FISD Proposes Change in GPA Ranking System

According to Community Impact, Frisco ISD’s board of trustees will vote June 11 on whether to change the district’s GPA for Rank policy.

District staff’s recommendation would change what percentage of student rankings would be published and how students’ class ranking would be calculated. GPA for Rank is a weighted grade point average based on a 6.0 scale. Some classes are weighted more than others.

The proposed recommendations, presented by district staff, call for the district to only publish the rankings of students through the top 10 percent as required by the state. After that students would be grouped into different percentage quartiles rather than given a rank number.

Angela Romney, area director of secondary instruction, said the district created a committee in 2016 after the district identified some concerns with the GPA for Rank calculation. One of the main concerns was that students were selecting more difficult courses to boost their class ranking, even if the courses were subjects they were not interested in.

“We saw this as a problem because we want students to select courses that are going to meet their academic goals and their future goals,” Romney said. Romney said the system also created a culture of competitiveness that bred academic dishonesty and increased anxiety.

Many school districts in Texas rank GPAs because students are automatically admitted to any Texas public university and college if they are ranked in the top 10 percent of their class—or the top 6 percent for the University of Texas at Austin—according to state law.

Beginning with the class of 2021, juniors and seniors would also be allowed to drop one athletic or fine arts course each year for the GPA for Rank calculation. The district would also adjust the way some of the advanced coursework weighs in the GPA for Rank calculation beginning with the class of 2023.

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