At Deerfield, a vast majority of students are highly driven to succeed academically and, consequently, often take accelerated and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. We at The Scroll believe that Deerfield needs to reward students for challenging themselves by weighting averages.
Students who take difficult courses often do not get acknowledged for the rigor of their schedule. For example, in order for a Deerfield student to be inducted into the Cum Laude honor society, they must have a 92.0 average or higher through the six terms of their sophomore and junior years. Due to the rigor of some students’ coursework, however, it becomes nearly impossible for many qualified candidates to maintain that average through six terms. This means that students who demonstrate academic excellence through the difficulty of their course load often do not qualify for Cum Laude, while students who have a less challenging course load often do.
The Scroll staff believes that it is important for students to feel encouraged to pursue difficult course loads. This will not be the case if doing so renders students unlikely to qualify for certain awards and receive the grade point average that they deem acceptable for college applications.
Deerfield needs to weight grades so that students are motivated to challenge themselves academically. If challenging oneself academically results in negative effects on students’ transcripts, then Deerfield is effectively discouraging students from taking full advantage of the learning opportunities presented here.
The Scroll proposes a uniform grade-weighting system that gives due credit to students who take honors and AP courses. Not weighting grades is unfair to students who challenge themselves. They are distinguishing themselves in the classroom, and should be credited for the hard work they are doing.