Plano ISD mulls forming advisory council, work committee to discuss weighted GPA practices

Plano ISD trustees discuss the structure of a new advisory council and work committee tasked with evaluating the districts' weighted GPA practice.

Plano ISD trustees discuss the structure of a new advisory council and work committee tasked with evaluating the districts' weighted GPA practice.

Plano ISD trustees on Tuesday discussed the structure of a weighted GPA work committee and advisory council, the next step in a district initiative that could potentially alter its class ranking practices.

The advisory council would comprise members of the Plano community—such as parents and students—as well as district staff and serve as a sounding board for all points of view in regards to the district's weighted GPA practices, Assistant Superintendent of Campus Services Susan Modisette said at Tuesday's work session.

The advisory council would be made up of about 60 members, according to a district document.

Separately, the work committee would analyze research, look for trends and report on other districts’ weighted GPA policies. The work committee would also seek input from the advisory council, Modisette said. The work committee would be made up of about 30 district employees.

"This advisory council would be tasked with hearing the summarized research findings that the work group will share with them," Modisette said.

The move to study the class-ranking practice began in December 2015 when PISD established a task force to study the issue. The task force recommended ending the class ranking policy in April, but trustees delayed that decision in May.

Under the proposed changes, the district would still recognize the top 10 percent of each graduating class, as well as valedictorian and salutatorian, but would exclude the specific ranking of each individual student.

Trustees have since questioned whether students’ ability to boost their GPA with heavier-scored classes, such as Advanced Placement and honors classes, is discouraging them from taking classes they are interested in.

“I want [students]  to take a course because they’re interested in the subject matter, not because they just want an extra bump in their GPA,” PISD trustee Nancy Humphrey said at a public board meeting in May.




Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Susan Modisette's name.


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