Eye of the Tiger

Unweighted Pre-Calc prevents fair rank

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(VIKTORIA BARR/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(VIKTORIA BARR/EYE OF THE TIGER)

(VIKTORIA BARR/EYE OF THE TIGER)

CAM MEDRANO

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I have what most consider a “grade obsession.” And if you take a look around RHS, you’ll find that this sanity-reducing ailment affects an abundance of other poor, unfortunate souls. I realize it probably isn’t the healthiest thing for me, but what can I say, I grew up with it and I haven’t been able to cure it. Perhaps it was all of those participation awards from elementary school that forever infected my scholastic ego. Nonetheless, I haven’t been able to shake off this disease in my extensive one and a half years of high school. I’ve officially come to terms that this condition of mine isn’t going anywhere — it’s just who I am.

Now, imagine my dismay, in all of my try-hard glory, when I found out Honors Pre-Calculus would no longer be considered a weighted course. It seemed as if I was having flashbacks to the fall term when the CILT team announced college courses would no longer grant students the weighted grade most students taking the classes expected. But I get it, allow the same opportunities for all students, ensure rigorous weighted courses, the typical district response to decisions such as these.

However, the concept of “equal opportunities” is thrown away when you consider the negatives of the Honors Pre-Calc decision. How is it fair that my peers who take the class prior to the 2018-19 school year will receive a weighted grade when I won’t? It shouldn’t matter what year I decide to take a class if the content remains the same. If a student taking the class this term receives a B in the class, they would receive the same outcome as a student who were to manage to score an A next year — a huge grade gap with absolutely no consequence.

It makes sense that eliminating the weight of college courses applied to the grades that had yet to enroll in those classes. This ensures that no student is at an advantage compared to the rest of their class – a great example for encouraging equal opportunities.

It doesn’t make sense that a weighted grade will no longer to apply to Pre-calculus beginning next school year. This ensures that a student who takes the class this year is at an advantage among their graduating class – a poor example that encourages utilizing class rank to pit students against one another.

And, while college courses are not accessible to every student at RHS, anyone with the drive to take Honors Pre-Calc on campus had every opportunity to do so, so the previous system did allow the equal opportunity the new policy now lacks.

Of course, the district has recognized that students such as I will be concerned about “losing” a weighted grade. And yes, while one weighted course isn’t going to be the most pivotal aspect in my GPA, it’s the reasoning behind this that truly gets to me. According to assistant superintendent Jess Borjon, since other school districts don’t offer weighted classes and their students are accepted into prestigious schools, it’s okay for Honors Pre-Calc to no longer receive weighted credit.

This reasoning comes across as a logical fallacy. I don’t see how the comparison can be drawn. If a school district separate from ours doesn’t weigh courses, why must RJUHSD follow in their tracks?

If RJUHSD thinks so highly of districts that don’t apply weighted credit, what’s the point of weighted class rank? After all, why not reward the students pursuing extra courses of math what is required? If I, a sophomore, can take the class next year and receive the same grade as a sophomore taking the class this term then I should earn the same amount of credit.

Honors Pre-Calc at RHS has a reputation of being as rigorous as most AP classes and even if class enrollment doesn’t experience a dramatic decrease, student morale will. Students in prior years would go the extra mile to earn a grade bump and now we’re expected to do the same demanding work as before without the same benefits. So much for student equality.

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