Opinion: Gretna Should Weigh Classes

A More Fair System For All


Graphic by Nick Goblirsch.

Imagine a straight-A student, aspiring to be something prestigious in the STEM field. This student is taking difficult classes and maxing out their schedule with dual credit classes. Now, imagine another student who occupied their schedule with the lowest graduation requirements and filled every elective with a study hall. The straight-A student did not quite get straight-As, because the classes were harder, and they ended up with a GPA of 3.5. The other student got a 4.0 because they did the bare minimum to graduate high school.
It does not make sense that every class is weighted the same. Some classes are more difficult than others, and that is a fact. Art Foundations is easier than Calculus II. I am not saying that any class is inherently more valuable than another or that someone is smarter just because they took one class and not a different one; however, the grading scale punishes those who take those harder classes by weighing every class equally. Colleges should take a holistic approach to admissions, and scholarships should take a holistic approach to awarding money. Holisticity means nothing if one is denied an opportunity because of some underlying factor such as GPA.
For example, if a scholarship requires a student to have a 3.8 GPA in order to be considered to receive the award, a student who took harder classes is disallowed the ability to apply to that scholarship because the harder classes they took are seen as equal to every other class offered at the school. This is simply not fair to the student. Without the scholarship committee even looking at what classes the students take, they are already deemed unworthy to receive the money because their GPA is not high enough. Even if the student with a 4.0 does not get it, they were still able to apply.
A solution to this would be having two GPAs during high school, a weighted and unweighted one. Teachers, counselors and administrators could have meetings to determine how every class should be weighted. The weighted GPA would be on a 5.0 scale, so if a student took harder classes and received good grades, it could be higher than a 4.0. This way, if something requires an unweighted GPA it can still be given, but for every other circumstance a weighted one would be more fair to everyone.