Friendswood ISD board to vote on dropping class ranking for most students
Friendswood ISD trustees are poised to vote on a proposal to eliminate class ranking.
The vote, scheduled for June 10, comes after a three-month evaluation process in which a committee studied other district and state polices and college admission practices.
The report stated that half of all high schools have eliminated class because of determinations that ranking doesn’t reflect students’ full academic achievement, discourages students from enrolling in classes of interest because they do not carry weight on a GPA and gives colleges a fraction of a students’ academic record.
The district’s 24-member Class Rank Research Committee, comprised of students, parents, teachers, counselors and administrators, saw that Westlake High School in Austin experienced a 38 percent increase in acceptance of its students to the University of Texas and a 49 percent increase of acceptance to Texas A&M University after eliminating class rank outside the state-required top 10 percent.
Other schools reported an increase in scholarship money received by students.
FISD also used results from a community survey in which 90 percent of respondents favored eliminating class rank. The committee also recommends that the district allow students who didn’t make the top 10 percent to know the lower GPA averages among those who did so they can evaluate their own performance in context.
“From the research gathered by the Class Rank Research Committee, we found the reporting of class rank to colleges and universities limits the majority of students in a high-performing school district like Friendswood,” said Diane Myers, assistant superintendent of secondary curriculum and instruction. “An example is the student in the 48th percentile of a given class carrying a 3.64 grade point average on a 4-point scale. This student has maintained strong grades by performing strongly in class, however, is being represented in the 48th percent by class rank.”
More than half of school districts nationwide have eliminated class-ranking systems.
According to district officials, the GPA will still be used, but the goal is to develop a system that takes away a ranking concept and comparison with students from other schools and would create a more balanced evaluation of each students’ potential.