The weighted GPA needs to stay

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Kavya Desikan

A student works in a classroom

Keertana Gangireddy, Photography Editor

It’s a no brainer that Westford is a highly competitive school district. Students have the need to take as many advanced classes as possible, while juggling a job, several clubs, a sport, and the list goes on. However, with the increase of student stress in Westford Academy’s community, the administration is considering eliminating our weighted GPA system. 

Frankly, that decision isn’t beneficial to the student body.

The weighted GPA system, which our school system has followed for several years, takes into consideration the difficulty of the class a student takes into the final grade-point-average. In contrast, the unweighted GPA system, which can be denoted as the ‘standard GPA system’, is based solely on the students’ grades.

The main incentive of terminating weighted GPAs is to reduce the amount of students taking a plethora of advanced classes that they may not be able to handle, for an inflated GPA.

Although it may seem as though students will feel less pressure to take as many AP or honors classes when they aren’t being reimbursed in their GPAs, I don’t think our stress culture will necessarily change. Students will still set high standards and goals to appeal to colleges.

Stress culture at WA is based mainly off of  personal expectations. College credit and personal interest in courses, along with the inflated GPA, are the driving motives for taking higher-level classes. The unweighted GPA scale will not get rid of the fact that APs can give students an upper leg in college admissions.

Moreover, the weighted GPA better represents the academic accomplishments of students. Although one may argue that the unweighted scale gives no preferential treatment to students, one should take into account and ask, rather than simply ‘what grade did someone earn?’, ‘how hard was it to earn this grade?’

The equal playing ground the unweighted scale warrants can place several students at a dramatic disadvantage. Students who are taking higher level classes, and are thus putting in a lot more hours than those taking ‘easier’ classes, should be compensated for their work and time in some sort of way.

This same situation can be applied to the real world. In the workplace, for example, employees will be paid accordingly to their position, how long they have been at the company, and how good of a worker they are. A manager and a custodian at the same company won’t get the same pay to reduce ‘workplace stress’, as they aren’t doing the same job, and the same amount of work. 

Stress goes hand-in-hand with high school, and with your simple existence as a human being. However, no one will spoon-feed you as an adult because of high pressure to succeed. The weighted GPA should stay at WA to better prepare and motivate students for the next few legs of life.

Instead of terminating the GPA, the administration can continue with Challenge Success, and focus on reducing student stress in other aspects of our community, such as perhaps implementing a few more homework-free weekends, and spreading more mental health awareness in regards to stress.