In 2013, Mountain Crest High School honored 36 valedictorians, 7 percent of the class. Schools all over are experiencing high rates of 4.0 students. Too many are receiving grades they didn't earn.
Students have not grown smart enough to match the increase in GPAs. The reasoning behind the good grades is pressure on teachers. Students are convinced that they have a right to an A. Parents believe their child must be an A student. This results in classes requiring minimum effort to achieve an A.
Our children suffer. When everyone receives an A, there is no reward. A student who easily maintains a 4.0 in high school enters college assuming they can retake tests, earn extra credit and turn in assignments late. They haven’t learned to read textbooks, take notes or study, yet they graduate a “perfect” student.
Another issue is deciphering who is on top. Not only do the top students receive little recognition in high school; their college opportunities are diminished. USU requires 4.0 students to have a 31 on the ACT to receive a presidential scholarship, a score that was once several points lower. This is a reflection of higher grades, not ACT scores, putting thousands of dollars in scholarships on the line when taking a test.
Schools should weigh classes. A student can take P.E. classes and have their 4.0, while those who dedicate themselves will receive an even higher GPA. It would be a start to making a C average and an A actually worth something.