Will grading change promote low expectations? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Will grading change promote low expectations?

February 23, 2006

Albany-- A South Georgia lawmaker wants to make sure high school honors students get a leg up as they try to qualify for the HOPE scholarship.

Beginning with the class of 2007, students in honors classes will no longer earn extra points toward HOPE. On Thursday, Senator Michael Meyer Von Bremen will introduce a bill that would permanently restore the weight to honors programs.

If that bill fails, a second one would defer the weighting issue until 2010. Dougherty County's school superintendent says the loss of extra points will discourages students from taking more difficult classes.

"If the weighting is taken away, it's an incentive for a child just to take a regular grade-level course, make a solid A and let average in for the HOPE eligibility," says School Superintendent Sally Whatley.

Many students who were high school freshmen in 2004 could also see their GPA go down with the elimination of the weighting process. That would also reduce their chances of getting HOPE scholarships.

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