Columnist discusses fairness and GPA weighting
By Katie Zhao, ’19
In the rush of scheduling, some things become apparent.
With the difficulties of higher-level classes like Symphony Orchestra and Journalism III: Arlingtonian, it can be detrimental to some students to have a beloved (but unweighted) class pull down their GPA.
After struggling through the first two journalism classes, I finally reached Journalism III. All in all, the coursework and preparation was more rigorous than even Honors SLC and Biology. Yet, I still debated whether I should drop Journalism III in favor of a weighted class.
Obviously I didn’t, considering I’m typing this out right now. However, I do know friends who quit a favorite class because it would bring down their GPA too much. Another option, of course, is to take a study hall in lieu of an unweighted class. That brings the question: why should a study hall give a higher GPA than a class?
Currently unweighted courses should be reevaluated on at least two criteria: workload and prerequisites. If work and time dedication are comparable to other honors classes, the course should be considered for weighting. Number of prerequisites should also factor in. Since our periods in the day are limited, courses should reward students for continuous study.
Weighting classes according to prerequisites and difficulty level allows us to have more freedom in choosing classes we are genuinely interested in. Also, for academically-rigorous students, this could be the difference between a class pulling down or boosting their cumulative GPA.
There is a way to change this. Concerned students can propose a weighting to the Research and Development Lab. Later, they can present their idea to a committee of counselors and administrators for honors consideration.
While GPA is still an arbitrary indicator of success, more weighted classes can at least ease the minds of our parents and colleges.