Top 10 Percent Graduating
Top Ten Percent
Graduating top ten percent is a hard road filled with four years of all nighters, study sessions, and countless hours at the library. To graduate with this honor not only brings pride to ones’ parents but it also gives the student a special privilege. The top ten percent rule passed in 1997 (House Bill 588) by the 75th legislator automatically accepts these students to any public Texas University. While this may seem like a noble idea on the surface, in retrospect this gives an unfair advantage to the rest of the graduating class. Texas government believes that the top ten percent rule will encourage students to work harder in high school and increase the amount of minorities accepted into a public Texas University. Instead, it works against other hard working students who did not achieve top ten percent status but have other outstanding achievements. I believe that this rule excludes many deserving students and cause parents as well as public school systems to do irrational things to circumnavigate a well intentioned but poorly thought out bill. This rule should be abolished for the good of the future students.
A great deal of hard working students who have made it their goal to attend the University of Texas at Austin are rejected solely on the basis that they are not in the top ten percent of their respected school. In the article “Student Run Into to Ten Percent Law” published in the Houston Chronicle, a promising 17-year-old student who wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps by attending the University of Texas was reject purely on the grounds that he was not in the top ten percent of his class. The rejection letter stated that his “academic record did not meet the required competitive level”(Nissimov, 1a) but his accomplishments such as maintaining a 3.94 grade point average and scoring a 1240 on his SAT (180 points above the national average) clearly states otherwise. His only draw back was attending a very academically competitive high school. His grade point average would have easily placed him in the top ten percent in many other schools but at the high school he attended, it only managed to secure him a spot in the top 30 percent.
The top ten percent rule has caused students, parents, and schools to do outrageous things to get students in the top ten percent of their class. In some instances, parents were forced to move out of their home and or illegally place their children into a less competitive and less challenging school by falsifying their address. In the article “Dumbing Down of the Education Plaguing Texas and the Nation.” By Marc Levin, states that “There have been reports of parents transferring their children to inferior high schools to give them a better chance of graduating it the top ten percent, thereby receiving automatic admission to UT and A&M. This outgrowth of the top ten percent rule provides a clear example of how leveling can bring an entire educational system down to the lowest common denominator.”(Levin, 2) These students may achieve the top ten percent status but in essence, they sacrifice the better education that they could have received. There have been cases in some schools that have squeezed extra student in the top ten percent. At Westlake High School, 63 of the 491 seniors were in the top ten percent, but the math clearly shows us that in actuality that would make it 12.8 percent. “Ms. Faske, the school’s college career counselor, concedes that the school did inflate some student’s class rank.”Golden, 1) Another instance was at Lyndon Baines Johnson High School where 15 percent of the seniors managed to with the top ten percent status.
The outcome of so many students accepted through the top ten percent automatic admission rule is that there is little room left for regular admission. As a result of this, many students end up in the provisional program offered here at UT Austin. The requirement for acceptance through the provisional program is that students are required to take 12 credit hours in the subjects of mathematics, science, social science, and English. They must pass all of their classes with no incompletes