Tuesday, February 04, 2014

AcaDec adjusts to grade inflation

I hate to be nit-picky, but want to point out that the media is not quite accurate when they say, "Each decathlon team includes students with A, B and C grade-point averages."

If A/B/C/DF grades are assigned 4/3/2/1 points, what constitutes an A, B or C student?

If you look at the Academic Decathlon eligibility guidelines,
Honor: 3.750 – 4.00 GPA
Scholastic: 3.000 – 3.749 GPA
Varsity: 0.00 – 2.999 GPA
I would categorize a GPA of 2.5-3.5 as a B student, > 3.5 as an A student and < 2.5 as a C or lower student. What would you use?

Don't blame AcaDec. They are only responding to grade inflation around the nation.

Each team fields three competitors in each GPA category.  The total scores of the top two out of three scorers in each group establish the team score.  Thus, kids really need to work on their weaknesses to help the team.

For instance, Iris' team has an Honor student who is a first generation Mexican American and who does spectacularly well on math, econ and science*.  However, he was not so strong in arts and literature--the things that Iris is especially good at.  Iris is only a Freshman and hasn't had trigonometry or most of the science curriculum yet.  The scores of only one of them will count. (The other Honor student is an all-rounder.)  Therefore, Iris needed to improve her math/science** and the boy needed to improve his knowledge of history/literature/art.

He's been staying up late cramming on subjects he had previously believed unimportant and discovering that they are interesting (to him).  Regardless of how their team scores, I count this as a win for him and AcaDec.

* Colleges should be lining up to recruit this boy because he is so smart and kind in the way he mentors younger kids.  He's taking AP Computer Science and wants to study EECS in college.

** Iris would rather die than study math with her mom.  A parent just has to pick the battles carefully.  I laugh when people suggest homeschooling.

Grade Inflation background:

4 comments:

  1. I was always proud that the front of my high school had a big sign for the academic decathlon championship from the 1990's right next to the state football championship from the 1980's. It doesn't sound like much, but in our football-obsessed area, it was a big step :-)

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    1. For TX, that is a big thing.

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    2. It's been almost a year but if you still care you should know they wouldn't even make room in the trophy cases for our regionals trophies (three years worth), just our plaque from state. It's a big deal, regardless of Texanness. (Look at that made up word.) Actually, Texas is the second-best state.

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  2. my science score was HIGH I don't even know where you get your data

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