Can Cherokee recognize two Etowah valedictorians?

The AJC has a fascinating story tonight about the awarding of the valedictorian title to a Cherokee County high school to a student who is already in college but is dual enrolled at Etowah High School.

There is apparently some anger being directed at Kelly McCahill, who attends the University of West Georgia through a dual enrollment program at Etowah and earned the No. 1 slot, although I am not sure why.  She didn’t determine the policy that weights college credits higher. Or the policy that apparently treats her as a student at Etowah, although she’s never attended the high school.

Couldn’t they just name two valedictorians? I read about a California high school that had 58 valedictorians and a Washington state school that had 38.  I understand the policies might prevent this but could there be an exception for these extraordinary circumstances?

Here is an excerpt of the news story:

McCahill took the No. 1 ranking — and hence the title of valedictorian — from Sydney Perlotto, an Etowah student who has been tops in her class since the ninth grade.

This sparked an outcry over how the grade-point averages are calculated for students who are dually enrolled in the county’s high school and college programs.

At Etowah, Perlotto’s classmates have aired their protests on a Facebook page they’ve labeled “Team Sydney.” They’ve also circulated a petition, asking that county policy declare the school’s valedictorian and salutatorian be required to attend the school for some period between their freshman and senior years.

On Thursday night, the Cherokee County school board discussed a possible policy change to lessen the chances that students enrolled in college courses have an advantage over students taking advanced placement classes. Another board discussion will be held in March, followed by a vote.

“The real problem here is that colleges refuse to give number grades and that hamstrings the school system,” said Superintendent Frank R. Petruzielo, adding that the current policy has been in place for 10 years and this is the first inequity issue raised.

Mark Perlotto, Sydney’s father, said the school system is sending the wrong message.

“They’re saying the way to be an outstanding student, which is the definition of the valedictorian, is to never attend class there, never take any instruction there and never set foot on campus for any of the activities,” he said.

McCahill attended other public schools in Cherokee County, but not Etowah, her mother said. She lives on campus at West Georgia, although she’s enrolled at the Woodstock high school. She’s felt a backlash since she was identified as the newly installed valedictorian.

“People are really angry at me,” she said.

McCahill has been warned that dead animals might turn up at her door and her boyfriend’s brother has been pulled out of class at Etowah and yelled at over what’s happened, she said.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

189 comments Add your comment

another comment

February 3rd, 2011
11:17 pm

Why would she be a given this honor at Etowah when she is dual enrolled at Woodstock. This makes no sense at all.

Why is each county calculating GPA’s differently. Cobb uses the A, B, C, D then gives it a 4,3, 2, 1 or you can get and extra 1 IB or AP Classes and then .5 for Honor classes after Freshman year. So if someone just moves over the County line their GPA would not work either because Cobb calculates them off A, B, C’s

Slinger

February 3rd, 2011
11:31 pm

This may be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of – never attend the school and become the valedictorian? Amazing – who makes this policy – but better yet, who allows it to happen in the first place? If this is not rescinded, I pity the Cherokee School system.

Patty McCahill

February 3rd, 2011
11:33 pm

All students at Etowah have the opportunity to pursue dual enrollment if they wish. It requires hard work, drive and determination to take college classes as a 16 or 17 year old. Honors College classes are more difficult than AP classes and the Cherokee County School System acknowledged this when the system of weighting of grades was put in place. This policy has been published as public knowledge for over 10 years. The dually enrolled student had to meet Etowah high school graduation requirements just like every other enrolled student that will receive a diploma from Etowah high school. The Advanced Academy of West Georgia is an Honors College program that allows students enrolled in public high schools all over Georgia to pursue a more difficult curriculum. These students work incredibly hard to achieve such early success.

Think outside the box

February 3rd, 2011
11:41 pm

Dr. Petruzielo spoke at a school board meeting this evening saying that he would like more public school students to pursue post secondary education in this way. Why punish someone for working hard and pursuing higher education through the public school system that offers it to them? The public high school has no problem including the high SAT scores of these students into their school average. The school also receives funding for this enrolled student but this student uses no resources on campus.

redhousecat

February 3rd, 2011
11:47 pm

I don’t understand this situation at all. I’m not questioning the duel enrollment situation, that is common nationwide. I am questioning why a WOODSTOCK/UWG dual enrollment student is Valedictorian at a school in which they are not even enrolled?????????

I hate half-assed written stories

Dual enrollment

February 3rd, 2011
11:50 pm

The student IS enrolled in the high school. That is how the dual enrollment works. You are enrolled both at the high school and at the college

Casey

February 4th, 2011
12:07 am

I would like to understand why she would be valedictorian at Etowah when the story says she is enrolled at Woodstock. Is this because the dual program is a dual program between Etowah High School and the University of West Georgia and, if so, why would she be enrolled at Woodstock?

That being said I think it is important to follow the policy that is in place. All students need to learn that just because someone is more popular or more well liked does not mean they can start a facebook page and be “team” anything just to get their way. Neither of the girls in this story did anything wrong and sometimes things don’t turn out the way you think they should, but you should still always do your very best. I may have read this in the actual article, but one parent of a junior mentioned that her daughter felt that the dual students had an advantage and didn’t see why she should “run the race if they already know the outcome” meaning that she already knows she won’t be valedictorian. I think this is an excellent opportunity to teach kids that just because you aren’t number one doesn’t diminish your accomplishments and that they should always do their best even when it seems they are at a disadvantage. That’s just life. It isn’t fair to demonize someone who worked hard, but just followed a different path because she did not do anything wrong and only took advantage of a program that is available to students.

redhousecat

February 4th, 2011
12:10 am

this paragraph states she is enrolled at Woodstock……..

McCahill attended other public schools in Cherokee County, but not Etowah, her mother said. She lives on campus at West Georgia, although she’s enrolled at the Woodstock high school. She’s felt a backlash since she was identified as the newly installed valedictorian.

http://www.ajc.com/news/cherokee/valedictorian-flap-sends-bad-826837.html

another comment

February 4th, 2011
12:24 am

AP classes are significantly tougher than Honors classes. In Cobb county AP and IB Classes are given an extra 1 point and Honors classes are only given an extra .5 point.

Casey

February 4th, 2011
12:34 am

I just re-read the last paragraph quoted in this blog and I have two more questions in addition to my question above that I think really need to be answered for this to be considered quality reporting:

1. If the brother of McCahill’s boyfriend was actually “pulled out of class and yelled at” then I assume this would be the administration doing the pulling out of class and yelling? If so, what are the disciplinary actions being taken to address this abuse of power especially when it is directed towards someone not involved in the situation. If it is not the administration then how would other students be able to pull a student out of class and yell at that student. If this is what happened then have those students been disciplined?

2. If McCahill has been threatened and/or harassed by dead animals at her door then have the police been contacted and a report been made against those making the threats? I think that would the natural next steps since, as a society, we should all agree that threats such as these should not be tolerated.

Chris S

February 4th, 2011
12:41 am

Congrats to both these young ladies.
Dead animal threats? Really? Classy.
Speaking of classy, wouldn’t it be great if one of the two, not taking sides here, backed out of the “contest”? Not because of threats, of course. That one would have my respect.

ScienceTeacher671

February 4th, 2011
12:56 am

Except for resume’ purposes, why would someone want to be valedictorian at a school s/he had never attended? Doesn’t make sense to me.

Kudos to Miss McCahill for her accomplishments, but it does seem that the valedictory spot should go to someone who actually attended the school.

Travee Rose

February 4th, 2011
1:33 am

It does NOT take a college degree to come up with a solution to this problem. First of all..whoever wrote this article needs to get smacked because it is unclear about everything! But what I can interpret from the story is this, make BOTH girls valedictorian so that neither one of them is pushed down. She is enrolled at Etowah High School because in order for you to dual enroll you HAVE to be enrolled at a high school. AND in order for you to dual enroll, you need some kind of smarts. So let them both walk as valedictorians…that will solve everything. And make those kids that was mean and rude to her give her a formal apology and let them have a happy end of high school year..

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by College Georgia, Maureen Downey. Maureen Downey said: Can Cherokee recognize two Etowah valedictorians? http://bit.ly/eA2GRr [...]

Tony

February 4th, 2011
7:01 am

As difficult as this is for the students affected, the dual enrolled student that has earned the high grades deserves just as much to be recognized as the valedictorian as anyone else would. Contrary to the quotes from parents and students who claim it’s not fair for a student to never set foot on the campus, the point is that the dually enrolled student showed a high level of initiative and has earned high marks for her work.

In this day and age where we claim we want high achievement and excellence from students, it is a shock to see the kind of strong reaction against a student who has done just that. The rules used are not unfair and they don’t need revisions.

catlady

February 4th, 2011
7:08 am

Back in the day….there were no AP classes. All students were eligible for was a 4.0. You could take ANY classes, but everything counted toward your GPA, which was calculated at the end of senior spring semester. There was a girl who transfered in at the beginning of her senior year from a county school (we were “city”). She was smart, no doubt about it, but transfered in some mickey mouse classes. She was caught cheating on her final in a science course, but was given the valedictory position when her parents threatened to sue the teacher, etc. So there she stood, a lie, to all the students. But we all knew. I gave the speech the second in line gives, and, while it stung at the time, I have gone on to a successful academic career. I often wonder what happened to her.

I think it is a shame if the girl never actually attended class at this school. I hope the other girl will be able to move on quickly and forget about the stupid things adults do when they make “the rules.”

catlady

February 4th, 2011
7:16 am

think outside the box: Check your data re: funding. One reason the high schools generally don’t promote dual enrollment is BECAUSE of loss of funding.

statsgirl

February 4th, 2011
7:29 am

First, it says she was enrolled “at THE Woodstock high school” NOT “at Woodstock High School”–see the difference??! If you take time to read ALL the words, you would understand that they never mention any school besides Etowah High School which is a Woodstock high school.
Second, this girl that is dual enrolled has worked her butt off and deserves the recognition. Let’s not forget that she has been doing this as a high school-aged girl, LIVING AWAY FROM HOME! That seems like real drive and discipline and she should be recognized for it. SO WHAT that she has never st foot in the school or attended a football game. She’s been representing Etowah High School at this West Georgia University and other Etowah parents and students should be proud of her accomplishments.
Quit being babies. It’s not the valedictorian of attendance.

Slinger

February 4th, 2011
8:09 am

Say, state, type whatever you want – I don’t care how hard she worked or where she goes to college – it is wrong for a student who is not attending one single class to be named the valedictorian. I equate it to being named the mayor of Woodstock, but living in Carrollton. Bogus.

Earthy

February 4th, 2011
8:21 am

What will her graduation speech be like? “These past 4 years at Etowah..” Oh, she won’t be able to say that! “We have all worked together to get here today.” She won’t be able to say that either! “I will miss the teachers and students here”. No, can’t say that either!
Great for her that she is a high achiever and that she has parents that are able to support her financially and otherwise. She will no doubt be successful in her career and financial status. I admire and applaud her. However, does character and honor mean anything in this world today? This young lady will achieve her goals rather she is enrolled at Etowah or not. So why not do the right thing here and bow out. Be a woman of honor and valued character.

Random Thought

February 4th, 2011
8:23 am

The issue is that the Etowah High School calculates its grade on the numeric scale of 100/100 verses a 4.0 scale.

“The real problem here is that colleges refuse to give number grades and that hamstrings the school system,” said Superintendent Frank R. Petruzielo

Basically if McCahill made a 91/A in a math class a UWGA and Perlotto made a 99/A in a math class at Etowah, since colleges only report a letter grade, the school/system could have just given McCahill the highest possible numeric grade of 100. If this were the case, that method would have misconstrued the overall GPA results for all students involved.

So yes it is important that they either get McCahill actual numeric grades from the professors or the school should have two valedictorians, this way neither student is punished for achieving academically.

redhousecat

February 4th, 2011
8:24 am

@Statsgirl—thanks for pinpointing the woodstock oversight, albeit rather rudely. It is still a poorly written article that creates many questions.

Now, that I have had the clarity slapped in my face, I feel there should be co-vals. Students/parents at Etowah know that there is an option for dual enrollment. Both girls worked hard to get where they are.

Jennifer

February 4th, 2011
8:25 am

Sometimes adults are idiots. Award 2 valedictorians, give two scholarships, acknowledge the hard work and interesting paths of both. Give every kid a reality check – the goal is to love learning, not to get straight A’s. The lesson for the young adults and old adults learned here is…no matter how hard you work or manipulate things in life – you are certain to get a curve ball. Adults – role model some common sense. Don’t change a policy in order to gain the outcome you want. Rules are meant to be thoughtfully developed – especially when they impact students.

disappointedwithpolicies

February 4th, 2011
8:29 am

While both of these students have worked extremely hard during their school years, only one has actually attended Etowah High School. No one is discounting Miss McCahill’s accomplishments, but if she is named Valedictorian, then Miss Perlotto’s accomplishments ARE being discounted. My understanding is that Miss Cahill attended a private school prior to making her choice to ‘jet’. It was only when she chose to ‘jet’ that she was enrolled at Etowah. A student who has never attended a single class at a school should never be permitted to be named Valedictorian. The policy should require that any student who chooses to ‘jet’ must attend the public high school for a certain period of time – AT LEAST a year. Since the colleges will not report grades with a number, students who ‘jet’ are unfairly receiving a higher GPA at the high school level. If the colleges will not change their reporting systems, students who choose to ‘jet’ should be required to forfeit their right to be named Valedictorian/Salutatorian of the graduating class preventing an unfair ranking. The policies must be changed now to stop this from happening this year and in the future.

Good catch stats girl

February 4th, 2011
8:29 am

ha Good catch, stats girl. It is “the” Woodstock high school not just “Woodstock High School”. Given that the girl’s only high school association is with Etowah HS, then the valedictorian honor goes to her. Surely there have been other kids take advantage of the dual enrollment program? If so, did none of them ever bump anyone out of any other awards – like salutorian? If the program has been in place for a while, it doesn’t seem like Sydney’s crew has a leg to stand on.

Waldo

February 4th, 2011
8:31 am

Dual enrollment implies that she attends both schools, but according to the article she LIVES on the West Georgia campus and has never set foot in Etowah for a class. It would be different if she was legitimately dually enrolled and taking a handful of college classes and some at Etowah. She’s is NOT part of Etowah’s senior class and thus should not be in the running for Valedictorian. I’m not sure why Miss McCahill would even accept this? She’s obviously very smart, one would think some degree of common sense would go along with that.

Random Thought

February 4th, 2011
8:32 am

For those that require proof, the link below leads to Etowah graduation requirements for 2007-2008 freshman students (who should now be the current seniors). Notice at the bottom that in order to graduate, a student must have a 80 core GPA to graduate with a college prep and/or tech prep diploma.

http://www.cherokee.k12.ga.us/Schools/etowah-hs/studentservices/10%2011%2012%20Grade%20Grad%20Req/Graduation%20Requirements.pdf

Random Thought

February 4th, 2011
8:37 am

@Waldo

She is smart … being valedictorian or salutatorian usually guarantees a certain amount of scholarships. Who in their right mind would turn down the opportunity?

“The controversy continues, in part, because a school valedictorian is a much bigger deal than just giving a speech at graduation. The title can open doors to scholarships and push a student’s name to the top of the college application pile.” AJC

disappointedwithpolicies

February 4th, 2011
8:42 am

Good comments, Waldo. Her association is NOT with Etowah High School. She attended classes at a private high school in Cherokee County, never one single class at Etowah. Therefore, she should not be eligible to be named Valedictorian/Salutatorian. She may receive a diploma from Etowah, but should only be eligible to be named Valedictorian/Salutatorian at a high school in which she attended classes.

Waldo

February 4th, 2011
8:43 am

@Random Thought

Someone with a sense of decorum and honor would turn it down. If her only interest in being named Valedictorian is to open doors to scholarships and push her name to the top of the application pile then it clearly is a selfish and ego-driven move.

East Cobb Mom

February 4th, 2011
8:45 am

This is a quote from the AJC article:

“Not every county calculates the grade-point average for students in its dual enrollment program in the same manner. In Cherokee County, students in regular high school classes receive numerical grades. Yet students who take college courses receive letter grades, and the system usually assigns the highest credit possible, which is an inequity that might emerge.”

So, it sounds like Cherokee calculates GPA differently than what I am used to. Instead of giving 5 pts for an A in an AP class, whether it is a 100 or a 92, for example, they give different points for an A- and an A+?? Can anyone confirm this? If that is the case, why not just recalculate the GPA of the girl who got bumped using only letter grades, like they do for the girl in college who only got letter grades (i.e. an A is x points whether it is an A+ or an A-). I’m not in favor of making exceptions every time someone is unhappy, but it seems like an exception is warranted in this unusual case. Just because the girl at West GA never attended classes at Etowah does not matter. She is still enrolled there. By the way, the article does not say the West GA girl is a student AT Woodstock High. It refers to Etowah as “the Woodstock High School”, meaning it is a high school located in Woodstock.

The junior in the AJC article whining about how she has no chance to finish first or second in caught my attention. She says something like “why run a race at all if you already know the winner.” Wow, great attitude. Whatever happened to a person’s very best effort being more important than winning. I guess it is easier to stop trying and just whine about how the unfair rules kept you from winning.

statsgirl

February 4th, 2011
8:47 am

So, what message are we sending–if you want to earn the honor of being valedictorian and receive all that goes along with it, you need to be a high achiever BUT NOT TOO HIGH! @Jennifer–I couldn’t agree more. This policy has been on the books for many years and shouldn’t be overturned because of some highly emotional knee jerk response to a situation people feel discomfort over.
And who cares what her speech will be like! Maybe she’ll talk about what it takes to do as well as she’s done or about the future. So she won’t be giving a tearful goodbye to the teachers at Etowah–boo hoo.

Random Thought

February 4th, 2011
8:58 am

This is a situation that happed in my high school in 2004 when I graduated. By my junior year in high school the valedictorian (V) and salutatorian (S) were already distinguished on a 4.0 scale. However, we did not know that our GPA’s were being graded upon a scale of 100. By senior year the student we thought would become V had took more AP and honor classes than anyone else in the entire class and had the better GPA on a 4.0 scale, the student we thought would become S had the better overall numeric average… so the final out come was that our V was actually our S and our S was actually our V.

Our entire school was shocked. When the new V found out, she even asked how in the h3ll did she become V? She apologized the old V, but he took the news like a gentleman and told her not to worry about it, it was something they couldn’t control. Some students including myself even lost positions in the class due to this new GPA grading, and they were understandably upset. Students who took regular biology were higher than students who took honors and AP biology. At the time our school did not have a method in place to account for the numeric scale. By our senior year the system finally added the 10pts for AP classes and 5 pts for honors, but they could not go back and correct our grades for freshman-junior year. The lost of points from freshman – junior year cost our valedictorian his position.

College Mom

February 4th, 2011
9:04 am

Fulton county is also on the 100 point scale. However, an A in a college course is only worth 95 points, they use the mid point of the scale. This can actually hurt students taking college level courses. Also, there are no honor points as there are for AP courses.

I have a bigger question, something that hurt my daugther last year. Can anyone explain why the districts do not count Spring Semester senior year toward Val/Sal and other honor grads? My daughter graduated cum laude even though her gpa was high enough for magna cum laude with Spring grades counted in. Yes, we called the school and got the grad coach who gave some bogus explaination. It seems to me that this isn’t really “Putting Kids First”, but then again, when does Fulton do that?

John

February 4th, 2011
9:18 am

The criticism of the dual enrolled student for being valedictorian is just pure jealousy. I changed schools in the middle of my junior year because my dad changed jobs and we had to move from one community in Georgia to another 65 miles away. I had the highest SAT score at the new school and was recognized as STAR student. There was noticeable resentment from another student who would have had the honor had I not come into the school. i just stayed out of his way and we eventually became friends. We did not have a valedictorian in that school. instead, the senior honor graduates elected the person who they wanted to deliver the graduation address. They elected me unanimously even though I had been part of that school and small town for only 18 months. Here is hoping the students and parents at Etowah can quit acting like spoiled brats and will give this student her due.

All for higher education

February 4th, 2011
9:19 am

Kudos to Ms. McCahill for taking advantage of all educational opportunities available. I’d love to see more students put that much effort into their education. But I don’t understand the backlash against her when she was following the guidelines for this dual-enrollment. She didn’t create the program, just took advantage of an opportunity that was open to any student. If Etowah considers her a student of that school, and they say she did the work necessary to earn the title of valedictorian, then she earned it. But congrats to both girls. It’s great to see young people so passionate about the high standards they set for themselves. As for those on “team Sydney” who are putting all the threats against Ms. McCahill, they should learn from their friend’s example and take those efforts and put them toward their own studies.

Waldo

February 4th, 2011
9:22 am

@statsgirl – No one is questioning her academic credentials (and it really does not matter what she says in the speech) the issues at play here are (1) How can someone who has never attended a particular school be named Valedictorian there and (2) should she even have been named Valedictorian since her scores and the scores of the girl who actually attended Etowah were calculated differently.

Warrior Woman

February 4th, 2011
9:22 am

Etowah should have 2 valedictorians.

@ Random Thought – You are so right on the grade calculation. Cherokee County should change its method of calculating averages for dual enrollment, since that is what caused the problem. McCahill is assumed by the school system to have made the highest numeric score possible for every letter grade, while Perlotto’s actual grade is used.

Finally, how can McCahill be valedictorian of a school where she never took a single class? It boggles the mind.

Waldo

February 4th, 2011
9:25 am

@John – You actually attended and took classes at the new school so your experience is far different from what’s going on here.

East Cobb Mom

February 4th, 2011
9:30 am

After reading more posts, including those saying the dually enrolled student attended private school before enrolling at Etowah, but never taking a single class there, I can see how this has many people upset. There is really no way to accurately determine which student performed the best since they took entirely different classes. I have to agree that the Etowah student should be given the benefit of the doubt in this situation. Hopefully the county can come up with a reasonable solution. The other girl, however, certainly does not deserve all the negative backlash and dead animals on her doorstep! She had to be enrolled in high school somewhere in order to be in the dual enrollment program, right?

Random Thought

February 4th, 2011
9:45 am

@Maureen

Is it possible to clarify whether McCahill just spent her junior and senior year away from school in dual enrollment or has she never entered the school?

“McCahill attended other public schools in Cherokee County, but not Etowah, her mother said.”

One of the requirements that she needed for the dual enrollment program:

2. Minimum cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in English, mathematics, science and social studies.

Meaning that she had to be in the high school at least for freshman year to accumulate a GPA.

http://www.cherokee.k12.ga.us/Schools/creekview-hs/studentservices/Dual%20Enrollment%20Doc/Board%20Policy.pdf

The document also shows that McCahill did receive the highest numeric grade possible when her professors did not provide a numeric grade to the school system.

Georgia Teacher

February 4th, 2011
9:50 am

How about in instances like this, both GPAs be calculated on the 4.0 scale? That puts them on an even playing field in terms of scoring.

Random Thought

February 4th, 2011
9:53 am

Again the issue is the GPA calculations. Regardless of whether the student is on the high school campus or at college in dual enrollment, when they changed the grading scale from a 4.0 to the numeric scale of 100, this caused problems.

1) The GPA was changed from a 4.0 scale to a 100 because it allowed more students to become eligible for HOPE.

Example 1

A student earns an 85/B, 75/C, 81/B, 80/B. If all credits are equal, then on the numeric scale the following (85+75+81+80)/ 4 = 80.25 which equals HOPE eligible. However on a 4.0 scale with a B=3.0 and C=2.0: (3+2+3+3)/4=2.75, which means the student, is ineligible for HOPE. The student has the same grades, but the numeric calculation allows a greater advantage to the student.

2) In the case of Val and Sal, the numeric calculation allows a greater advantage to the average student, not the top-achieving students.

Example 2

Student A: 3 AP Class: 85/B, 82/B, 90/A and one regular ed class: 92/A
Student B: 4 regular ed classes: 96/A, 96/A, 95/A, 95/A
All credits are equal.

4.0 Scale: Remember for AP classes an A=5.0, B=4.0 and for regular ed an A=4.0, B=3.0
100 Scale: Remember that 10 pts is added for AP

GPA Calculations on 4.0 Scale

Student A: (4.0+4.0+5.0+4.0)/4=4.25

Student B: (4.0+4.0+4.0+4.0)/4=4.00

Student A is recognized as Valedictorian

GPA Calculations on Scale of 100

Student A: [(85+10)+(82+10)+(90+10)+92]/4 = 94.75

Student B: (96+96+95+95)/4=95.5

Student B is recognized as Valedictorian although Student A took 3 AP classes and student B took none.

GPA Calculations on Scale of 100 if the 10pts are not added

Student A: [85+82+90+92]/4 = 87.25

Student B: (96+96+95+95)/4=95.5

Student B is still recognized as Valedictorian although Student A took 3 AP classes and student B took none.

The students’ grades never changed, but all three calculations provide a different result for Student A with both numeric calculations costing the student the Valedictorian position.

Sorry for the long post.

Local girl

February 4th, 2011
9:56 am

@Random Thought: Not really sure how this pertains to the current discussion, but wanted to point out that the link you provided shows that students must have an 80 numerical average in order to earn a “Diploma with Distinction,” which is a higher honor than a college prep or technical diploma. This diploma also requires 24 Carnegie Units as opposed to 22.

M. Phil

February 4th, 2011
10:00 am

I can’t make heads nor tales of this story. Is the girl enrolled at Etowah Woodstock and West Georgia? I am very curious and concerned because my child will be going to Woodstock next year. Is there something I need to be aware of? Should we move to a school system with a clearer policy? Let me know now while there is still some time.

Atlanta mom

February 4th, 2011
10:00 am

What difference does it make? Really. College apps are in. The Etowah student no doubt showed her class ranking as Number one. Do you think it would make a difference on her apps if she was number two?
Two of my children were confronted with this problem. At the time, in APS, the highest grade you could get if you were joint enrolled was a 95. Students taking AP classes could score 110. My children’s class rankings dropped from 3 to 4 and 1 to 2, who cares? My children made the intelligent decision to joint enroll and take Calc II, Spanish at the four hundred level and other classes. Straight As, but a lower GPA. The experience was invaluable. And if you go to a top rated university, no one cares where you graduated in your class.

Local girl

February 4th, 2011
10:01 am

Also, the HOPE scholarship is calculated using GPA on a 4.0 scale, not numerically, as you state above. The numeric GPA has no bearing on HOPE eligibility. In fact, the HOPE GPA is calculated completely differently than most school systems calculate their GPAs, removing any weights given, and then giving SOME weights back for AP classes. This insures that students from all systems are treated fairly, regardless of how their system calculates GPA.

Ashley

February 4th, 2011
10:01 am

When I graduated from high-school in 1976, yes some of you may consider this the dark ages, we had so many valedictorian candidates in the top 25 that they drew four names out of a hat and each one was given a topic to address the senior class on graduation day. Cherokee County obviously did’nt mean for this debacle to happen, why not let each young lady be name co-valedictorian, the dual student could even challenge the graduates on what life will be like in college and her own experiences, would this not be a simple solution? Might I add I took college courses while I was in high-school they did’nt factor into my gpa in high-school (3.87) , but toward my college gpa. I’m sure that might sound like I was cheated out of a few points to alot of you in the 21st century but honors programs and dual-enrollment was almost non-existence back then. Thanks for listening and congratulations to both young ladies

Steven Q. Stanley

February 4th, 2011
10:03 am

Why would anyone want to award a girl something she did not earn? Why not just make all the students valedictorian.

Frontman

February 4th, 2011
10:04 am

Why are you so terribly worried about who will be valedictorian? Does the valedictorian in a school get huge scholarship offers simply for being the valedictorian? Is it impossible for a student who is not the valedictorian to get a scholarship? Sounds like many of you are REALLY hung up on an honorary title. Other than bragging rights, why is this such a big deal?