Sunday, November 11, 2007
Have you seen this with your kids?
My daughter graduated from high school in 1998, and I was pretty amazed when I attended her Class Night. She had a 3.7 grade point average -- grades I only dreamed of -- and she didn't rank in the top third of her class.
In fact, the top 20 percent were all above 4.0, thanks to advanced placement and honors classes. There were six or seven kids who all had perfect 4.5 averages, the highest you could get by taking a maximum number of AP classes.
Even though Pauline's grades were only great, she managed to enter college with nearly a third of the credits she needed to graduate. Of course, since we promised to pay for four years, she used the whole four years at UCLA and got two bachelor's degrees.
The purpose of this isn't to brag about my kids -- well, maybe a little -- but to ask you if your kids had the same competition for grades and the same grade inflation that we have here in Southern California.
When I graduated from Woodson in 1967, I had only about a 3.1 average. That was good enough to sneak into the top 20 percent of the class, and I don't think we were stupider back then than our kids are now.
For one thing, we had a tougher grading scale -- 94 for an A, 87 for a B, 80 for a C and 70 to pass. My kids were always on 90, 80, 70, 60.
It's odd. You may have noticed that Woodson now ranks consistently among the top 100 high schools in the country because of its large number of advanced placement and honors classes. We didn't have any of those, as I recall.
Did your kids enjoy themselves in school, or were they constantly working for grades?