There were 18 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question, “What’s your opinion of the decision to phase out weighted GPA at Kennett High?” Most were against phasing out weighted GPAs.

I sense a little COVID brain fog on the Conway school board. Don't phase out weighted. Wow. No way. Are they so desperate to get kids into vocational classes that they would assign the same weight to an honors English class as a cooking class? Really? I wonder if Hanover High and Bow and Oyster River some good high schools in the state are doing that. Ask the staff in English, math and science departments if they agree with this. Aren't all kids required to take a voc class anyway? So what's the problem? Considering weighted courses encourage kids to stretch academically? Well, fewer students select these high-level classes. Let's have two valedictorians, one weighted and one not. Maybe that would solve the problem. It's not a very good idea.

I think this is a major mistake. Academic competition for valedictorian and salutatorian can be intense, with students taking advanced courses for additional points towards ranking. By dumbing down the criteria, many students will avoid the risk of getting a lower grade on an advanced course, but rather take an easier course to get an easier A grade for the same ranking. These honors carry weight in acceptance and scholarships for colleges. If it is easier to become valedictorian or salutatorian, colleges will take that into account in comparing students from different school districts. Students in tech programs can take advanced courses in math, physics or the like for extra points in ranking. Some of the courses in tech programs can be re-evaluated for higher weighted points. Making robots or coding certainly requires above-average ability. Generally, it is more important for students going on to college to strive for higher ranking by taking advanced courses than just bragging rights.

What's really sad is just more of the dumbing down of America. Let's give everybody a trophy. And these kids don't have to work for anything. They won't survive in the real world.

Further evidence the country is falling apart all around us as if the Biden crime family and the communist takeover of Jackson is not enough, let’s just do away with any grades. Just make daily attendance the only requirement. With revisionist history being taught, promotion of racial hatred and men in dresses reading nursery rhymes to children at the Conway Library, it's best to keep the kids home. Unfortunately, it seems that teachers are becoming the real enemy, especially at the high school level.

I believe that the decision to reduce weighted GPA is the right decision. Too many times we see a need for more young people to go into career-tech fields and if that is to happen, we need to treat the areas of study equally. Otherwise, we may never get the plumbers, electricians and building trades and hospitality specialists that we need to support the MWV. There is good income to be made, and the demand is high as well.

I was a kid who did above average in the 400 level courses, and 20 years ago I would have been up in arms about this. Now, I am a father of five and understand that there are multiple intelligences. Ask a fish to climb a tree and it will always fail. Times change, maybe the way we evaluate academic success should change, too. Ray Gilmore

This may be short-sighted in terms of students’ long term goals. Colleges perpetuate the weighted system, and until this changes (not likely), this puts college-bound students at a disadvantage over students from communities with weighted systems. The world is bigger than the valley. Carol Blotner

It’s certainly an interesting idea. I would recommend moving from ranking to Latin honors (if you feel like you still need to group certain achievements). Rank and GPA are merely numbers; they don’t tell us who a kid is, or what is in their heart. In the long run, it’s not rank and GPA that gauges success in any way; resilience and work ethic, thinking and problem-solving, and being a thoughtful citizen are way more important to a society. Holly Barber

I think this much ado about nothing. The straight-A students will still get straight A's. It will have the added benefit of letting them learn something that is not on the "college-prep path." Maybe the "high achievers" will be able to learn some life skills and get a more well-rounded education without having to sacrifice their class rank. And maybe it will give a kid who is really smart and a hard worker the opportunity to be recognized for their abilities that fall outside of the accepted standard of education. Matt Risch

This is just like every kid gets to play on sports team, not try out and make it. Most kids don’t try in school and now you're rewarding them. The kids who work hard to get their grades or GPA are not getting the credit they deserve. Tammi Lamar

Just another everyone wins a trophy idea from the administration at SAU 9. No real surprise. Why praise the kids that work the hardest in the hardest classes. George Cole

Kennett, as with most schools, is a waste of time. By the time a kid graduates, he should at minimum have read the complete works of Shakespeare and Plato. You’d be lucky if he finished one Shakespeare play without special reading assistance. Then there is the science curriculum, lord have mercy on the poor souls. I think science died when the German scientist came to America and put us on the moon. Those that do the best in school sometimes have the hardest time unlearning their bad habits of thought over someone that still has creativity. Adrien Yule

Get rid of class rank before weighted GPA. Cole Schneider

A weighted GPA values one type of intelligence over another. Is a student gifted in music or art not as intelligent as someone gifted in math? Jessica Thompson

I have a lot to learn about how education works before my kids get to high school. This is Greek to me. Jim Somerville

You’re going the wrong way. Robert Cooper

Yep, make it dumbed down for everyone. It's all got to be the same. Everything needs to be fair because life's fair, right? Soon as they get out of government school, the doors open wide and it's all just fair and equal. This is what happens when the government co-tools the school systems. This is why the majority of students come out of high school now clueless. Home schooling is looking better and better. If private school/charter schools weren't so expensive, I would put my kid in them and get her out of government-run idiot factories. Joe Powell

SAU 9 is, by far, the worst district in New England. Someone has to lose. Someone has to win. When I moved out of that cesspool, my kids were so far behind it was ridiculous. The whole administration of each of the valley SAUs needs to be changed if you don't want your kids smearing snot on the walls at Story Land until they are 35. Bill Willis

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