Change Pearland ISD's Harmful GPA System to Improve Student Mental Health

Change Pearland ISD's Harmful GPA System to Improve Student Mental Health

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Pearland Youth Movement (PYM) started this petition to Students and

Upon entering high school, we are exposed to overwhelming academic pressures. These stressors take their toll on students, as shown by recent surveys about Pearland ISD high school students.

For one, students’ self-reported sleep quantity is alarming. 75% of students surveyed reported getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night, when we should be getting eight to ten. Even worse, only 35% of students responded they’ve never had “thoughts about suicide or self-harm as a result of school,” indicating that roughly one in every five students experiences these harmful thoughts “often” or “always.” The data speaks for itself. 

A major source of these issues is PISD’s harmful GPA system, which places advanced classes on a higher scale than dual credit or on-level. Consequently, many students load up on 5 or 6 AP classes (6.0 points) because they’re concerned with how an on-level class (4.0 points) would negatively impact their GPA and ranking. This creates a workload that’s unbearable for many. It strains students to their limits, robs them of valuable sleep, and even stresses some to the point of suicidal thoughts.

There’s little reason why our GPA system is this way, and students have been voicing their concerns regarding this issue for years. The solutions we are proposing will reduce PISD’s competitive atmosphere and discourage student overexertion. 

We ask that Pearland ISD change their GPA system to the following.

A blocking system: instead of calculating to the tenths place, award a full point to each letter grade (i.e. a 90-100 would be a 6.0 for an AP class, a 5.0 for a Dual Credit class, and a 4.0 for an on-level class)
Capping: a maximum of 4 AP classes could be weighted as 6.0 points towards a students GPA

In addition to GPA, rankings generate harsh judgment and foster insecurities among students. The following ideas would help alleviate these feelings. Instead of ranking every student, only provide ranks to the top 10 students and anyone who requests them. High schools could also announce class percentages rather than ranks and withhold numerical ranking until the second semester of sophomore year.

By making the GPA and ranking systems less demanding, the district can free students of unnecessary stress brought on by unrealistic expectations. Further, when GPA is not as rigorous, students will stop loading up on time-consuming courses and instead, choose to take classes that are of interest to them.

We’re tired of feeling pressured to take grueling, college-level classes, at the cost of our mental health. By signing this petition, you’ll be joining us in an effort to demand that Pearland ISD make the proposed changes to the GPA and ranking systems and recognize the obligation it has to its students and their mental health.

Pearland ISD’s current GPA system: https://www.pearlandisd.org/cms/lib/TX01918186/Centricity/Domain/28/GPA%20Chart.pdf

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!