Next Month's Board Meeting and Revised GPA Rules

by Coy Holcombe.  

There was a called board meeting this morning. The only agenda item was changing the date of the December regular board meeting. The Board voted to change the date of the regular board meeting from December 16 to December 18.

Also, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has released revised rules on the calculation of uniform grade point averages. The Coordinating Board was charged by the legislature with developing a uniform GPA formula for all schools in Texas. The goal of the uniform GPA formula is to have the GPA of all high school student calculate in same manner. This is supposed to ensure that colleges and universities all know that students across the state have their GPA calculated in exactly the same manner.

Below is an explanation of the new rules written by the Texas Association of School Boards:

On November 17, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) released revised rules establishing a uniform methodology for calculating the grade point average (GPA) of all students in Texas public high schools. The rules will apply beginning with the freshmen high school class of 2009-10. 

According to the latest version of the proposed rules:

  • The GPA will be calculated on a 4-point scale, with certain courses getting additional weight on a 4.5- or 5-point scale;
  • Courses for which a student earns a final grade lower than 70 (and thus will not earn course credit) and courses for local credit will not be factored into the GPA calculation;
  • The following courses will count towards the uniform GPA:
    • Course, including electives, listed in 19 TAC 74.63 (b) (1)-(6) and (8)-(11), 
    • all Advanced Placement (AP)  and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, 
    • career and technology (CTE) courses aligned with a university course of study (as determined by the CTE Advisory Committee), and 
    • dual credit courses, including career oriented courses listed in the community college course manual.
  • Out-of-state academic courses in the categories above will be included in the GPA calculation if credit is awarded that counts towards the Recommended or Distinguished High School Program;
  • The following courses will receive additional weight (above a 4.0) in the GPA calculation:
    • AP, IB and dual credit courses will all receive an additional weight of 1.0;
    • Pre-A, Honors and Pre-IB courses will receive an additional weight of 0.5 if begun prior to May 1, 2013.If begun on or after that date, Pre-AP and Honors courses will be expected to meet Laying the Foundation, or comparable standards, and Pre-IB courses will be expected to be part of an approved IB program. Continued weighting for Pre-AP, Honors and Pre-IB courses will be reviewed by the GPA Advisory Committee. 
  • The chart for converting numerical grades to grade points on the three scales also includes provisions for converting letter grades to grade points;
  • THECB will establish a 15-member GPA Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from public and higher education and the workforce to oversee implementation of the GPA standards, monitor courses counted in the GPA calculation, and ensure institutional compliance with THECB rules for dual credit courses; and
  • Colleges and universities offering dual credit courses will be required to monitor the rigor of those courses.

Public comments will be accepted for 30 days after the rules are published in the Texas Register. Comments may be submitted to Natalie Coffey, Senior Program Director, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711.

Comments may be submitted via email at natalie.coffey@thecb.state.tx.us. The following link will take you to the complete text of the proposed rules: http://www.tasb.org/issues/legislative/reports/documents/gparules_1108.pdf

I encourage everyone to read the complete text of these rules and to offer your comments to THECB. If you have questions, please feel free to email me at cholcombe@eustaceisd.net.

 

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