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Electing Out

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Elective courses have run the gamut of importance. Once a core part of a student’s course load, then used as a way to boost a GPA, electives are now, in some school districts, being eliminated from GPAs entirely. A Texas school district will vote Monday to determine whether or not to include elective courses in students' GPAs. The reason? Overachieving students are avoiding taking classes that don’t receive as many points toward a weighted GPA. Under the proposed plan, elective grades would be shown on a transcript, but only the four core subjects and two years of a foreign language would be used to calculate a student’s GPA. "It breaks my heart if a student says, 'I'm not going to take band because it will hurt me,'" said T.J. Theisen, a district assistant superintendent. "Then you know you've got to step back and say, 'We really need to think this through.'" Darrell Muncy, a principal in another Texas school district that is already using the new scoring system, found that no-credit electives have helped alleviate student pressure without undermining performance.

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By taking away the potential damage to a students GPA, you have taken away a students motivation to do well in the class. As an elective teacher, I find this train of thought foreboding in that what then is going to motivate a student to do well in the class and may cause behavioral problems down the road. I mean, if a student knows the class doesn't mean anything, what is to stop them from being disruptive, when they know there are no consequences?

WHAH!!!!!!Since when do Americans back down from a challenge! This is not a good way to prepare these students for college or the work force. I'm quite sure an employer is not going to pay you the same salary when you continually walk away from a challenging project. In fact, you will get overlooked for any type of promotion if you don't get fired first. Stop mollycoddling these kids! Some of the most challenging classes I ever attended in high school I ELECTED to take. Not only did I learn the subject, but I also learned something about myself. To face a challenge and to overcome it is an important life-long lesson.

You are kidding, right? Band, gym, art HURTING a student GPA is a major issue? In Georgia we didn't count them because they tend to INFLATE the GPA. I teach elective courses as well, and in high school most kids are in these classes (with, perhaps, the exception of gym) because they WANT to be. Even if it is an elective in literature or the hard sciences the student opted to take the class and so the grade should count towards academic standing. I would love to know what research they have in Texas that supports this foolish idea.

A huge part of the academic day in the state of Texas are athletics. I have taught in 5 states, and only Texas has had a full period devoted to sports. Thus, one can see where the emphasis of education is in the state of Texas, unfortunately.

NJ: these kids are taking weighted classes (like AP classes) instead of electives, because an "A" counts more in those than in electives.

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  • Lee: NJ: these kids are taking weighted classes (like AP classes) read more
  • Devon Lee: A huge part of the academic day in the state read more
  • NJ: You are kidding, right? Band, gym, art HURTING a student read more
  • Anonymous: WHAH!!!!!!Since when do Americans back down from a challenge! This read more
  • Steve: By taking away the potential damage to a students GPA, read more

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