So many who have written to the School Board consider this decision to be a no-brainer, a slam dunk. Many view this as a GPA arms race with Fairfax County. Many think it is a natural extension to the 10-point grading scale. Many just say "these courses are harder, they ought to be worth more." Mr. Ohneiser has an absolute fixation on one AOS course in particular with regard to this last point.
I'll discuss some basic pros and cons here, only briefly, in the hope that you'll read more in the committee's report if you're interested.
- AOS Courses. This seems like the easiest of all. Very tough courses, no AP credits, give them the weighting, right? Wrong, say the AOS faculty, who unanimously oppose weighting their own courses. They don't want students who are motivated only by a grade boost. I find it difficult to believe that students who do everything they need to do to get into AOS would do it for an extra half point on those courses. Better to stay at the home school and get the full point for AP. In any case I look at the list of schools that AOS grads attend and know they don't need a boost.
- Dual Enrollment. If a student takes a college-level course they should get extra credit for it, right? No, says the committee. Reasons: students already get college credit just for passing the course (unlike AP courses, where students take a risk that they'll get no college credit). In addition, poorer kids don't have the resources to take dual enrollment courses so it's discriminatory. Finally, some college courses just aren't that hard as a challenging LCPS course.
- Honors Courses. Discussion of LCPS honors courses in the wake of the committee's report reveals a disconnect between the Administration and community perspectives on honors courses. State law requires a degree of distinctness between weighted and unweighted courses that LCPS honors courses just don't consistently have with their "academic-level" counterparts. Honors courses are focused in social sciences and English courses, which gives some students an advantage over those more inclined toward math, science and arts.