On Saturday, the Washington Post ran an article on page B1 about a student who has been expelled from Thomas Jefferson High School for for Science and Technology. The reason, the Post breathlessly reported, was the student's 2.8 GPA.
The student, Matt, (I won't include his last name here) is the son of a Fairfax, VA, electrical engineer and an accountant. He and his family were reportedly "puzzled" in spite of the fact that Matt was placed in an intervention program last August for his mediocre grades and failed to pull them up. Of particular interest is that his science and math grades were a B and a C, respectively -- at a math/science magnets school. Furthermore, his GPA was lifted by his three dubious A's: in physical education, driver's ed, and photojournalism. Matt's local high school is likely the right place for a student of his academic caliber. And yet his parents have taken his case to the Washington Post.
Matt's situation stands in stark contrast to that of Cedric Jennings, also the subject of a feature in the Post on Saturday, page C1. Cedric was raised by a single mom, and his dad spent Cedric's childhood in jail on drug charges. In spite of incredible adversity, Cedric graduated from DC's embattled Ballou Senior High, went on to graduate from Brown University, and later earned two master's degrees. Cedric is now a social worker and is considering going for a PhD.
Cedric has made so much out of so little.
And Matt has made so little out of so much.