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ygfperson
10-03-2002, 08:30 PM
i already posted it at flashdaddee, too... so sue me. :D

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?
Obstacles:
* 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.

BMJ
10-03-2002, 09:12 PM
just out of curiosity, are your multipliers:

x1.0 Normal
x1.2 Advanced
x1.4 Honors

?

ygfperson
10-03-2002, 09:47 PM
it goes like this:

say you get an 89 in a class. an 89 is a B. here are the multipliers for a normal course: (honors/ap courses are plus one, remedial are minus one)
A 5
B 4
C 3
D 2
F 1

89 == B, therefore
0.89 * 4 * 1 (full year course, 1 credit) == 3.56

you get a 90 in another class:
0.90 * 5 * 1 == 4.5

these grades are averaged in with your other 6 or so classes to get your term GPA.

see the discrepancy?

anyway... i'm asking for literary input, not technical input. is it easy to read?

BMJ
10-03-2002, 09:50 PM
Well I just got home from 3 hours of Philosophy giving a presentation of St. Bonaventura; proceeding my 2 hour CS class; proceeding my 10 hour work day; proceeding my waking up at 4:00am... and preceeding my waking up at 4:00am tomorrow :(

In conclusion...... I'M OUTTA HERE!

Cshot
10-03-2002, 10:20 PM
That system is whacked. That's probably why colleges give diff GPA's for an A versus an A- (4.0 versus a 3.7 for those who don't have the system)

Eibro
10-03-2002, 10:30 PM
Easy to read, yes.

A few suggestions to make it a little easier:
Less sentance fragmentation.
More whitespace between paragraphs.

TechWins
10-04-2002, 12:02 AM
That's pretty good, especially since I was compelled enough to read the whole article, which is pretty damn amazing considering how tired I am right now.

However, you could work on adding more persuasive content towards the end. You primarily only have factual information; try to add so more persuasion into the argument.:)

RoD
10-04-2002, 05:33 PM
You need a conclusion that gets away from the facts a little and says "look this is your problem too and you need to fix it."

without being too demanding let them know something needs to be done and make them feel as tho they are empowerd to do something.

salvelinus
10-04-2002, 07:36 PM
Two years from now no one will give a rat's ass about your HS GPA. But it will influence your college admission now. Huh.
You can try to convince school officials to change it, but good luck, and it'll take 'em a year or two if they do.
I'd include a letter to college admission boards explaining the discrepancy (if it affects you). If not, don't mention it.
You could make a cause about it, if you want. It's patently unfair, but whether most people will understand or care is a gamble.

ygfperson
10-04-2002, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by salvelinus
Two years from now no one will give a rat's ass about your HS GPA. But it will influence your college admission now. Huh.
You can try to convince school officials to change it, but good luck, and it'll take 'em a year or two if they do.
I'd include a letter to college admission boards explaining the discrepancy (if it affects you). If not, don't mention it.
You could make a cause about it, if you want. It's patently unfair, but whether most people will understand or care is a gamble.
true... but i'm not the one doing the changing. Dan Reed is. i'm just writing the article.

i agree, i should make it more emotional, and emphasize the problems. i guess i'll do that during the editing process.