Weighted GPA’s: a Heavy Topic

AVID students lead the way in promoting the idea of weighted GPA in CPS

Madalynn Owens, Yearbook Editor

People who work more stressful jobs often get paid more than those with a less stressful or less demanding job. Many people believe this system should be expanded past the real world and into high school; this system is called weighted GPAs.

Currently, Battle High School does not weight student’s GPAs. This means that students taking AP or honors courses are not given the “extra credit” in their GPA. For example, an A in AP calculus is the same in a GPA as an A in geometry. All students at Battle are graded the same, on a 4.0 scale, whether you have a course load full of AP and honors classes or if you stick to the regular high school courses.

Many students at Battle, no matter what grade they are in, have strong opinions on weighted GPAs. Brandon Adeshakin, freshman, agrees that Battle should weight GPAs. Brandon says that “people who take AP and honors classes are doing more challenging work and shouldn’t be compared on the same level as someone who doesn’t take as challenging of courses.”

Even some teachers and faculty at Battle agree that weighting student’s grade point averages would be a smart idea. Mr. Huck teaches many seniors at Battle and thinks that having the more challenging classes worth more would be a positive incentive for students, and without that extra motivation, many students may be turned away from the more demanding courses offered at Battle. Mrs. Pingrey, Media Center specialist, is also in favor of weighted GPAs as it encourages students to step out of their comfort zone of classes they know that they can pass with little effort.

On the other hand, there are students who don’t agree with a weighted GPA system. They fear that because they do not take an AP or honors class that their GPA would suffer due to the new system. Mrs. Kramme says that she does not agree with weighting student’s grades because she doesn’t want the kids who struggle with regular courses to have their GPA affected. Garrick Stoker, a senior, says that he has never taken an AP class so he doesn’t want to advocate for weighted GPAs, but he doesn’t think they would be a bad idea.

Kylie Rifkin, a Battle High School AVID student, explains that having a weighted GPA system would not hurt those not taking AP or honors courses. Regular high school courses would still be graded on a 4.0 scale, honors courses on a 4.5 scale, and AP courses on a 5.0 scale. Kylie is also a part of a campaign led by AVID students to bring this new system to Battle. During an AVID meeting, members talked about how hard AP and honors classes are and how GPAs do not reflect this difficulty. This campaign has a petition with around 270 signatures of people that would like to start weighted grades at Battle.

There is an AVID meeting in April that Dr. Stepielman will be attending, where the people involved in the weighted grades campaign will talk about the pros and cons with the Superintendent. Hopefully he will then talk to the school board to make progress on having weighted grades in Columbia Public Schools.