Letter: GPA Matters, Reinstate Honors Grade Weighting

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Why should Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) take away a student’s right to present themselves in the best possible way for their college applications? We all know there is a lot of stress around college. Why would LBUSD take away the right of the student to have the best GPA possible?

LBUSD has changed their GPA policy effective with this year’s junior class (Class of 2020) and after. Some 2019 seniors were required to sit in class with students that were eligible for Honors Algebra 2 grade bump, but they were not. Same class, same curriculum, same teacher, same testing.

The prior administration under Superintendent Sherine Smith made several poor decisions. Math pathways was another one. The public cried out and after a lot of effort, the math pathway has been fixed. Thank you to all that were involved on both sides. Were students hurt and disadvantaged in the interim? Yes. The school board policy implemented under Sherine Smith also removed the Honors GPA grade weighting (bump) starting with Class of 2020. This takes away the students right to the grade bump, which results in a higher weighted GPA. This impacts college acceptance, merit money awards (free money), scholarships and adds more stress to our students.

All colleges recalculate GPA, so why not let the college figure out how they want the GPA calculated? Colleges accept kids with higher GPAs because it makes their statistics look better. Do neighboring school districts provide honors grade bump? Yes, they do. Have other districts in California removed the grade bump? Yes, some have, but some have now reinstated the grade bump policy. Newport Mesa, Saddleback, Capistrano, Irvine, Orange and others give students a grade bump for Honors Courses.

We are appealing to current superintendent, Jason Viloria, to fix the problem the prior administration created. Give the students back their right. We are all counting on you. Sign our petition to promote this topic at change.org—search LBHS.


Terri Meisberger, Laguna Beach

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