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Old 11-17-2007, 10:03 AM
hyde hyde is offline
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Default I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior


All these posts about life and parenting have had me thinking.
and last night I ran into a situation that drives me to rant.

High school senior, a bright girl, youngest and from a professional family. Has a lock on being Valdictorian for her class.
Come to find out that since freshman year she has taken basic college prep courses, not a single AP course for which she has the capacity. Her goal since freshman year has been to finish top of the class. Her parents support this goal. The school board and the guidance department do not support weighted scores for AP classwork.
Needless to say the next five students in the class have taken all the AP classes they could. AND ARE A BIT MIFFED that she has taken the easy path to the goal. So she has few friends in school and states she doesn't really care. One might say she lacks warmth.
So on the ride home I get to ranting about the situation and conclude that:
The school has done the other students a disservice by not weighting AP classes.
Her parents have done her a disservice by not insisting she work to her capabilities. They had an opportunity to instill character and did not.
She has done herself a disservice by not acquiring the knowledge available to her.
The additional knowledge that she did not acquire would have served her well in her next level of schooling.
Bottom line is she has sacrificed so much for a goal of being the best, but it is the best of the lowest level. Her next level of education will be that much harder because of this.
She is the Barry Bonds of class ranking, she deserves an asterisk on the program. ( OK, maybe a bit harsh for a high school kid, but her parents deserve a KITN).

end/rant.

oh, and sorry about the BBV title titillation on the post..
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:53 AM
tarheeljks tarheeljks is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

my school, and i assume most schools in general, weight ap courses more heavily, so it was impossible to be a top ranked student w/o taking ap courses. even so, there were similar gripes in my high school, except it was about kids taking the easier ap courses. my school system offered ~20 ap courses (not sure of the exact number), so there was some gpa buffering with vanilla ap classes. there were a few students in my high school class who had taken more difficult courses than our valedictorian, but our goal wasn't to be the valedictorian. i feel like this is a pretty common scenario and the students who have taken a stronger course load should take solace in having better preparation for college.

[ QUOTE ]
Bottom line is she has sacrificed so much for a goal of being the best, but it is the best of the lowest level. Her next level of education will be that much harder because of this.
She is the Barry Bonds of class ranking, she deserves an asterisk on the program. ( OK, maybe a bit harsh for a high school kid, but her parents deserve a KITN).

[/ QUOTE ]

true, but it's her prerogative. i'm sure she's aware that she could have been better prepared for college by taking a stronger course load, but college preparation wasn't her only goal. it's ridiculous that the school doesn't weight ap courses, but given that it doesn't, the girl hasn't done anything wrong and hasn't hurt anyone. she is not the best student, but she has the best grades,

also where is she going to college? our valedictorian was no slouch, but there were people from my high school class who got into better schools

edit: i should say attended better schools, b/c i don't know the schools that accepted her, only the one she attended.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2007, 12:29 PM
andyfox andyfox is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

Would like to PM you, your box is full.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:39 PM
Exsubmariner Exsubmariner is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

For a second, I thought this was a post about how you would soon be going to jail.

After reading it, I realized that this girl already understands about life that a lot of people don't get until they have hurt themselves because they don't get it. That is, life is about tradeoffs. She has traded having to pay for college courses later on for making the best grades and beating out all the other college course takers who are having to work harder. Then again, the exceptional grades in high school might open up the doors for scholarships that otherwise may not be available without them. Since her family apparently has money, the college tuition isn't really a concern for her, anyway.

I think the other kids are miffed because they don't get that they traded college credit and not having to take courses later for being runner up to Miss Prissy Pants.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:18 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

Can't really fault anyone for playing a system that's in place, either. You rarely get any rewards for doing things in the way that will make other people look better, at a sacrifice to yourself. And you can get trapped into a really bad way of living and poor outcomes that way, too.

On another note, I've never even heard of weighing AP classes. How nice that you folks even consider that an option that is or should be standard. In my high school, it was more like, Ya pays ya money and ya takes ya chances.

Of course, that was not a place where the faculty really gave a damn if anyone went to college or not.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:55 PM
DLizzle DLizzle is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

i don't think anyone will disagree with OP's rant, its an obviously bad system. Girl is not really much at fault though her actions are not very honourable either. She is basically throwing away a better HS experience for some accolade, (is accolade a good word here, i've never used it in a sentence?) but has her reasons for doing it.

On another note, the valedictorian of my HS class was chosen by student vote, the only qualification being an 80%+ average in the University prep courses (highest level). I like this system, making HS about being top of your class markswise seems bad to me. Of course being the valedictorian is more of an honour and a chance to represent classmates, not a scholarship opportunity. I like my school's system.


PS the title of this thread is very misleading
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2007, 04:31 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

I don't like your school's system at all. There's already the prom king and prom queen for that, not to mention the entirety of the rest of high school. Your school's system basically makes the distinction of being valedictorian meaningless.

And 80% average is enough to qualify? Not impressive on that front either.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2007, 07:15 PM
Rootabager Rootabager is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

you cant really hate on this girl for playing the system.

I cant think of a way to make it fair. Just changing it so that grades are weighted wont change anything either. If you are offering a wide variety of AP courses then you could just take the easier classes.

Our school had weighted gpa but some AP classes were obviously easier than others. AP english was a great class and everyone learned alot but everyone usually made an A or a B. Others like calculus was alot harder.

Who teaches the class makes such a big difference, that it makes it hard for any system to be fair.


You can get alot of scholarships too by being the valedictorian, maybe that's why she did it. And even if her parents could afford to send her to school, it's nice to not have to pay 50k or whatever.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2007, 07:18 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

Yeah. That's even cheap by today's standards, when you add everything up.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2007, 07:58 PM
hyde hyde is offline
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Default Re: I met a girl last night, she is a high school senior

[ QUOTE ]
you cant really hate on this girl for playing the system.



[/ QUOTE ]

I am not hating her. I just think her goal was shortsighted. And I understand a high school freshman has very short sight. I struggle with the parents not wanting their freshman child to go for the most and best education available.
And I struggle with the system being so playable. I think AP classes should carry more weight. Yes there may be easier classes than others within the AP, good teachers and bad teachers in both groups, but it would still be fairer. There are gut courses everywhere but I see value in weighting.
And I think gambling four years of education for the scholarships is a bad gamble. One bad semester and one of the five kids behind her might have overtaken top spot. Then she has no top spot and is missing the knowledge that was available to her.

I found out a little more info today.
She is the youngest of 5 kids. The other four were all in top 5 of the class. Two took AP classes, two did not. There might well be a family dynamic in play.
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