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Rockhurst Calibrates Course Curriculum

This piece was published in the October 2015 issue of the Prep News and was written by the staff as a whole

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In today’s society, an A is what every student strives to achieve. But because one single teacher cannot teach every class in a specific subject, grades between classes can become skewed. But over the past several years, through the CDRP (Curriculum Development and Review Process), Rockhurst has been adjusting its curriculum to create a balance among same-subject classes. In previous years, there have been same-subject classes with varying grade averages. Admittedly, some variations were due to the subjective nature of courses like theology and English, but, nonetheless, correction was necessary.

In response, the administration has begun to standardize curriculum through the CDRP. In addition to each department examining, building and implementing curricula each year, Mr. Scott Duschen, assistant principal for academic affairs, has met with department chairs one-on-one to help establish a set curriculum which will keep teachers of the same subject working at the same pace. In addition, the developed curriculum will keep average grades between classes around the same percentages.

As a result, the set curriculum will allow newly hired teachers or ASC volunteers to keep up to speed with veteran teachers.

We at the Prep News believes it would be unfair for there to be skewed grades in same-subject classes and support the administration’s steps to combat and fix the previous problem.

We hold this opinion simply because it would be wrong for students of one class to have an easier chance at getting an A than students from another class of the same subject.

Achieving an A in a class should be challenging and should require students to earn the A instead of it simply being given to them. In some cases, it can be so easy to get an A that if a student gets a B they are judged by their peers as being stupid. That student would respond, “What is wrong with getting a B?”

Most of the time, the so-called easy A’s are achieved through electives. Although many electives are challenging and require a great deal of work, a student cannot be overwhelmed with all advanced classes or difficult core classes. Electives thus provide a strong balance for students.

It is when a student relies too heavily on electives for GPA that a problem arises. If a student takes electives like lifetime sports or physical education just to receive the A, an artificial grade point average is produced. Consequently, some colleges do not take electives into account and will refactor a student’s GPA based on his core class performance.

Therefore, it is important for students to be provided with a fair and balanced curriculum across the board so the value of an A achieved is not reduced. And that is exactly what the administration is working towards providing Rockhurst students.

Rockhurst has a reputation for being an academically prestigious college preparatory school that relays students to academically prestigious colleges, a reputation further bolstered by the administration’s insistence on a balanced curriculum paired with the student’s performance in classes other than electives.

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