At Green Mountain High School, there are numerous advanced performing arts classes requiring students to have a specialized skill set, do additional work outside of class, and undergo an audition process to get into the class. Although these classes require students to do a substantial amount of work outside of school and are advanced in the content they teach, they are not weighted, unlike the advanced math, science, and technology classes here at GMHS.
Presley Nemecek, a sophomore at GMHS that is involved with the upper-level choirs and orchestra and takes numerous honors/AP classes, believes that advanced performing arts classes should be weighted. Presley says, “In many ways, advanced performing arts are more rigorous and are a bigger commitment than a majority of the AP and honors classes. These classes are taken for granted and easily neglected. The students who are in advanced performing arts classes shouldn’t have their GPAs suffer because the school system doesn’t consider the classes ‘advanced’ or equal to honors or AP classes.” For some students, their grades from advanced performing arts classes are an obstacle to achieving academic success. If a student has straight A’s and takes multiple AP/honors classes along with their advanced performing arts classes, then the unweighted grades from those arts classes are the only things keeping them from being in the top percentage of their class.
According to the Glossary of Education Reform, “…weighted-grade systems give students a numerical advantage for grades earned in higher-level courses or more challenging learning experiences…” If the purpose of weighted grades is to reward students for their hard work and dedication in an advanced class, shouldn’t that include all of the advanced classes and not be specific to those regarding math, science, and more “traditionally” curricular classes? The advanced performing arts classes at Green Mountain High School should be weighted because the students are dedicated, hard-working, and talented and deserve to be recognized and rewarded for their efforts in a manner similar to, and equitable with, traditional academic classes.