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Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,525 Senior Member
edited September 2008 in Parents Forum
The story in this morning's paper is the first I've heard of this, and I'm usually on top of these things. I'm not opposed to some standardization, but why start with rising seniors?

New law changing the way districts statewide calculate GPAs
Post edited by Youdon'tsay on
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Replies to: Texas parents -- new class rank legislation

  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    Okay, that's one of the more outrageous things to come out of the Leg in a long time! And the law went in to effect last June but they still don't have a method to calculate GPA?! What about fall transcripts?
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,525 Senior Member
    I know! Again, I could see some standardization like let's all count PE or not, or fine arts or not, but they don't even have a plan and it's supposed to take effect in, basically, three months?

    And even if they were to say, OK, let's start with the class of 2012, many of those kids will have multiple high school credits already from taking advanced math and language in middle school.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    Right! So many people around here were up in arms when a 3 year graduate with the highest GPA ever at a local high school was not the official val....If the new law goes into effect for 2009 grads, it is possible that the val for EVERY school could change!

    I just can't believe they've pretty much gotten no where with an issue that could affect the lives of every public high school student in the state.

    I have always been strongly in favor of public schools. But starting about two years ago, I've really been down on them,....it seems that every time the Leg meets, it says, "Okay, what can we do THIS time to further screw up our schools?"
  • dragonmomdragonmom Registered User Posts: 5,985 Senior Member
    I smell some lawsuits a-comin'.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    The unfortunate part of all great ideas is that the devil is buried in the details.

    Having a standardized computation of GPAs is something that should have happened a long time ago in Texas, and one that should be expanded to all public schools in the country.

    The fact that parents who have grown obsessed with gaming the system is hardly relevant in designing and implementing the new law. What are we afraid of? A reduction of the impact Honors Baton Twirling or Honors Basket Weaving at the large Bubba High schools? Afraid that the IB will lose its status as the ultimate GPA gamesmanship in Texas?

    Students who deserve an admission at the flagship schools in Texas will continue to do so. Texas A$M still offer direct admission to students who have a reasonable ranking and a reasonable SAT (unless changed it was top 25%/1300SAT.) Despite the claims of suburban parents, the University of Texas at Austin still admits thousands of students who were not in the top 10%.

    Fwiw, this ought to be one of least important problems facing public schools in Texas. We should dedicate more attention to the bottom 50% and continue to increase the diversity at our flagship schools by limiting the direct admission to a number that would not exceed 40% of the admitted pool by reducing the top 10% to anywhere from 4% to 8%.

    The current system has avoided a total collapse only because a large number of minorities that qualify for automatic admission do not feel at home (or cannot afford the costs) in Austin or College Station, and stay closer to home.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,525 Senior Member
    As I've writen twice above, I don't have a problem with some standardization (until joining cc, I had no idea of the widespread variations in calculating GPA). My problem is with the seemingly half-assed way the Lege seems to be implementing it --or not implementing it. And that the rules are being changed when the "game" is almost over for the class of '09.

    And I would love to see top 10% changed to top 5% or some lower number.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    Xiggi, I really don't have a problem with standardization....but to change the method of calcuation right as students are waiting for transcripts to send to colleges in the fall....I guess there would be winners and losers and those in the top 15% who miraculously leap into the top 10% will be thrilled and those who fall from 10% to 15% will be hurt.

    Another thing is that because there are so many ways of computing GPA - weighing pre-APs and APs, counting or not counting fine arts, counting ior not counting sports, etc, how can the Lege just pick a method without extensive public hearings???!!!

    Finally, the Lege and thus the parents and the schools and the students are obsessed with the top 10%....90% of the students are not in the top 10%! And some of the top 10% and the bottom 90% don't even want to go to A&M or UT. To change student's GPAs and class ranks at the last minute for the benefit of folks who want to get into UT or A&M is a reactionary and foolish way to behave, which is typical of our legislature.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    They could always allow parents to buy their kids into the top 10%, and help finance the schools.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    None of my kids are interested in UT or A&M. I'm just hoping that in the Lege's "rush" to make the top 10% rule more fair (after all these years), they don't screw up my son's class rank so he can't get into the schools in which he is interested.

    They've just got to delay this. Transcripts will be printed in under 2 1/2 months. Is the Lege really going to come up with a new system of computing GPA and have it implemented in that amount of time? Or, will the schools leave it as it is for fall transcripts, then change the method during the 1st semester, so that when an admitted student sends a supplementary transcript in the spring, his GPA will skyrocket or plummet?
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,525 Senior Member
    And don't think they wouldn't, mini! :)

    missypie, I wish I had seen/noticed stories about this when it was first proposed. I'm naive in that I am willing to accept that this was about standardization and not benefitting one certain group over another. How would it benefit one set of "folks who want to get into UT or A&M" over other folks who want to get into UT and A&M? Basically, you're still competing with kids in your HS, and it's doubtful that there is such disparity in the SES level of a kid who's in the 9th percent and one in the 12th percent. I'm not arguing; I just want to understand what you mean.

    The only people I see really benefitting are those kids who don't play the game -- who take PE instead of getting waivers, who opt to stay in band instead of chasing that extra point in an AP elective, etc. Not a bad thing.
  • xiggixiggi Registered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    I guess there would be winners and losers and those in the top 15% who miraculously leap into the top 10% will be thrilled and those who fall from 10% to 15% will be hurt.

    Mpie, the UT system does not work in a vacuum. With an avalanche of complaints, the admission officers will make adjustments for such changes and probably catch everyone who was and is in the top 10%.

    When it comes to the top 10% rule, there has been a lot of noise (and barking on all sides) but few changes. This is one that shall pass with a lot fewer problems than anticipated. There are just too many strong interested parties involved.
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    It's such a complex issue. For example, a friend of Son's who transferred to another district had weighted credit for AP Human Geo in 9th grade; the school to which she transferred didn't offer AP Human Geo, so she lost the extra weight in her grade and her GPA went down.

    I agree that that sort of thing shouldn't happen and that the method of calculating GPAs should be standardized, but I have ZERO confidence that the Lege is smart enough to pick up on situations like the one I just described. Which way would it go? Schools accepting transfer students would have to give weighted credit for courses they don't offer? Or the other way around? If it's the other way around, then calcuation is truly not standardized....

    They need to have public hearings and do a study of all the different ways of computing and analyze the pros and cons of each, THEN make a wise, informed decision about what is the most fair method of calulating GPA. Each school district is doing what they think is best; how can they do away with all methods but one without public hearings?
  • missypiemissypie Registered User Posts: 18,479 Senior Member
    "Mpie, the UT system does not work in a vacuum. With an avalanche of complaints, the admission officers will make adjustments for such changes and probably catch everyone who was and is in the top 10%."

    The admissions officers of all the colleges in the country? Is an out of state school that doesn't have very applicants students from Texas going to stop to do the analysis, or does the student who used to be in the top 9% but now is in the top 12% lose out on merit aid, possibly?
  • prefectprefect Registered User Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    What about private schools? Presumably they would be allowed to compute GPA however they want? The proposed change, it seems, is about computing GPA, not rank. There is such gamesmanship to make the top 10% in Texas, that it wouldn't be surprising if a lower GPA under the standardized system could have a higher rank than a higher GPA.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "Is an out of state school that doesn't have very applicants students from Texas going to stop to do the analysis, or does the student who used to be in the top 9% but now is in the top 12% lose out on merit aid, possibly?"

    Someone loses in either case, so what's the big deal?

    If you need the ranking, you should pay for it. ;)
This discussion has been closed.