i already posted it at flashdaddee, too... so sue me.
anyway, i'd like advice on how to improve this in any way. please don't hold back.
Westfield High School is unique in many ways, and not always for the better.
Most high schools have 4.0 GPAs, including the Westfield Vocational High school. Our high school GPA system is based on a 5.0 scale.
Before 1990, our GPA system was simple. Every A grade translated to a 4, every B to a 3, and so on. To accomidate honors classes, the school administration asked computer experts to design a new GPA. The 5.0 system was born.
Unfortunately, this system has a few problems. Due to the way of calculating GPAs (which can be found in your handbook) there are huge gaps between letter grades.
Our GPA system uses multipliers. The higher the letter grade, the bigger the multiplier. This multiplier makes it certain that any difference in high grades is much bigger than a difference in low grades. The difference between an 95 and an 96 is twice as much as the difference between a 75 and 76. Lower grades tend to slump toward the bottom, making your actual grade higher than your GPA says it is.
In a regular class, an 89 would result in a 3.56 GPA. A 90 in the same class is a 4.5 GPA. There are similar gaps after every letter grade.
It also forces students, colleges, and teachers to mentally translate our GPA into the standard 4.0 GPA. Our 5.0 GPA isn't simply an enlarged 4.0 GPA: it's computed differently, making any comparison between the two impossible.
Dan Reed, a high school senior involved in the Sept. 11 movie project, has set his sights on our GPA system. He aims to change everything back to the 4.0 GPA many other high schools are using.
This project started off in Mr. Shepardson's AP Government class last year. After speaking with the principal and doing some research, he made a few presentations on it to students.
Soon he hopes to make a presentation to the School Committee. Right now the project is suspended, but it will pick up after the Christmas break when he has enough free time.
If our GPA system is so flawed, why hasn't it been changed already?
* It's expensive and difficult to change every kid's GPA. Doing so requires access to their grades for their previous high school years. These grades are kept archived and aren't easily accessable.
* Avoiding that problem would require the school to work with two entirely seperate GPA systems, which would cause even more headaches.
* There isn't a great deal of concern on this issue. This article hopes to inform everybody about the potential problems.
* Many teachers don't know this is a problem. They assume the difference between an 89 and a 90 is the same as the difference between an 81 and an 82.