Sunday, July 27, 2008

Which Student Is More Deserving?

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.


sara said...

Definitely interesting on what can happen to people. Some people start out with so much and others so little - but you never know where everyone will end up. Really makes you stop and think. Hope you had a good weekend :-)

caramama said...

I honestly can't even figure out why there is a story there (in the first case). They say it's a selective magnet program. If they say below a 3.0 is out, then get higher than a 3.0 to stay in the selective, magnet school. It seems pretty clear cut to me. Of course not all kids are going to be able to make it. There's nothing wrong with transferring to the local high school. And the parents are taking it up as an issue?

Isn't this just another example of the Milleniums needing hand-holding and exceptions instead of just buckling down and doing the work or going elsewhere?

Way to go Cedric!

dcpeg said...

I read those articles too and had the same reaction. Mommy and Daddy need to get a grip and accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, their son isn't as smart as they want him to be -- or maybe he just can't handle the pressure!