Friendswood ISD has started to see an increase in college admissions after removing class ranks.
Class rank was removed from the district in spring 2019 after the board of trustees voted to remove it from schools, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper.
Though Texas law requires schools to report the top 10% of each class for automatic admission to public universities, FISD does not report any rankings outside of that.
Data presented at the Jan. 24 board workshop showed that students who fell outside of the top 10% were admitted to various public universities at a higher percentage than in 2019 before class rank was voted out.
Through a Naviance student survey, admission by any method to Texas A&M University grew from 2019 to 2020 for students who fell into the second, third and fourth quartile by a large percentage. For example, only 4% of students in the third and fourth quartile were accepted into Texas A&M in 2019. In 2020, 50% of students were admitted.
“With the second, third and fourth quartile, it's already shown that they're accepting those kids even more,” FISD Superintendent Thad Roher said.
A survey sent out to the class of 2020 at FISD also showed many students were choosing courses based simply on how it would affect their GPA and class rank.
“It was merely for a rank. Some of those students will sit down and say, “'Tell me what courses to take to put me in the top 10%,'” said Kim Cole, FISD’s executive director of secondary teaching and learning, during the presentation about how students chose their classes.
For the first phase of looking into changing how GPA is ranked, the recommendation for the board is for schools to calculate rank GPA with core and world language classes only. Personal GPAs would be calculated with all courses.