherBear 212 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    Here in Georgia, where college can be free to kids who qualify, this issue continues to draw sparks.
    all college admittance stakes are high, but when you're talking about free college, things heat up exponentially.
    the method used in georgia is as fair as any.
    check it out.
    of course the calculations are uniform!
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    I thought this thread was about the NEW law, regarding how gpa was to be standardized across the state. How did it degenerate into the same old TIRED discussion of the 10% law? Then it somehow degenerated into rich vs. poor, WHAT THE HECK!!!

    My fraternity member son (so he must be RICH), who happens to play a "helmet" sport (so he must be doubly EVIL) wouldn't associate with your riff raff kid anyway. There, how's that;)

    Can we get back to the original topic of discussion?
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    Can we get back to the original topic of discussion?

    Not a bad idea! So, where does that lead us? Complaining about about a proposed legislation that has yet to be termined in greater detail, that has yet to be implemented, and might very well be postponed or be entirely different from what has been purported so far.

    Waoit and see is all what people can do!
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  • ag54ag54 2865 replies44 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,909 Senior Member
    Except it's not "proposed" legislation. It's already a law, they just haven't figured out what's going to be weighted and what's not.

    I thought about some this weekend, and it seems to me that it isn't going to detrimentally affect admission statistics within a highschool in terms of applying to UT or A&M, because everyone will be computed the same way, and top 10% is top 10% either way.

    But, I started wondering if it would hurt those who are applying to other schools that don't admit based on rank only, but take into account GPA. Schools that don't have as many ap/ib classes will have students with lower GPA's accross the board than schools with more. So, if my kid is trying to apply to Harvard;) (haha), his GPA would be lower than kids at other schools because he didn't have the same access to ap/ib classes. Is this correct?
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    Except it's not "proposed" legislation. It's already a law, they just haven't figured out what's going to be weighted and what's not.

    If semantics are important, we should refer to the EXACT text of the new legislation, and not use as a basis for discussion the interpretation of obscure journalists.

    Because we do NOT know what the changes might entail, we cannot decree who the losers and the winners will be. If thw history of education in Texas provides any foundations, it is doubtful that the ultimate negotiated terms will be anything close to what is feared ... in this forum. That is why I called it "about a proposed legislation that has yet to be (de)termined* in greater detail."

    The biggest beef about the process is that it would have a retroactive effect. If the changes are postponed, this should eliminate most of that problem.

    As far as needing to know the rules before playing, it so happens that schools can and do make changes all the time. A school could decide to revamp its current ranking system overnight without notice and does not need he Texas lawmakers do it for them. Schools could make changes in the weights or in the curriculum between now and August. The College Board is currently cracking down on many AP programs to ensure a greater "adherence" to the proposed curriculum. What would the loss of ten AP mean to a rabid GPA gamers?

    When it comes to schools in Texas, nothing is ever certain.

    PS I think that for schools such as Harvard the printed GPA is mostly meaningless. Given the incredible variances of GPA in the country, adcoms have to scartch the surface and weigh the various classes. Numerous schools recalculate the entire GPA. Others do not count the freshman grades. The absence or low numbers of AP/IB courses has never represented a major handicap. As an anecdote, a school I know very well DROPPED its entire AP program and replaced it with an extensive dual-credit program. The theory was that this would hurt admissions at highly selective schools. During the past 5 years, the opposite has occured: an explosion of admissions at HYPS and highly ranked schools. Not a single AP/IB on the transcript ... no problemo! By the way, last year's valedictorian turned down Stanford and MIT to attend the University of Texas at Austin. Could not use the 10% rule for his program!
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  • Nrdsb4Nrdsb4 16722 replies156 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,878 Senior Member
    "But, I started wondering if it would hurt those who are applying to other schools that don't admit based on rank only, but take into account GPA. Schools that don't have as many ap/ib classes will have students with lower GPA's accross the board than schools with more. So, if my kid is trying to apply to Harvard (haha), his GPA would be lower than kids at other schools because he didn't have the same access to ap/ib classes. Is this correct?"

    Take this for what it's worth (and it may not be worth much), but at every school we visited last year in my daughter's college search, the admissions representative made sure to point out that they look to see that the applicant has made the most of his opportunities at his school. In other words, if an applicant went to a school which offered gobs of AP's/IB's, but chose not to avail himself of many, this would be frowned upon. If a student attended a school which offered only a few AP's/IB's, but the student took as many as possible and did well, that would be something they would find impressive. Bottom line, did the the applicant challenge himself as much as possible given the opportunities presented by his school, and did he meet the challenge well?
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19094 replies454 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 19,548 Senior Member
    Look! An update:

    statesman.com
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  • 181818181818 347 replies34 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 381 Member
    Everything that I have heard from schools we have visited is exactly the same as what Nrdsb4 said. I am so glad to know that they speaking of implimenting this prospectively. Whether or not the state or the school has the right to make a change instantly it is wrong for the rules to be changed at the end of the game. This article seems to indicate that this law will not effect current students. I hope that whatever changes are made parents and students are able to understand what they are and plan their schedules accordingly if they choose to play that game. These rules don't just effect kids on the cusp of the top 10%. Kids at the top of their classes are often there because they set goals to be there. There isn't anything wrong with that. It is wrong after 3 years of planning working and being advised by counselors to set up their schedule one way to learn that the rules had been changed and they got it wrong.
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  • xiggixiggi 24571 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,443 Senior Member
    Not very surprising:
    Because we do NOT know what the changes might entail, we cannot decree who the losers and the winners will be. If the history of education in Texas provides any foundations, it is doubtful that the ultimate negotiated terms will be anything close to what is feared ... in this forum. That is why I called it "about a proposed legislation that has yet to be (de)termined* in greater detail."
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  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ 6345 replies328 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    I'm glad the new Texas law is not going to apply retroactively to current students. That would not have been fair.

    Scanning this thread again today, I saw notes from parents with kids at schools that will not release class rank, no matter what.

    My kids' Ohio HS does not rank, and does not release rank, with one exception: if a student is applying to one of the military academies. If a student is applying to West Point, etc., the HS gives the student and the military academy the rank. This is required by the academies. I would assume all non-ranking high schools make this exception. (Our school's guidance counselors explain this to everyone early on.)
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  • LongPrimeLongPrime 5106 replies102 discussions- Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    ^ Students only need to be concerned with class rank if they between the lowest and the highest.

    Keep the entrance standards and graduation standards relatively high and uniform and people will sort themselves out; Just like Life.
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  • missypiemissypie 17976 replies503 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    The Austin American Statesman article was interesting in that it provided a table to the different methods used by Austin area school districts. Under one method, my son would have a much higher GPA. Under another, my daughter's would fall.

    Dual credit will be an interesting one. At our HS, a dual credit course is ranked as a regular (not even pre-AP, much less AP) class. My cynical view is that our school is so anxious to be in the Newsweek Top 100 that it makes it much more attractive for kids to take the AP classes than the dual credit classes.
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  • catahoulacatahoula 3386 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,392 Senior Member
    Hi. I've been lurking around CC for several years, but this is my first post.

    The Houston Chronicle had an editorial this morning cheerleading the proposed changes to GPA calculations. What it appears to boil down to is, schools will be required to give the same credit for on-level courses as they do for honors or K-level courses. AP or IB courses would continue to receive an extra point.

    "The proposed changes are not without controversy. Many school officials oppose making the changes because they believe that offering extra credit is a major inducement for students to take the tougher course load. That is not a serious reason not to undertake the changes Paredes is asking for. Students should enroll in honors courses and introductory classes for AP and IB subjects because they plan to go to college, and not simply to pad their GPA. What's more, school principals, guidance counselors and teachers should create a campus environment in which students' main goal is to acquire knowledge and skills, rather than to game the college admission system.

    Standardizing extra-credit rules makes sense and adds fairness to the college application process. It will bring rationality to grading schemes across the state and ensure that all Texas students are competing for college admission on equal footing."

    I've got two kids in Cy-Fair and one that just got out. They've all taken the honors route, and my understanding was that these classes are roughly a year ahead of the on-level courses. Now I realize they've just been padding their GPA. A&M should ask for my son's scholarship money back.

    Seriously, can anyone tell me how this is going to improve the educational experience of any Texas kid. Seems that making straight A's in Honors and B's in AP, will result in one looking remarkably similar to straight A student in the on-level curriculum. This is leveling the playing field? Looks like punishing the overachievers that want to be prepared for college.
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  • catahoulacatahoula 3386 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,392 Senior Member
    Sorry. I meant to extend a general thanks to everyone here for the information I've found over the years on topics ranging from PSAT info to packing for College. It's been priceless.

    Thanks.
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