By the students, for the students. We want to be relatable, and we want to accurately represent the students of HISD. Anyone can submit – see the sidebar to learn how. Powered by the HISD Student Congress.
Since my elementary school years, I looked forward to being on the swim team in high school. I watched my sister attend meets, win awards, and have a great time with an amazingly supportive and fun-loving team. Knowing that I would soon be in her place made the daunting inevitability of becoming a high schooler slightly less terrifying.
However, as I came to realize during 8th grade, joining the swim team wouldn’t be as simple as I had imagined.
Before I even entered high school, I was introduced to the world of GPA, weighted classes, and class ranking, a harsh reality to face after the safe haven of middle school.
Coming from a stereotypically Chinese family, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to take any unnecessary 4.0 classes. Eventually, I figured out what this meant: my dream of becoming a successful high school swimmer was over. Many of my friends are in the same situation as I, unable to take a class they’re passionate about solely because the class is a 4.0 that would be detrimental to their GPA.
The system of weighted classes discourages students from pursuing their talents and interests because for many of us, GPA is too crucial to be weighted down by classes worth 4 points. Instead, we’re encouraged to take more 5 point classes that we aren’t necessarily interested in. As Lynn from the previous post entitled “Carnegie: Beyond the Numbers”, states, “Some of us are barely passing subjects without understanding the curriculum… just to make ourselves into a good GPA for an education system that continues to look at students as numbers. The decision to cut down on electives, if put into place, would only reinforce that fact: that instead of humans, we’ve become numbers, statistics, facts.”
This is why I think a system of GPA exemption should be introduced. It would encourage students to pursue what they enjoy doing, instead of encouraging them to fill their schedules with rigorous 5.0s that they might not even have interest in, with the sole purpose of improving their GPAs.