I graduated high school with a 4.0. I graduated with 450 other students, and I was not even among the top 50 in my class. I was a dedicated student who took AP classes to extend my workload but more than 10 percent of my class found ways to graduate with above a 4.0. Good thing I did not graduate high school in Texas, else I wouldn’t be where I am today, a student at the University of Texas at Austin.
It is time for the state to get rid of the Texas House Bill 588 that guarantees admittance to any public funded university for any person that graduates in the top ten percent of its class from a Texas high school (http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0116.htm). It was enacted in response to a federal court ruling Hopwood vs. the State of Texas which stopped an affirmative action entrance program at the University of Texas law school.
This law unjustly lets students who do not deserve to be admitted to public universities take the place of those who do. The size of Texas is so great that graduating classes range from under a hundred to over a thousand (http://high-schools.com/texas.html). How can anyone say that the top ten people from a graduating class of one hundred are equivalent to the top 100 of a class of 1000? Texas is a place of great diversity. It has its major cities where some students are close enough to walk to class and it has its rural areas where high schoolers must drive long distances.
Admittance to schools should be based on many things. Graduation rank is not one of them. Schools should look at test scores, high school grades, volunteer work, admittance essays and extracurricular activities on a student by student basis in order to determine if a student is eligible to attend a specific university.
Let’s take a case for example, like mine. Say a Texas student had graduated from a bigger high school where he graduated with a 3.75 grade point average while playing two sports and participating in school plays. He does not get into the University of Texas because 81 percent of the incoming freshman class is taken up by guaranteed admitees as it was in 2008 (http://www.texastribune.org/texas-education/top-ten-percent-rule/about/). On the other hand, a student from a tiny high school who graduates with a 3.5 GPA with little extracurricular activities garners entrance because of his rank among the best in his class. How can anyone make the argument this student deserves it over the other more qualified student?
It is time to kill the bill that is meant to compensate for an affirmative action program, that the federal courts already ruled illegal. In doing so, the drop out rates of public funded universities will go down as more and more deserving students are accepted versus students who weasle their way in through an outdated and unfair Texas law.