Texas Grading Error Sparks School Chaos

Hundreds of high school seniors in Austin, Texas, are facing having their class rank and grade point averages (GPA) recalculated after inconsistencies were uncovered in a school district’s ranking process.

The Austin Independent School District (ISD), which oversees 17 high schools in the Texas capital, admitted to local reporters that the issue may have an impact on students’ ranking but stressed that it would not change whether they graduate or not, and were unlikely to see their university offers revoked.

The discrepancy was reportedly noticed in the fall, and the results of an ongoing review would be given to students in the top 15 percent of the rankings by March 8, and remaining students by June 18.

The ISD found that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students were given a “P” for passing in the spring of 2020, which meant that semester was not being tabulated with other numerical grades. As such, grades from only seven semesters were being used to calculate the average for some students.

The Austin Independent School District headquarters in Austin, Texas, in April 2022. The district is having to recalculate hundreds of high school class rankings after an inconsistency was noticed.

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An Austin ISD spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek that it was recalculating high school grades affected by the issue but that officers “won’t have the full picture until we’ve completed and validated the recalculation process for the top 15 percent.”

“Our counseling team is and will continue supporting affected students as we learn about each individual circumstance to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

According to the local reports, some students have seen their GPA go down, while others saw an increase. The overall grade of a handful remained the same.

Jacob Reach, Austin ISD’s governmental relations chief, told KXAN in Austin that students who already had college offers and had their GPA go down would not lose their place.

“Once you’re accepted, you’re accepted,” he said.

However, he noted that some students who would now qualify for admission and their parents are urged to reach out to their desired universities about being reconsidered.

It is also unclear whether the changes will impact top students’ automatic admissions. The top 6 percent of high school seniors in the state are guaranteed a place at the University of Texas at Austin by law. In 2022, Austin sent the third-highest number of students to the institution out of all regions.

A GPA is used to determine a student’s achievement across the subjects they study by taking an average of their percentage grades and mapping it to a scale between, in Texas, one and four, where four is the highest. It’s then used to determine a student’s overall grade, between A and D.

Class rankings are used to measure a student’s achievement compared to their peers, and are ordered by their GPA.

Uncommon Knowledge Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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