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More important things than GPA

March 10, 2007

Re "Straight-A ignorance," Current, March 4

Michael Skube is correct when he says that there is "little correlation between [grade point average] and what a graduating high school student knows." This is not shocking. There is little correlation between GPA and anything significant in our students' lives. Students learn and retain that which is effectively demonstrated to make sense and has relevance to their lives.

There are exceptional teachers who seem to understand this concept, but, unfortunately, very few. Our institutions of higher learning appear to be unable to teach this idea to new teachers. When you combine this with a political system that has chosen to destroy public education by overcrowding classes and under-funding schools, you have the realization of the dream of the corporate state: Let them attend trade schools.


Canyon Country


That letter "A." It promises the approval of parents, honor bestowed and certain success for our futures. And besides our already dying curiosities, this infatuation with perfect GPAs and SAT scores deprecates a substance that truly shapes our lives: our character. The motivation, nowadays, to give our best in school is to reap that golden "A." Learning has little value in this competitive field, and cheating runs rampant. Yet where's the integrity?

Another apparent perk of a great academic record is the prospect of attending college. And the main things these colleges look at are numbers. Thus, students train for the SAT as if their entire destinies hinge on that test. But even more disheartening, and quite disgusting, is how even the application essays, which are supposed to reflect a student's true character, can now be made "killer" by the tricks of online "experts." We really need to turn our eyes from mere numbers to things that matter.


Chino Hills

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