CISD Drops Class Rank Below Top Ten Percent
After a unanimous vote of 7-0 by the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees, students whose grade point average (GPA) falls below the top 10 percent of their class will no longer be ranked, effective August 23, 2010. A certificate of rank and grade point average will be awarded to all future top 10 percent students. This change has the potential to benefit all CISD high school students, but will have an added benefit for the current senior class (Class of 2011) for the following reasons:
1) rising seniors will be able to request their transcripts with GPA and rank prior to August 23 and submit to colleges of their choice. Seniors will need to follow the admissions calendar for the college(s) for which they are planning to apply.
2) beginning August 23, student transcripts will no longer publish class rankings and students not in the top 10 percent will now be evaluated for college admissions and scholarship opportunities based on their SAT and ACT scores, transcripts (stating course selections), resume, and high school profile
3) seniors in the top 10 percent will continue to be ranked through February 2011
During the spring semester, concerned parents raised the question of whether or not CISD should continue its policy of ranking all students. Cited was the built-in competitiveness of such a high-performing school district as Coppell ISD, where approximately 60% of this year's senior class of 746 were ranked within half of one point of each other, and the additional stress for students trying to balance rigorous academics with involvement in a wide array of extra-curricular activities and community service. The solution would provide a way for more students to be considered for college admissions and scholarship opportunities based on individual merit.
District and campus leadership from both high schools, along with a committee of parents and students, researched Texas' three public school districts that discontinued the practice of ranking students below the top 10 percent earlier this year (Carroll ISD, Eanes ISD, and Highland Park ISD). In addition, an online survey was conducted to gather student feedback, and the topic appeared on the agenda of regular and special Board meetings, in local papers, CISD e-newsletters and web site, and two public forums were hosted by the Board of Trustees to hear community input. The majority response was to discontinue the practice of ranking students below the top 10 percent and to increase opportunities for more Coppell ISD students.
Those students in the top 10 percent will continue to be ranked as a state requirement which satisfies the automatic admission/scholarship criteria of some colleges and universities. In CISD, students in the top 10 percent will be provided their weighted academic class rank at the end of the fall semester of their sophomore year and at the end of every semester thereafter. The cutoff GPA for that group of students will also be available to all students.
CISD Trustee Bennett Ratliff stated, “With the strong reputation of Coppell ISD, I feel certain that all of our students will benefit from this change. The top students will continue to have the opportunities that they have had in the past, and the rest of our graduates should have more opportunity because they don't have a class rank number weighing them down.”