Elective courses have run the gamut of importance. Once a core part of a student’s course load, then used as a way to boost a GPA, electives are now, in some school districts, being eliminated from GPAs entirely. A Texas school district will vote Monday to determine whether or not to include elective courses in students’ GPAs. The reason? Overachieving students are avoiding taking classes that don’t receive as many points toward a weighted GPA. Under the proposed plan, elective grades would be shown on a transcript, but only the four core subjects and two years of a foreign language would be used to calculate a student’s GPA. “It breaks my heart if a student says, ‘I’m not going to take band because it will hurt me,’” said T.J. Theisen, a district assistant superintendent. “Then you know you’ve got to step back and say, ‘We really need to think this through.’” Darrell Muncy, a principal in another Texas school district that is already using the new scoring system, found that no-credit electives have helped alleviate student pressure without undermining performance.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.