The Montgomery County school board last week revoked a policy that would have allowed high school students to automatically receive a higher grade when they took advanced or honors courses.
Scheduled to begin next year, the policy would have given students an extra grade point for those courses. It was revoked after a number of board members questioned whether the practice would be fair and whether it was sending the proper message to students about why they should take advanced courses.
The previous board approved the policy on the grounds that students who take difficult courses should be rewarded and that more students would pursue advanced academic programs if an extra grade point were granted.
Board members Suzanne Peyser and Marian Greenblatt, holdovers from the previous board, repeated their former colleagues' concern that Montgomery students suffered when it came to being admitted to colleges because nearly half of the country's school systems were giving extra grade credits for difficult courses.
In the Washington area, Fairfax County gives extra credit for advanced classes.
The four new board members and president Blair Ewing rejected those arguments. Instead, they argued that colleges looked at the type of courses in addition to the overall grade point and that recruiting students into more difficult classes by guaranteeing higher grades was not a desirable educational procedure.