HISD Board of Education votes to give more academic weight to college-level courses

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday passed the first reading of a measure that would give students taking college credit courses a boost to their grade point average.

The policy change is designed to provide additional academic weight to dual credit courses, which HISD offers through partnerships with colleges and universities. As the name implies, dual credit provides students with the opportunity to earn high school and college credit at the same time.

Trustees voted 8 to 1 on the first reading of the proposal, which was presented during their January board meeting. They must approve a second reading before the change is official. If the second reading also is approved, the new policy would go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year.

“At HISD, we offer a variety of rigorous, advanced courses to ensure our students are prepared for college and ready to compete in a 21st century global market,” HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier said. “No student should be academically penalized for choosing to take a college credit course.”

General courses are ranked on a standard 4.0 scale. Weighted courses are ranked on a 5.0 scale, allowing students the possibility of earning additional credit because of the increased rigor.

Additional weight already is given to students taking honors classes, as well as college-level Advanced Placement, Pre-Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program courses.

Weighting the dual credit courses is designed to provide equity amongst students taking these rigorous, advanced courses.

The board’s regular monthly meeting was held Thursday, January 15, 2015, in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th Street. Click hereto view the full agenda.