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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Class rank GPA calculation to expand for future Pasco high school students



Despite some misgivings, the Pasco School Board this week approved a new formula for deciding high school valedictorians and salutatorians.

Starting with the freshmen entering in 2014, the district will use all courses that generate high school credit toward graduation — including those taken online, or in middle school — to calculate class rank grade-point average. The proposal drew early criticism, especially from vice chairwoman Alison Crumbley, who had concerns about cheating in online courses and also lamented that students who rarely visit campus could become the most honored graduate.

Crumbley reiterated her views during the board's discussion. "We need to recognize the students that excel as good citizens and partcularly as good leaders," she said.

Chairwoman Cynthia Armstrong agreed that the district should look at additional ways to honor students beyond their GPA. At the same time, Armstrong said, students must be allowed to select the type of courses that benefit their education, whether online or high school credit-bearing in middle school or traditional. And if they get the top marks, she said, they should not be denied that recognition.

Ultimately, the board adopted the administration proposal, which will take effect with freshmen entering a year from now to give ample opportunity to understand the rule, and also to avoid affecting students operating under different rules. Members called for an ongoing evaluation of the system. View the adopted changes to the Student Progression Plan for 2013-14 for more information.

[Last modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 9:19am]


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