KATY, Texas — More pressure and stress is being lifted off the shoulders of students in Katy.
The school district announced that it will no longer publicly release student G.P.A. rankings, unless your child is in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.
Katy I.S.D.’s school board approved the changes to the Academic Achievement Class Ranking and district grading policy during a school board meeting last month.
In addition to the change in GPA rankings, Katy ISD says they are eliminating the 'D' letter grade from their elementary and secondary grading scales.
“It’s eliminating, we believe, some unhealthy competition,” says Leslie Hack who is the Deputy Superintendent for Katy Independent School District.
So, starting with this year’s underclassmen, Katy I.S.D. high schools will only release the names of the students who are in the top 10 percent of their class. Which makes sense because, “the intent of class rank was to rank students through the top 10 percent to ensure automatic admission to our Texas Public Colleges and Universities,” says Hack.
Past that, a student’s exact ranking isn’t needed for college admissions. Quartile ranking will still be listed on a student’s high school transcript.
“Quartile is, are you in the top 25 percent of class, top 50 percent of your class. Even the top 75 percent of your class. That still has college opportunities for you,” explains Hack.
Students who began the 2019-20 school year as juniors, sophomores or freshmen will also see a modification to the class rank reporting practice that is a part of that grading policy. While eleventh grade students in the top 10 percent will continue to receive a class rank in the spring semester of their junior year, all other students will receive a quartile rank during that same time.
“We’ve found over time that labeling all students with an exact rank feeds a culture of unhealthy competition, stress and pressure,” said Dr. Christine Caskey. “The quartile ranking is beneficial to both the students and the campuses as it acknowledges success, while also allowing more latitude and anonymity within the parameters of each quartile,” added Caskey.
The school district is hoping it dissolves unnecessary competition in the classroom-- where kids might become hyper-focused on out-ranking their friends.
“We want students to pick the classes, because they have such an array, of what they’re interested in, what their passion may be post-high school, those are the types of decisions that should be driving the selection of courses,” says Hack. “So I think the push is balance. It’s helping students and their families, together with their teachers, find the balance.”
Katy ISD campuses will be reviewing the updated policy with students in the coming weeks to help inform students and families of the recent changes.
CLICK HERE TO READ the letter Katy I.S.D. sent to parents
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