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Æthelthryth the Texan

Does this sound odd to you? Grade inflation in PS q.

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I am wondering if I am just out of the loop as to how much things have changed and how competitive HS is, or if this sounds odd to you. 

I have a friend with a dd in public high school (junior year) I talked to today. The dd is in 5 AP classes, and is a straight A student- kids has been in GT/PAP for her whole life and has always been "Honor Roll" kid. The remaining credits are a practicum type thing, so they would be on a regular GPA scale- so that's 2 credits in their district- so 5 APs and 2 reg. We were talking today and friend mentioned the colleges they were starting to look at which surprised me as they'd been looking at UT tbh- do or die sort of thing- and she said "oh well she's not in the top 10%- she's only in the 28%- we got her ranking at the break. There are a lot of smart kids here, so we're needing to broaden the scope." And then went on about how she is hoping the dd's volunteering (kid is seriously a high-achiever and president of many clubs you'd recognize among other things like GS Awards, which I don't remember the name of but they're the top awards and other community type things) will make up for her GPA to get her in to these other schools. I do understand the concept of safety schools and how competitive college is, and even really "smart" kids don't make the college cut, but that's not what this post is about. It's about GPA's. 

So, how does that wash? The class has right around 1,000  kids in the class. How if you are a straight A student (which I have zero reason to think friend is lying) with 5 AP's, which will curve your GPA up, right?!?- is that only the 28th percentile in class rank. Does that seem like grade inflation to y'all? I am just curious because I was SHOCKED.  It's a good district but it's not like Texas's #1 School District by a long shot, which sort of makes me wonder what the heck it's like at Texas's #1 District to be honest. I guess I thought all AP A students were rarer birds, but I guess no? I mean, if a straight A for all of high school AP student taking Cal and AP Chem as a junior is ranked out of the top 20%, I'm just sort of stunned and am feeling very out of the loop and old. That would have been top 10%, maybe top 5% easy in my day, but admittedly I am getting on up there LOL. But I am shocked that more than 20% of kids are in AP courses to be honest.........now, this is a district where you are either in the APs or you are out in the war zone, so that might play into the numbers in the APs, but still. It just seemed odd. 

What do things look like where you are? 

 

 

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They do the class ranks based on numerical grades, not letter grades. So every point counts. You could have a bunch of low As (92s for example) and end up way back in the rankings. The topkids at our local school have 99.9XX grades, so not just As but they've rarely missed a point on homework or tests and they've done every extra credit assignment. You also have to be very careful that your kid takes as many weighted classes as possible because even one regular unweighted class could be the difference between making UT's top 6% or not. You also cannot transfer a DE course onto your hs transcript because they bring it over as a 95 and that would also tank your chances for UT. It's a crazy system, that's why we opted out. 

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Not grade inflation-- my dd had 5 AP's her Jr year (2 her sophomore year) and all A's- -she is ranked 24th in her class (a few of her A's were low A's)... she did not want to apply to UT (but she did visit)-- so no worries about her not being in the top 6%-- not interested in the other Texas schools that took top 10%... she applied to ONE out of state school and got in!

**The University of Texas (UT) gives Texas PS students who are in the to 6% of their graduating class automatic admission (to the university --NOT to the 'college' program student wants so they still have to apply).  The other state universities in Texas give automatic admissions to the top 10% of public school students.

 

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20 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

They do the class ranks based on numerical grades, not letter grades. So every point counts. You could have a bunch of low As (92s for example) and end up way back in the rankings. The topkids at our local school have 99.9XX grades, so not just As but they've rarely missed a point on homework or tests and they've done every extra credit assignment. You also have to be very careful that your kid takes as many weighted classes as possible because even one regular unweighted class could be the difference between making UT's top 6% or not. You also cannot transfer a DE course onto your hs transcript because they bring it over as a 95 and that would also tank your chances for UT. It's a crazy system, that's why we opted out. 

I knew it would go off of numerical, but I just didn't realize out of 1,000 kids so many would be THAT competitive. That stunning. And that's just one high school. So I am guessing that where she has a practicum, they have another AP or two, and that gives even more of an edge.........She's not doing DE- that I do know. She wanted to go to the neighboring Technical HS I guess you would call it- where you can grad with your AA and HS Degree at the same time and her parents nixed that. I think they are now re-examining that choice. They thought she was going to be hauling in the scholarships for full rides and it's seeming like another possible case of "i guess not". 

It's not that she isn't in top 6% that is shocking me. It's that with those grades she isn't even in the top 20%. I had no idea that many kids took APs. I mean, what are the ones only hauling in B's and C's in AP ranked?!? (Clearly lower than 28%!)

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Oooooh, wait a minute. I might have just figured out my own question writing that last post........... If you funnel all of the tech kids/non-college track kids in the district over to a different high school, you skew the curve of the remaining kids and blow the class rankings. Light bulb. They aren't competing against a typical high school population. They're competing against an already culled sample. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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Back in the early 90s when I was in high school it was understood that the top GPA honors (valedictorian, etc) would never go to a band or choir kid because those were unweighted.  I moved to the area in 9th grade and found that I was immediately at a GPA disadvantage because Spanish started in 7th grade but French didn't start until 9th.  All 3rd year and up language classes were weighted, so unless you started with Spanish in 7th (which wasn't an option for me since I didn't live there) you'd lose grade points on your level 1 and 2 language credits.  I was a first generation college student, and it had never crossed the minds of my family that there was a game to be played with this.  I took what I thought would serve me well in the future, but I can almost guarantee that these differences cost me admission to a more prestigious college.  Having met and worked with people from the more prestigious schools, I'm incredibly thankful the education that I got even if I'm still boggled at the path that got me there. 

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My oldest dd's high school was one of the top 5 or so in NJ.  They don't do class rankings, it's a very competitive, high achieving school (wealthy district) where almost everyone is taking AP's, etc.   Other than determining valedictorian and salutatorian, no other class ranks are given.  They send a counselor statement to colleges explaining this.

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1 hour ago, Where's Toto? said:

My oldest dd's high school was one of the top 5 or so in NJ.  They don't do class rankings, it's a very competitive, high achieving school (wealthy district) where almost everyone is taking AP's, etc.   Other than determining valedictorian and salutatorian, no other class ranks are given.  They send a counselor statement to colleges explaining this.


That seems a lot healthier to me. I hate that the TX system almost forces kids to take every available AP/honors class vs. exploring their areas of interest. UVA and VA Tech admissions aren’t allocated this way but I’m not sure we’re looking in state anyway.

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I live in an upper middle class school district that is also fairly competitive.  There aren't many kids not looking to go to college because most of those students are in others schools (vocational, agri science, etc)  They do not do class rank other than to determine val, sal and top 10.  They will tell a student if they are in the top 10% or top 20% if requested.  Some applications and scholarships need that information.  

 There are a variety of AP classes offered soph through senior year and not many students can take absolutely every one.  It is also difficult to get into the AP classes having to have been on the pre-requesite track since middle school and also having received the qualifying grades.  It is also difficult to achieve As in those classes (that is why the grades are weighted).  The weighting is based on the numerical grade not the letter grade.

A students on track to take mostly AP classes with A's in all would very likely be near the top of the class here.  Another factor is that there are very few schools in the entire state that have close to 1,000 students.  Most cities and towns are their own school district with the large cities having more than one high school.  

 

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2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:


That seems a lot healthier to me. I hate that the TX system almost forces kids to take every available AP/honors class vs. exploring their areas of interest. UVA and VA Tech admissions aren’t allocated this way but I’m not sure we’re looking in state anyway.

Yeah, there is zero exploration allowed here- at least in our district and friend's district from what she says. 

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When I was a kid not only did the super competitive kids not do things like band because it wasn't weighted, they also put off their PE until final semester of senior year because it was the one thing you had to do that couldn't be weighted. So there would be this handful of kids going for valedictorian in doing like two or three periods of PE with all freshmen and their ivy league acceptances already in hand with their inflated class ranks. Sigh. Such bs.

It's the weighting that really does it. At a school I know of around here, kids who are seriously looking for a good rank won't do IB programs because fewer of the classes are weighted so you're never in contention, even though the program is just as rigorous.

 

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They don't use the numerical grade system here, but you will definitely experience a GPA drop if you are in music/arts classes. My daughter is actually taking an extra band class this year that starts before the official start of the school day and has taken a GPA hit despite the fact that she has all A grades AND takes one more class than the typical schedule.

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19 minutes ago, Farrar said:

When I was a kid not only did the super competitive kids not do things like band because it wasn't weighted, they also put off their PE until final semester of senior year because it was the one thing you had to do that couldn't be weighted. So there would be this handful of kids going for valedictorian in doing like two or three periods of PE with all freshmen and their ivy league acceptances already in hand with their inflated class ranks. Sigh. Such bs.

It's the weighting that really does it. At a school I know of around here, kids who are seriously looking for a good rank won't do IB programs because fewer of the classes are weighted so you're never in contention, even though the program is just as rigorous.

 


this is so sad. And yet I bet most of these super competitive kids play instruments. What’s the point if you don’t value it enough to even participate in it. 
this entire system is broken.

Our fancy private school in town limits the number of APs it offers and yet they are managing to place kids into great schools. I am even more confused how all these plays out in admissions.

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4 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:


this is so sad. And yet I bet most of these super competitive kids play instruments. What’s the point if you don’t value it enough to even participate in it. 
this entire system is broken.

Our fancy private school in town limits the number of APs it offers and yet they are managing to place kids into great schools. I am even more confused how all these plays out in admissions.

It's possible that they play their instruments outside of school. There are youth orchestras in a lot of cities, music schools will sometimes have ensembles and churches often have musical opportunities. There are a bunch of high schoolers in dd's church choir because they either go to the DE magnet school which doesn't offer a music program, do band at school or are home schoolers. Of course, if you play piano or guitar, you have to look outside of school anyway.

The trick with schools like that private one that limits APs is that a student has to take the "most rigorous courses offered". If they don't offer APs, the student doesn't have to take them.

 

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2 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

It's possible that they play their instruments outside of school. There are youth orchestras in a lot of cities, music schools will sometimes have ensembles and churches often have musical opportunities. There are a bunch of high schoolers in dd's church choir because they either go to the DE magnet school which doesn't offer a music program, do band at school or are home schoolers. Of course, if you play piano or guitar, you have to look outside of school anyway.

The trick with schools like that private one that limits APs is that a student has to take the "most rigorous courses offered". If they don't offer APs, the student doesn't have to take them.

 


that’s the point though. These kids should be able to take what they want and not have to play tricks. I don’t know how we got to this point that a balanced coursework is no longer good enough. My youngest will be in high school and heavily involved in Banda and music programs. It makes me sick that he will be punished for it. 

While I am not a big proponent of restricting things because some kids need a challenge, I am not convinced this insane race of jamming as many APs just for the sake of numbers game is benefiting anybody. 

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I've seen some student resumes and transcripts that are just mind-boggling with the sheer volume of AP exams. This is why some of these private schools have started basically banning the exams. They take over kids' lives.

And I'm not convinced that they help kids get into college. I mean, if you're aiming for a pretty selective school, then having a dozen AP exams doesn't make you stand out at all. It's especially these kids that have line ups that look so perfectly constructed. It's like these AP exams that are all over the place in terms of subject, this honor society, this instrument, this summer pay for play experience, this volunteering thing, this club that everyone else has done. Like, that probably exhausted that kid. But who even are they? What personality is in there? It's so cookie cutter.

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And to add that outside orchestras and music opportunities are very expensive, so you really are punishing the disadvantaged kids because if they want to have involvement with music, school is often it. So their choice is often music or no music, not music at school or music outside to boost GPA.

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20 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:


that’s the point though. These kids should be able to take what they want and not have to play tricks. I don’t know how we got to this point that a balanced coursework is no longer good enough. My youngest will be in high school and heavily involved in Banda and music programs. It makes me sick that he will be punished for it. 

While I am not a big proponent of restricting things because some kids need a challenge, I am not convinced this insane race of jamming as many APs just for the sake of numbers game is benefiting anybody. 

 

8 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I've seen some student resumes and transcripts that are just mind-boggling with the sheer volume of AP exams. This is why some of these private schools have started basically banning the exams. They take over kids' lives.

And I'm not convinced that they help kids get into college. I mean, if you're aiming for a pretty selective school, then having a dozen AP exams doesn't make you stand out at all. It's especially these kids that have line ups that look so perfectly constructed. It's like these AP exams that are all over the place in terms of subject, this honor society, this instrument, this summer pay for play experience, this volunteering thing, this club that everyone else has done. Like, that probably exhausted that kid. But who even are they? What personality is in there? It's so cookie cutter.

This is entirely true. But to step outside this box is taking a big risk. We knew that when we decided to home school high school. TBH, I did construct as "impressive on paper" a path as I could for dd because I am a Type A rule follower, but I specifically avoided APs as much as possible and kept her homework load/class time to about 6 hours on average per credit. We used summers to enroll in CC classes so that she could finish her AA in high school. This seemed the best path giving dd an excellent transcript while not driving her to exhaustion during the school year. We found alternative music venues. They aren't as good as the high school's music program, but they're good enough. We've had to look harder for extracurriculars and without the CC, we'd be hard pressed to have enough clubs/leadership roles to check that box. You can make up for that by being exceptional at something, but if you're just a typical, well rounded bright kid, this can be the hardest part of homeschooling.

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Before you draw a conclusion, look at course quality.   We have three choices...remedial full inclusion, gen ed full inclusion, and AP/honors (which is just English, SS).  Anyone willing to do work can do honors, its that easy.  Honors is the old college prep, is weighted, and has limited seating.  AP is not weighted.  DE is not weighted and neither limit seating.   AP exam score doesn't count in your final gpa; DE exam score does and you have to have fall DE if you want spring DE. Select women's choir is weighted, and dance is weighted.  ECs such as All State Music won't get you anything toward your gpa and there is no weighted band or men's chorus. The gpa advantage is to those who took voice lessons and dance lessons privately before high school, take two select choir classes annually, and to those who take AP over DE.  Additionally taking FL before it starts in school is a huge bought advantage, because 8th grade FL is challenging due to resource limitations at the school. 

So, yep, we are seeing numbers like you are.  SUNY schools want to see an 88 or better gpa, and the students know it and design their classes so they can bag their scholarship.  Rarely will val or sal qualify for the state's academic scholarship for high Regents Exam scores, because their points came from extra credit, not academics.  Oh, did I mention the grading scheme....1/3 homework completion, 1/3 attendance, balance academic unless it is DE which is all academic, mostly tests?   When my son graduated, the top 25% had a 96 or better gpa and most of those students had 3 study halls because the school doesn't have any more academic classes for them to take. The men took DE Calc as juniors (thus included in gpa), while the women waited.  The men took AP sciences online while the women took gen ed art.  The rank vs the SAT2 or course completion was stunningly different, as were the schools they got in to.  Playing the game counted for more as val is weighted so heavily, and (eta) the accomplishments bought thru family money in ecs mattered.

Edited by HeighHo
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4 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

And to add that outside orchestras and music opportunities are very expensive, so you really are punishing the disadvantaged kids because if they want to have involvement with music, school is often it. So their choice is often music or no music, not music at school or music outside to boost GPA.

If the city youth orchestras won't work, see if there are any home school groups. They tend to be much less expensive, but they also tend to serve more average musicians. Kids who like to play but aren't going to be professionals or even necessarily stand out amateurs. Another possibility are churches. Some of them have really large music programs. This comes with a lot of baggage but if you're attending anyway, you might as well find a place with a good music program. Dd's church choir has several members who teach choir or band in the local public schools and the last director had a PhD in vocal composition from Rice. He composed some of their music. Priceless. (Literally, priceless. The church doesn't charge choir members. If anything they're always looking for more people willing to commit to 4 hours of practice/mass per week.)

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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:

And to add that outside orchestras and music opportunities are very expensive, so you really are punishing the disadvantaged kids because if they want to have involvement with music, school is often it. So their choice is often music or no music, not music at school or music outside to boost GPA.

Right.

And the thing that I think is absurd is that it's not even necessary. Like, colleges are onto this disparity.

Of course, colleges are also interested in any students who can pay. And that's these students. But they still are going to have a leg up against all their wealthy peers if they can stand out by doing something else. It's just such a game from start to finish.

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Just now, Farrar said:

Right.

And the thing that I think is absurd is that it's not even necessary. Like, colleges are onto this disparity.

Of course, colleges are also interested in any students who can pay. And that's these students. But they still are going to have a leg up against all their wealthy peers if they can stand out by doing something else. It's just such a game from start to finish.


locally only kids we know who got into fancy schools via ED are full pay kids. Others were denied even though their records were no less impressive. Granted my sample size is small, and not all applied to same schools, but it says enough to me at least.

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8 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:


locally only kids we know who got into fancy schools via ED are full pay kids. Others were denied even though their records were no less impressive. Granted my sample size is small, and not all applied to same schools, but it says enough to me at least.

Yes! And now that craziness has colonized the state flagships too. They're so much more affordable than Ivyish schools that the parents that used to map out a route to Harvard are now mapping out how to get into that 6% guaranteed admission to UT. It's made high school so much more stressful for everyone. 

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Here, some of the students take algebra, geometry, and/or Spanish in middle school. Because they're high school courses, students begin their high school grades for class rank in middle school. That will allow students to take other courses, usually higher level like AP, sooner in high school. Our local high school offers AP Human Geography (and sometimes AP Spanish, depending on the student) to freshmen, but many more AP's are available as sophomores.

Also in our school, at least one of the valedictorians and salutatorians from the last 10 years have been band members, so even though the students may not receive extra points for being in the band, it clearly doesn't hold them back.

It's almost like a game to calculate the student's GPA and class rank. If they haven't taken at least one high school class in middle school, it's probably too late for them to be in the top 10% at our local school.

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4 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

Yes! And now that craziness has colonized the state flagships too. They're so much more affordable than Ivyish schools that the parents that used to map out a route to Harvard are now mapping out how to get into that 6% guaranteed admission to UT. It's made high school so much more stressful for everyone. 


Same in CA with disastrous results for everybody.

 

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

It's like these AP exams that are all over the place in terms of subject, this honor society, this instrument, this summer pay for play experience, this volunteering thing, this club that everyone else has done. Like, that probably exhausted that kid. But who even are they? What personality is in there? It's so cookie cutter.


THIS. I am convinced that pitching my kids, to good match schools, as the amazing people they are, with varied talents, skills and abilities (as I sold myself) is the best course. Good/great schools don’t need drones.

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37 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

Here, some of the students take algebra, geometry, and/or Spanish in middle school. Because they're high school courses, students begin their high school grades for class rank in middle school. That will allow students to take other courses, usually higher level like AP, sooner in high school. Our local high school offers AP Human Geography (and sometimes AP Spanish, depending on the student) to freshmen, but many more AP's are available as sophomores.

Also in our school, at least one of the valedictorians and salutatorians from the last 10 years have been band members, so even though the students may not receive extra points for being in the band, it clearly doesn't hold them back.

It's almost like a game to calculate the student's GPA and class rank. If they haven't taken at least one high school class in middle school, it's probably too late for them to be in the top 10% at our local school.


This is the norm here for competitive college admissions students and it does begin in MS. DS has chosen not to participate in FL next year b/c he wants to take home ec. (a decision. I support) but he can take a language, algebra and geometry for credit in MS if he wants to. The top 25% of kids do this. AP human geo is a 9th grade class. There are two offered for sophomores—biology and world history. On the flip side, this district also offers AP-level music and art classes.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I don't understand the all or nothing mentality.  Kids here are still able to take AP and other options as well.  There are 8 periods in the day if students are taking APs for their main subjects they can spread them out (not all have to be SR year maybe 1-3 sophomore through Jr year and up to 4 sr year)) then they still can take other electives.  They have to take 2 years of PE to graduate (even varsity athletes)  They also have to take two semesters of fine arts and a personal finance class that is required for graduation.  This still leaves room for other non weighted electives like language, music, culinary really whatever they want.  Everyone taking APs  is in the same boat with a mix of AP and otherwise.  

There are 2 levels of weighting.  The basic college prep classes are non-weighted.  Honors classes are weighted more heavily and and AP/ECE classes are weighted even more so.  ECE is what they call dual enrollment (we used to call them DE back in my day).  

 

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4 minutes ago, Library Momma said:

I don't understand the all or nothing mentality.  Kids here are still able to take AP and other options as well.  There are 8 periods in the day if students are taking APs for their main subjects they can spread them out (not all have to be SR year maybe 1-3 sophomore through Jr year and up to 4 sr year)) then they still can take other electives.  They have to take 2 years of PE to graduate (even varsity athletes)  They also have to take two semesters of fine arts and a personal finance class that is required for graduation.  This still leaves room for other non weighted electives like language, music, culinary really whatever they want.  Everyone taking APs  is in the same boat with a mix of AP and otherwise.  

There are 2 levels of weighting.  The basic college prep classes are non-weighted.  Honors classes are weighted more heavily and and AP/ECE classes are weighted even more so.  ECE is what they call dual enrollment (we used to call them DE back in my day).  

 


here honors courses are weighed same as AP. I was at first surprised and asked several kids. The answer was yes, honors is weighed at 5.0

So you take 5 APs and 2 honors and your year is all at 5.0 scale. 

Edited by Roadrunner

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6 minutes ago, Library Momma said:

I don't understand the all or nothing mentality.  Kids here are still able to take AP and other options as well.  There are 8 periods in the day if students are taking APs for their main subjects they can spread them out (not all have to be SR year maybe 1-3 sophomore through Jr year and up to 4 sr year)) then they still can take other electives.  They have to take 2 years of PE to graduate (even varsity athletes)  They also have to take two semesters of fine arts and a personal finance class that is required for graduation.  This still leaves room for other non weighted electives like language, music, culinary really whatever they want.  Everyone taking APs  is in the same boat with a mix of AP and otherwise.  

There are 2 levels of weighting.  The basic college prep classes are non-weighted.  Honors classes are weighted more heavily and and AP/ECE classes are weighted even more so.  ECE is what they call dual enrollment (we used to call them DE back in my day).  

 


We have THREE levels of weighting, AP/DE, honors and regular. The valedictorian and salutatorian will only choose the most challenging path for every subject (and appear indecisive as a result, IMO). I think the better path is to help kids navigate their options while ensuring they are emotionally healthy/balanced and prepared for adulthood in a variety of domains. Academics is one of many foci for us.

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2 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

And to add that outside orchestras and music opportunities are very expensive, so you really are punishing the disadvantaged kids because if they want to have involvement with music, school is often it. So their choice is often music or no music, not music at school or music outside to boost GPA.

That depends on location.  In my state, lessons are a required part of taking music at public school, so no lessons outside are required to acheive the grade level objectives.   I have not seen anyone go higher than All County though without private lessons here, but I have seen one of those students graduate and become employed as a professional musician with the Army Band program.  Since band does not start until middle school  in middle class schools, there are a few of students taking music privately beginning in elementary, basically students who live near a teacher or have a driver. In Title 1 schools, band and chorus start much earlier as they are funded from outside sources, including supplying instruments.  So, disadvantaged here is middle class....its sad.  These kid have to drive themselves to All County, while they watch the rest of the schools transport with actual school busses..if they can find someone to take Friday off to get them to rehearsal.  And if they want orchestra, they need to move to a Title 1 or wealthy district or study privately until they are old enough and skilled enough for private Youth Orchestra.

Edited by HeighHo

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15 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

That depends on location.  In my state, lessons are a required part of taking music at public school, so no lessons outside are required to acheive the grade level objectives.   I have not seen anyone go higher than All County though without private lessons here, but I have seen one of those students graduate and become employed as a professional musician with the Army Band program.  Since band does not start until middle school  in middle class schools, there are a few of students taking music privately beginning in elementary, basically students who live near a teacher or have a driver. In Title 1 schools, band and chorus start much earlier as they are funded from outside sources, including supplying instruments.  So, disadvantaged here is middle class....its sad.  These kid have to drive themselves to All County, while they watch the rest of the schools transport with actual school busses..if they can find someone to take Friday off to get them to rehearsal.  And if they want orchestra, they need to move to a Title 1 or wealthy district or study privately until they are old enough and skilled enough for private Youth Orchestra.


here outside orchestra requires a private lesson but not the school ones. School programs have given a jump start to a ton of talented kids who would have otherwise never picked up an instrument because they come from families who either don’t value music or can’t afford it. I have seen private teachers fight for scholarships for a couple of very uniquely talented kids from agricultural areas, but those are few and often gotten through the personal contact with foundations. It’s tough for poor kids when it comes to enrichment activities and music in particular. Sports team for a season here is under $300. That’s less than a cost of private lessons a month.

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3 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:


here outside orchestra requires a private lesson but not the school ones. School programs have given a jump start to a ton of talented kids who would have otherwise never picked up an instrument because they come from families who either don’t value music or can’t afford it. I have seen private teachers fight for scholarships for a couple of very uniquely talented kids from agricultural areas, but those are few and often gotten through the personal contact with foundations. It’s tough for poor kids when it comes to enrichment activities and music in particular. Sports team for a season here is under $300. That’s less than a cost of private lessons a month.

 That’s about what we see here. There’s a private music studio w/in walking distance of DSs middle school but most parents don’t use it. Instrument rental fees are $20/mo. or less. DDs cheer fees were also under $250 for fall and under $125 for winter. They also tell you, up front, that they can/will help families who need it.

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4 hours ago, Farrar said:

When I was a kid not only did the super competitive kids not do things like band because it wasn't weighted, they also put off their PE until final semester of senior year because it was the one thing you had to do that couldn't be weighted. So there would be this handful of kids going for valedictorian in doing like two or three periods of PE with all freshmen and their ivy league acceptances already in hand with their inflated class ranks. Sigh. Such bs.

It's the weighting that really does it. At a school I know of around here, kids who are seriously looking for a good rank won't do IB programs because fewer of the classes are weighted so you're never in contention, even though the program is just as rigorous.

 

There was a TedTalk about kids avoiding choir and band because of weighting back in 2013. I'm afraid the competitiveness has only gotten worse. 😞

 

 

This is why I vent so much about the demands college admissions and the culture that it has become. It's so frustrating to see kids work themselves to the point of exhaustion to stay a step ahead. It's the reason we're pushing more and more down to pre-k. Gotta get ahead. 

 

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4 hours ago, Roadrunner said:


here honors courses are weighed same as AP. I was at first surprised and asked several kids. The answer was yes, honors is weighed at 5.0

So you take 5 APs and 2 honors and your year is all at 5.0 scale. 


UC has a limit when calculating extra points for honors, AP and IB. Other universities probably don’t have a limit to boosting weighted GPA

Give yourself an extra point for each semester of a UC honors-level course, with a maximum of 8 points between 10th and 11th grades.

For California residents: 

  • Honors courses are Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IB HL) and designated Standard Level (IB SL) courses, UC-transferable college courses and UC-certified honors courses that appear on your school's course list.
  • For 10th grade, you cannot use more than 4 honors points.
  • Grades of D or F in an honors course do not earn an extra point.
  • Classes taken during the summer after 9th grade count as 10th grade; classes in summer after 10th grade count as 10th grade; classes in summer after 11th grade count as 11th grade.
  • One college course = one grade = one honors point.” https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/gpa-requirement.html
6 hours ago, chiguirre said:

The trick with schools like that private one that limits APs is that a student has to take the "most rigorous courses offered". If they don't offer APs, the student doesn't have to take them.


These private schools are usually well established and well known by college admissions. Many have guidance counselors that were working for colleges in admissions so the networking is there. Besides they have a smaller ratio of students to each guidance counselor.

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4 hours ago, Sneezyone said:


We have THREE levels of weighting, AP/DE, honors and regular. The valedictorian and salutatorian will only choose the most challenging path for every subject (and appear indecisive as a result, IMO). I think the better path is to help kids navigate their options while ensuring they are emotionally healthy/balanced and prepared for adulthood in a variety of domains. Academics is one of many foci for us.

That's what this school the dd goes to has- they are off a six point scale. 

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My kids took as many AP courses as they could. Part of it was a better GPA and higher class rank, but a big reason is that those were the classes with students who wanted to learn. There were few behavior problems (with perhaps the exception of cheating), projects that were more than busy work, and classes that moved at a faster pace all of which my kids preferred.

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:


UC has a limit when calculating extra points for honors, AP and IB. Other universities probably don’t have a limit to boosting weighted GPA

Give yourself an extra point for each semester of a UC honors-level course, with a maximum of 8 points between 10th and 11th grades.

For California residents: 

  • Honors courses are Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Higher Level (IB HL) and designated Standard Level (IB SL) courses, UC-transferable college courses and UC-certified honors courses that appear on your school's course list.
  • For 10th grade, you cannot use more than 4 honors points.
  • Grades of D or F in an honors course do not earn an extra point.
  • Classes taken during the summer after 9th grade count as 10th grade; classes in summer after 10th grade count as 10th grade; classes in summer after 11th grade count as 11th grade.
  • One college course = one grade = one honors point.” https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/admission-requirements/freshman-requirements/gpa-requirement.html


These private schools are usually well established and well known by college admissions. Many have guidance counselors that were working for colleges in admissions so the networking is there. Besides they have a smaller ratio of students to each guidance counselor.


mambo reading this correctly that the limitation is only on honors? So a kid can still do 4 honors and 3 AP courses in 10th and get 5.0, right?

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21 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

What do things look like where you are? 

At my son's early college charter, all college courses = honors = 4.7 GPA max

Any previous AP/IB courses were weighted as Honors once at the early college charter. 

They stopped ranking his senior year, but was 19 out of 215 his junior year. He graduated with a 4.387 GPA and 33.5 credits. They also changed how college courses are credited between his junior and senior year. They were 1 3 credit course = .5 high school credits. They changed it to equal 1 full high school credit. He made the presidents list at the community college and the high school. 

His final transcripts read:

Cumulative GPA (Unweighted) 3.687

Unweighted GPA (with Bonus Points) 4.387

There were 4 Valedictorians. 92 students had a GPA of 4.0 or higher.

This was a self-selected group though. They had to get out of all remedial college classes in order to graduate from there. But that still wasn't enough to get a scholarship at the local public U. I'm not bitter. 🤐

 

As far as my district goes, they are pushing more APs on students. While we have had some of the biggest gains in passing scores, many do not pass. Beginning with cohort 2021, there will be no GPA cap. GPA bonus points are weighted:      Honors = .25       IB = .50        AP = .50

Quote

Districtwide, there were more than 24,600 AP exams administered to 14,064 students during the 2017-18 school year. The pass rate was 49.5 percent, which is an increase of 2.3 percent from the 2016-17 school year. In addition to the increase in the pass rate, the district also saw increased pass rates among all of its subgroups.

 

 

PS I just now discovered if I highlight a section out of a previous post on my pc, I can quote selection super easy. I've been quoting the whole dang thing and then snipping it out!

Edited by Plum
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1 minute ago, Roadrunner said:


mambo reading this correctly that the limitation is only on honors? So a kid can still do 4 honors and 3 AP courses in 10th and get 5.0, right?


I am reading it as four honors points per year for 10th and 11th regardless of honors/AP/IB/DE. So 4 honors and 3 AP courses in 10th would net only four bonus points instead of seven for UC’s calculation, a 4.57 GPA instead of 5.0.

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42 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

That's what this school the dd goes to has- they are off a six point scale. 

 

I'll look again but I think ours is a 5.0 scale. Honors classes (including algebra, geometry and language in middle school max out at 4.5 and AP/DE are 5.0. Regular classes max out at 4.0.

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This thread is making me sad. I had no conception of this kind of a rat race in high school--kids choosing their schedule to maximize weighted courses etc.

I graduated from a small school, 64 kids in my senior class. I was working towards an IB diploma so most of my schedule was set by that but choir was the highlight of my day; it makes me sad to know that kids are missing out on things that bring joy and enrichment because they are chasing a class rank 😞

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40 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Double checked and found their grading online to confirm its 6.0  


The chart shows that dual enrollment gets less weight than AP. Also to max out the GPA, students would not only have to take 5 APs and 2 honors classes, but also need to max out his/her scores for those. 
My kid’s community college GPA is a 4.0 and I am happy they don’t use such nitty gritty details to determine the GPA. I know some schools give 4.3 for an A+ grade but that is still less nitty gritty than your friend’s child school. That chart is such a killjoy.

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38 minutes ago, Arcadia said:


The chart shows that dual enrollment gets less weight than AP. Also to max out the GPA, students would not only have to take 5 APs and 2 honors classes, but also need to max out his/her scores for those. 
My kid’s community college GPA is a 4.0 and I am happy they don’t use such nitty gritty details to determine the GPA. I know some schools give 4.3 for an A+ grade but that is still less nitty gritty than your friend’s child school. That chart is such a killjoy.

I went and looked up our district now and I’m even more confused, but more happy than ever that we have homeschooled through high school and I didn’t drop her back in here. Here’s our districts. Maybe one or y’all can explain it to me, LOL. 
 

725826DA-0049-4412-85DA-8A0313CEE536.thumb.jpeg.665dcdcf8396f6700b68c92bcb34ae30.jpeg

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That is thoroughly confusing. I just checked again for our area. It's .025 for honors and .05 for AP and (some) DE. 

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 9.59.14 PM.png

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

That is thoroughly confusing. I just checked again for our area. It's .025 for honors and .05 for AP and (some) DE. 

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 9.59.14 PM.png

Ok I’m glad it’s not only confusing me. I googled it out of curiousity and was very 😯 ?! I do not remember seeing anything about this when dd was in elementary or junior high here, but last year was 6th grade and now she’s a senior. Guess lots of things have changed. 

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4 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Ok I’m glad it’s not only confusing me. I googled it out of curiousity and was very 😯 ?! I do not remember seeing anything about this when dd was in elementary or junior high here, but last year was 6th grade and now she’s a senior. Guess lots of things have changed. 

 

Oh ya, that's definitely weird. I've never seen anything like it.

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DH dropped band in middle school and took unweighted classes either in night school or summer school where he could take them pass/fail. At the time, class valedictorian got full tuition to any state U in FL, plus additional scholarship opportunities, and he felt it was his best chance to go to college at all. He graduated high school in 1989. 

DD's GPA is weighted much less than it would be had she taken the exact same classes at a public high school. I'm trying not to worry about it.

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