The current median GPA of a student at the University of California Irvine is 4.1 on a 4.0 scale–with perfect test scores to match, AP courses to boost the GPA above “perfect,” and lots of community service and other activities to “round out” this perfect student. (This one is not a bullet point but an aside that is just about a scream of pain: You have to be better than perfect to get into your state university? What are we doing to our society? What are we doing to our children? What are we doing to a future that demands creativity and adaptability to change and innovation if you cannot even go to college unless you learn how to perfectly master the master’s forms? It’s shocking that we are doing this to the best of this generation–and we are simply ignoring and excluding those who are not academically perfect. Appalling national crisis here.
We’ll see what happens, but I’ve been working hard not to put this kind of pressure on my own kids. My daughter will be a junior this year, and we’ve held off on the PSAT’s and AP and tons of honors courses for a variety of reasons, primary one being that she wants to play three sports and I want her to have a life outside of school. She’s smart. She’ll work it out. We’ll work it out. (And believe me, I understand the privelege that goes along with being able to make that statement.)
There is more, much more to life than the pursuit of a 4.1.
Read the entirety of Cathy’s post. Important, balanced contexts.