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Why HISD Should Have GPA Exemptions


Credits to

Credits to

Anonymous, 2019

Dear HISD,


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.



2 comments on “Why HISD Should Have GPA Exemptions

  1. Carnegie Kid
    August 25, 2015

    I don’t think you understand the purpose of weighted classes. The intention of having weighted classes isn’t to punish those who aren’t taking AP/Honors classes. The intention is to reward those who take more rigorous courses. In reality, unless you want to be the valedictorian at your school, chances are you can afford to take a 4 point class. I think it’s more of an issue at home that you need to solve. Convince your parents to let you take a 4 point class. Get higher grades in all your other classes to compensate. It is definitely possible to be in the top 5% at any school in HISD even with taking an athletic period every year. Say Person A and Pearson B took the same courses except Person A took AP Physics C and Person B took baseball. Why should person B have the same GPA as person A? How is that fair?

  2. annonymous
    November 13, 2015

    I understand your point about it being unfair to give them the same GPA, but does EVERY class really need to count for a student’s GPA?
    I think that 5.0 classes should count towards a student’s GPA, but a student should be able to take the classes that they want.
    Students should take classes such as orchestra without having to fear for their GPA, but all classes required for graduation should count towards a student’s GPA.
    A fair policy would count the basic requirements for graduation plus a percentage of electives, such that a person who takes more than the required electives can have a mix between 5.0 and 4.0 electives, but the students’ GPA would not drop because of the 4.0 classes. It is unfair for a student to not have the opportunity to partake in the electives that they want, since school’s purpose is intended for learning.

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2015 by and tagged , .

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