Letter: Grade Weighting Motivates, Rewards Students

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Many parents and students would like to see the honors course grade-weight policy reinstated.

The board voted 3-2 in 2016 to pull honors course weight from all except maybe one or two classes. The information offered at the presentation on the night of Feb. 9, 2016 was loosely based on managing student stress levels, students gaming the system for class rank, creating an equal playing field for all students, and choosing a standard by which to align our honors level courses (UC).

We combed through the data trying understand that fateful evening and how the data was used to make their decision. What we have found are a lot more questions than answers. Questions concerning the UC standards for an honors course – are our existing honors courses approved by UC? If they are not now, were they ever UC approved? Why were classes considered rigorous enough and given weight but now suddenly need a standard and therefore are unweighted? How does the board intend to ensure that this standard will be implemented from here on out? Will they reinstate the weight after the UC standard is applied since the weight will be sanctioned by UC and is already accepted by private and other non-UC schools?

Laguna Beach High School is a public school, not an elite, private academy. We may have a good reputation amongst colleges, but we cannot compare with small, exclusive, private high schools that impose a vigorous application and testing process just to gain entry to the school. These elite schools don’t need to weight anything because colleges already know that all students have been vetted as high performers and achievers. LBHS on the other hand, must provide a comprehensive offering for all types of students and above all, we must provide every opportunity for students to thrive and excel.

I have two children that have graduated and have gone on to a great school. They had the benefit of weighted honors course grading and acknowledge that the rigorous honors courses offered at the high school helped prepare them for the rigors of college. Allowing the grade weight motivates students to take academic risks and seek a challenge without worrying that it will affect their overall GPA. GPA does matter. Standardized test scores also matter (look at all the expensive programs out there for students taking the ACT and SAT). It all matters.

Amy Kramer, Laguna Beach

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1 COMMENT

  1. The School Board seems to be heavily populated with Neo-Marxists (they call themselves “Progressives” during this chapter of history). It would appear that, true to form, they would prefer that everyone slow down for the slowest guy or girl in the room. Equal treatment is not enough for them as their political party swings far to the Left. They want equal outcomes.

    Watch carefully, now that the radical Left wing organization called the ADL has successfully penetrated our school district. It might not be long before they introduce what is called “Drag Queen Story Hour” wherein people suffering from Gender Dysphoria come to “educate” 5 and 6 year olds about sexuality and to convince them that there are more than two genders.

    This is already happening in school districts and libraries all over California and around the country. In Texas it was discovered that one of the cross-dressers who came to read books about sexuality to small children was a convicted child rapist.

    The ADL is behind much of this and have already been welcomed into our school district.

    We must all pay close attention. Your article scratches at the surface of a much bigger problem.

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