Something worth 'weighting' for - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Education

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Something worth 'weighting' for

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:00 pm

After a 16-month effort, Susan Schramm and Tempe Union High School District parents can expect to see a weighted grade point average on their student's transcripts this year. The decision, made without the need for a vote from the governing board, came as no surprise and with little argument. District administrators decided both a weighted GPA on a 5.0 scale, which adds extra weight for honors classes, and a traditional unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale will appear on transcripts at the end of the semester. "I am tickled to death that this is over," Schramm said of her journey. "It's a wonderful thing." Initially, the issue concerned Schramm when her son began applying for out-of-state scholarships. However, it was the fact that the adaptation of weighted GPAs had become more popular in high schools throughout the country, and that most college admissions and scholarship requirements - including Arizona's AIMS Award - now accept a weighted GPA that drove her further. "This is where it affects most of our kids," she said. For Schramm, the issue lay far beyond the concern for her own children. Although the absence of a weighted GPA on her oldest son Hank's high school transcript blocked him from receiving the Dean's scholarship at the University of Oregon in 2006, the substitute teacher and mother of five had a concern for all students in the district. Her dedication, involvement and research on this issue over the last 16 months made a slow, steady impact and finally received a positive outcome. On Sept. 11 Schramm planned to speak to director of guidance, career and technical education Nori Cannell and Tempe Union guidance chairs on the topic. Additionally, she planned to present her research to the Desert Vista curriculum committee and department chairs on Sept. 12. Then, she says, she received word not to bother, that the decision was basically a done deal. In other concerns, weighted GPA will not appear on report cards, TUHSD spokeswoman Linda Littell said. "It is something I believe parents should be aware of," Schramm said. "But, really, it's about college admission and scholarships." The adoption of weighted GPAs on transcripts also will not change requirements for students to be invited into the National Honor Society. Students will continue to be invited based on their unweighted GPA, with a 3.0 the minimum accepted achievement level. Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or cfrayer@aztrib.com.

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