Making (all of) the grade - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Making (all of) the grade

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Posted: Sunday, May 30, 2004 10:41 pm | Updated: 4:57 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Yet another example of East Valley schools policy we lampoon as the “Make the Principal’s Job Easier Act” came via the case of Mesa Mountain View High School graduate Amanda Tecson.

By the end of her seventh semester last fall, she had worked her way up from a bad start to an enviable 3.49 grade-point average. However, the school’s rules about honors status and a gold tassel at Wednesday’s graduation ceremony called for a 3.5.

Tecson, who had the credits to have graduated then and there, enrolled for the spring to earn a 3.52 by May. But school officials read her the rules: Only seven semesters’ work, not eight, counts.

While principal Charles Luketich was correct to ultimately allow Tecson to wear a gold tassel at the ceremony, he was wrong to address the matter with an exception to a rule that technology has certainly given reason to amend.

Years ago when grades were processed by hand, it was physically impossible to compute eighth-semester grades in time for determining honors at graduation, leading to honors to be based on seven. But this is the age of lightning-fast computers. And, as letter writer Alice Shipman argues elsewhere on this page, an insert to the graduation program could list honors graduates based on eight semesters’ activity.

Students should be honored, not disappointed, for their academic successes, all of them, not merely seven-eighths of them. Technology — as well as heart and common sense — should be applied in East Valley school districts to mesasure scholastic achievement from the first day’s bell during the freshman year to the

moment a diploma is thrust into a senior’s hands.

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