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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:46am
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The El Paso Independent School District wants to reward over-achieving students with better recognition.
At a meeting Tuesday night, board managers approved a new system that ranks students by the difficulty of their courseload.
"We wanted to really look at this and revisit it because there have been some concerns, and we wanted to make sure that we address the issues of equity, access, and opportunity," said Dr. Joseph Lopez, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction for EPISD.
Students enrolled in college-level courses, like Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate, will be given special recognition so colleges know they took the most difficult classes in high school.
Some parents think students do deserve the recognition.
"If their grades suffer by there not being that differential, then those colleges will never know those kids are there and they won't see how special those kids are," said Robin Krasne.
Others disagreed, and said students should take the challenging courses for personal satisfaction, not for a reward.
"I think if someone is going to take on a challenge, they should take on a challenge, they should not be looking for extra points or extra considerations," said Tommy Davis, a science teacher at Franklin High School, "When the Kansas City Chiefs played the New England Patriots, they don't say, 'Oh, can we have 5 extra points, they're a challenging team."
"it was a really involved process from high school principals involved, middle school principals, along with Central Office," said Dr. Lopez.
Although EPISD passed its new policy, some supporting parents admit it was done in haste.
"I do think that they needed more time to do their due diligence, to make sure they've covered every possibility of what they are affecting by this huge policy, which is possibly, the biggest policy they're passing during their tenure," said Krasne.
The new policy will take effect with this year's incoming freshman.
EPISD now also has formal recognition for valedictorians and salutatorians.