Middle school grades should not make transcript

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 When in middle school, students are strongly encouraged to take certain classes, like world languages, that appear on a high school transcript. Some middle school students, however, have yet to recognize the importance of academics. Many are still learning vital studying techniques and have not yet begun thinking about their future. Middle school grades added to a high school transcript lower a student’s GPA, which can cause issues when applying for honor societies or college; therefore, middle school grades should not factor into GPA.

 Middle school students generally have not developed effective study habits. With middle school years being such a confusing time period, it is unreasonable that a student’s academic performance during this time be included in a high school transcript and factored into his or her GPA. When students enter high school, college stops seeming so far away, and students begin to appreciate the long-term consequences of their grades.

 However, middle school students are strongly pressured to take high school classes. Most MCPS students begin taking courses that are included on a high school transcript in either sixth or seventh grade, when students are first encouraged to take a language course. In addition, many MCPS middle schoolers are placed on a track to at least complete Algebra 1 before they leave middle school. While students should be encouraged to take these classes, it seems unfair that these grades are included on their high school transcripts even though they will not be entering high school for another three years.

 Though these grades may affect a student’s GPA, according to College and Career Information Coordinator Luana Zimmermann, colleges only look at grades achieved in high school, so including them on a transcript is irrelevant.

 According to the University of Maryland website, the only grades the college considers are those that reflect a student’s high school performance. The website also states that only two years of a language course are required, so language classes taken in middle school do not count for the purpose of satisfying this requirement.

 Even though colleges may choose to ignore grades obtained before high school, they still see them and must recalculate a student’s GPA. In addition, since these grades are included into a high school student’s GPA, if a student receives poor grades in middle school it can hinder a student’s chances of acceptance into GPA-based programs like the National Honor Society. It seems ridiculous that a 12-year-old’s grades should matter in ways that can significantly impact academic records.

 Grades received two years before high school do not properly reflect a high school student’s academic performance and therefore should not be considered as part of a student’s GPA.