Lack of CC exacerbates issue of class rank




As a sophomore, I will soon leave the realm where a million students all rank at number one with a 4.0 GPA – and though I know it is above a first world problem, it pains me to think I might be one of those students watching my class rank slipping precariously down the class rank ladder to obscurity.

But, my freshman self, seeing this conundrum, plotted out all the courses I would take in school to determine which ones I could replace with those at Sierra College. Little did I know all my punctilious planning would become null the minute the district decided to remove weighted credit for community college courses.

Don’t get me wrong, district, love what you’re trying to do there. Provide everyone with equal opportunity, ensure that courses that allot weighted credit are actually difficult, yada yada. Both are valiant goals and I would applaud the effort if I wasn’t left trying to collect the shattered bits and pieces of my plans off the floor.

But if I respect the effort, and could use a little less competitive pressure before I spontaneously combust, is this really that bad? Oh wait, this change does not come with the elimination of class rank, meanwhile colleges are still taking into consideration the extremely unreliable measure of GPA? Well, then, back to spontaneously combusting it is.

While everyone might have equal opportunities to take weighted courses, not everyone has the same ability to take the weighted courses they are interested in. For instance, let’s take the people who are interested in math and science versus those who value language and the humanities.

My mathematically inclined friends have signed their names up for the AP history and English courses, despite their lack of interest in the topic. Why? If they have to take an English or history class anyway, might as well get college credit and a grade bump thrown in there to top it all off.

Now, I would love to adopt this mindset, and I comprehend math well enough to take a more advanced course. But all of them are more akin to electives; rather than standing in for an easier class, they take up an extra spot in my schedule. I can’t make that same easy trade-off, but am faced with the matter of deciding which is more important – my learning experience or my competitive drive. Sadly, in this day in age, the answer is not quite so black and white.

With the quick fix to this issue – taking any course you can’t squeeze in your schedule at a community college ripped out of our desperate hands, we are forced to cram any AP classes into our meager eight courses a year.

But no, you say, you can also take courses at Sierra without the grade bump. Yes, yes I can, and would if I would not earn more credit taking them here. If I find any CP classes I can ditch in favor of a college one, count me in, but otherwise I’m out of options.

If you continue to stack people up against each other in such an unreliable way as class rank, students will lose the value of their courses.

Some day people need to learn that community college courses aren’t the issue – a system that will place even someone with over a difficult-to-attain 4.0 far down on the totem pole is.