AHS Should Weight Grades

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I cannot stress how strongly I wish AHS weighted its grades. The current system creates a rigged game where AP teachers feel obliged to use a hyperinflated grading scale where almost every student gets an A in order to avoid disadvantaging the students that chose to take their more difficult classes. Those teachers who choose not to give into this system of grade inflation are labeled as hard and are often some of the least popular classes on campus. Students who chose to take their classes in spite of this reputation are often penalized with a lower class rank and GPA.

This grade inflation also has a deleterious effect on class rank. Even a minor slip up that results in one b or a minus can be devastating for a student’s class rank, as so many of their peers have maintained a 4.0. It is preposterous that students with over 3.9 GPA’s do not rank in the top ten percent of their class, which is the current situation at AHS.
This disparity between class rank and difficulty of schedule also severely disadvantages AHS students when applying to elite universities. The AHS students who took the hardest classes are not the ones with the highest GPA’s and class ranks. AHS students with high GPA’s are have difficulty with admissions because their schedule lacks enough challenging classes, and those with lots of challenging classes cannot because their class ranks are too low.

This school’s steadfast refusal to weight grades is the single worst academic policy that it maintains. It transforms class rank into a contest of who can avoid making mistakes that result in a small drop in their gpa rather than a gauge of real learning. Students are discouraged from working hard in the classes that inspire them to learn more, and instead must dedicate all of their time to avoid getting a bad grade. I can only hope that the recent rumors of the decision to begin grade weighting are true.

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