This quote was one I really agreed with:
This is a sentiment I absolutely agree with: scores do not define you. There is no way a score can summarize all that is good and wonderful about you as an individual.
The next paragraph, though, undid all that good work by focusing on the importance of GPA.
No! No! No! A transcript is not the ultimate trophy. That is not what a student should focus on. I wish instead the article had ended by saying, “A student should focus on achieving mastery in a topic they love.” Or, “Parents and teens should focus on developing skills that can be enjoyed regardless of college admission.”
I know that for me personally, my GPA wasn’t perfect because of my freshman year. There’s no way to overcome that! Telling an 18-year-old that they can or cannot get admitted because of what their 14-year-old self did or didn’t do can feel very defeating.
GPA can be just as arbitrary as test scores. GPA can also measure luck and timing more than actual effort. Which teacher is a lenient grader? Which material is already familiar and easy to sail through? A transcript is not the ultimate summary.
We should, as a society, encourage teens to build a project-based portfolio that includes evidence of inter-disciplinary learning. We need to stop relying on test scores and GPA. These measuring sticks serve only to shortcut the learning process.