District made questionable call on weighting of honors classes

To the Editor:

Beginning with this school year, the Hilliard school district increased the weighting of its high school honors classes. This means that a student who earns an "A" in an honors class will benefit by have a 4.5 instead of a 4.0 enter into the student's GPA calculation. This increased weighting seems appropriate since honors classes are supposed to be more challenging than regular classes.

However, the administration will not retroactively change the weighting for current students who took honors classes before this school year. This means that students who are in the same graduating class (e.g., class of 2014) and who took the same honors class but in different school years will receive unequal weights in their GPAs for the same academic performance.

Initially, I was told that the change would not be retroactive because it would be unfair to students who say now that they would have enrolled in the honors class had it been weighted more previously. How can this reasoning be fair to the student who actually enrolled?

Upon further questioning of administrators, I was told the reason that retroactivity is not appropriate is that even though students (and their parents) were led to believe that they were enrolling in "honors" classes in previous years, the honors classes were not always more rigorous than regular classes. This will probably be news to many students.

I asked several top administrators for something in writing to help me understand the analysis that went into this decision to increase the weighting. However, they refused to do so because they are concerned that I would share this information with other parents.

Unfortunately, when someone declines to be transparent, it is natural to assume they are hiding something. I encourage anyone who may have concerns to contact school officials.

Dave Miller