Top high school honors for students who never step on campus


High school students who never set foot on campus cannot become the valedictorian or salutatorian in some school districts, but a proposed Georgia law could change that.

House Bill 114 mandates that students who graduate after taking all their classes at college in the state’s “move on when ready” program are entitled to the distinctions.

The bill, by Rep. Robert Dickey, R-Musella, prohibits the exclusion of students from valedictorian or salutatorian determinations just because they’ve taken “one or more” dual credit courses, as long as they’ve been in the district since their sophomore year.

“I think the day of taking all your courses on campus at one physical location are really gone,” Dickey told senators on the Education and Youth Committee Monday. The bill got a hearing after passing the House of Representatives with bipartisan support on March 1.

Catherine Gibbs, a teacher in White County, defended her district’s policy of excluding dual-enrolled students from the top honors. College course grades get a multiplier, so dual-enrolled students have an advantage in the grade point average calculations, she said. That means students who cannot take advantage of the program, such as impoverished students who lack a car, are on an uneven playing field. Also, the word “valedictorian” refers to a communal experience, and dual-enrolled students who never go to their high school will lack shared experiences with fellow graduates, she said.

Maybe they should get their own distinction that acknowledges their different experience, she said.

There was no vote on the measure, which will return to the Senate committee for another hearing.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Opinion: Improving school nutrition will improve student learning
Opinion: Improving school nutrition will improve student learning

Caitlin Daugherty Kokenes is a project associate with the G eorgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. She holds a master’s in public policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s in Hispanic studies from Auburn University, as well as an undergraduate degree in political science and Spanish...
Cheerleaders continue to take a knee at Kennesaw State football games
Cheerleaders continue to take a knee at Kennesaw State football games

Four Kennesaw State University cheerleaders were seen taking a knee in the stadium tunnel during the national anthem at the university’s football game Saturday evening, continuing their protest to raise awareness about police misconduct and racial inequality. The protest is part of an ongoing controversy on the 35,000 student campus that has...
Carstarphen: APS should be part of city’s Emory annexation
Carstarphen: APS should be part of city’s Emory annexation

Atlanta Public Schools should expand with the growing city limits, the superintendent said Friday, in a reaffirmation of the district’s stance about the city of Atlanta’s proposed annexation of the area around Emory University. “We anticipate that the public and the community will understand that we are a district that wants to grow...
Tex McIver’s release from jail expected next week
Tex McIver’s release from jail expected next week

Atlanta attorney Claud “Tex” McIver is likely to be released on bond from jail next week, providing him a four-month respite from incarceration before his murder trial begins March 5, his attorney said Friday. “The time will help Tex,” said lead defense attorney William Hill. Hill said McIver, 74, has lost upwards of 30 pounds...
DeKalb schools has new plan to make up class time lost during Tropical Storm Irma
DeKalb schools has new plan to make up class time lost during Tropical Storm Irma

The DeKalb County School District will keep its extended school day schedule through the month of November to make up time lost because of Tropical Storm Irma. The school district announced Friday that students would remain in school for an additional 20 minutes through Nov. 30. The district already implemented the extended class day for October. ...
More Stories