The Lariat

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A Race to the Top

Academic Competition

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Competition for the top academic spots in Chino High School is in full swing. Some students are desperate to be in the top percentile. They pressure themselves or are pressured to takes as many AP classes as they possibly can and perform perfectly in everything they do.

Some students have taken to other measures to ensure their places at the top. For example, some students have decided to opt out of joining clubs and sports and instead focus solely on academic courses.

Although this can sound like a good idea in theory, it can have a negative effect on those students because it creates an imbalance in their school life if they only focus on academics, thus increasing the stress and pressure they are facing. Also, this affects the school in a negative way because those students with a good work ethic are not participating in extracurricular activities that could benefit the school.

Some students, on the other hand, have even taken extra classes online over the summer to either have more space to take more AP classes to boost their GPAs, or to take easier classes throughout the year to avoid hurting their GPAs. For example, they can take a mandatory class like Economics or an AP class during the summer and then have a couple of electives or TA classes to lighten up their load while still maintaining a higher GPA.

There have even been students who have payed a couple hundred dollars to take AP classes during the school year in order to get a higher GPA. These methods are unfair to the students who cannot afford to pay extra classes and those who take up a rigorous coursework throughout the year without taking the simpler classes to ease their load.

It has become almost like a game. A game that has been rewritten by those highly achieving students. The district should place rules determining what students can or cannot do in order to be in top percentile or receive valedictorian.

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A Race to the Top