When 96 isn’t “good enough”

This is a post about the education system here in Texas.  We have a law where the top ten percent of any high school graduating class automatically gets accepted into any Texas college or university of their choice.  I’ve always thought this was a stellar plan, because it allows those in less-advantaged schools a shot at going to college.  Many colleges and universities in Texas have the threshold of entrance at the top twenty-five percent of one’s high school graduating class, and once those spots are filled, if there are any left over, they will take special consideration of other students applying who fell below that criteria.

Today, I felt the downside of the two-edged sword.

My daughter received her class ranking today, based on her grades from last year.  (Yes, there are three years to change that ranking).  When she completed her school year last year, her overall grade average was 96.  Yes, all of her classes averaged together for the entire year added up to a ninety-six.  You want to know what her class ranking percentage is?

33.7 percent out of more than 900 students.

My response was WTF????

I thought for sure there was a mistake.  How in holy hell can one have a 96 average and NOT be in the top twenty-five percent of your class?  Heck, at some schools here in town she’d be the freaking valedictorian or salutatorian with that kind of average.

There is a downside to living on the better side of town where the high achievers gather, especially when it comes to high school.

Needless to say she was upset.  She wants to major in architecture, and the college she wants to get into that is the top school for her major adheres to the 10/25 rule.  There are times when there are no spots left over after the 10/25.

We had a long talk about the rankings, with me emphasizing how well she’s doing because with the ranking she felt her grades weren’t “good enough”.  Someone thinking a 96 average isn’t good enough makes my head explode.  We talked about making a plan with one’s ideal selections, then making plans B, C and D if those ideal selections don’t work out, selections being both colleges and majors.  I drove home the fact that when one door closes, God opens a window.  We may not make it to our destination through the route we planned, but the detours along the way don’t make arriving any less significant.  And even if we don’t arrive at the original planned destination, we end up where we’re supposed to be regardless.

I still can’t believe the realities of this conversation–96 average equals 33.7% ranking.  Un-f*cking-believable.

The joys of parenthood…