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> Receiving School Credit for Acadec
Guest_KF2.0_*
post Nov 29 2014, 08:09 PM
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I don't think a poll is necessary, but I was wondering how many of you receive school credit for decathlon participation, or even have full-fledged acadec classes as part of the curriculum. This question comes up annually at my high school, and I believe I earned a credit or two at some point in high school (maybe a science credit for anatomy & physiology).

Do you receive school credit for decathlon?

Is decathlon a class at your high school? If so, is enrollment restricted based on teacher approval, or is it open to everyone who signs up? Is this class pass/fail, or are letter grades handed out?
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Guest_Vivite Vincere_*
post Nov 29 2014, 08:40 PM
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It's a class at my school, and it counts as a social studies credit. To get in a student is either invited to join the class or asks the teacher if he/she can join. The team is then drawn from those who have signed up. We get letter grades and the students not on the team have to do assignments.
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TinDefacto
post Nov 29 2014, 11:09 PM
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At Liberty, we have a class, but in general very few of the people who are actually on the team are in it. I only took it as a junior (when I didn't make the team), and I think we actually had four or five team members in it that year (out of like eight people in the class). It's a real, for-credit class, and we get normal grades (not just letter grades but 0-100 grades) that are calculated from arbitrary assignments (that being said, it was a killer on my GPA, so I only took it the first semester that year).

However, my senior year, a lot changed due to the class becoming weighted. Suddenly, it was overrun by overachieving freshmen, and that's essentially how it's been ever since. This year, despite the much larger enrollment, I think only one of our team members (we chose early this year) is in the class, so they're almost two entirely separate entities.

As for why more team members don't take the class, I can't speak for everyone, but our Honors are generally the overachieving type who take more classes than they know what to do with and who worry about their GPA too much (sigh, yes, this was me). Also, in all honesty, the class is really not of much help, so those who really do want to make the team perhaps have heard this and rightfully see no need to take it and/or those who take it end up being complacent with what they're learning in class and don't end up making the team.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Nov 29 2014, 11:28 PM
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It's a weighted elective credit at CDO. Anyone can sign up. There is a pass/fail option for those who decide that they don't want to try very hard.
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Guest_nil_*
post Nov 30 2014, 04:59 PM
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At Nimitz, it is a class for elective credit with honors weighting for GPA. We actively recruit people to sign up, but occasionally someone we aren't previously aware of will sign up.

Grades are determined either by how well students do on tests relative to each other or by how many study questions they complete in the case they aren't doing well on the tests. For the 2nd six weeks a big factor in grades is also having at least a rough draft of a written speech and delivering or reading it to the class on a specified date.

Once we choose the team (Thanksgiving Break), the class becomes a study-hall in the library for the non-team members until the end of the semester. At semester's end, non-team members get schedule changes to get into other classes or aide positions.
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Guest_redhawk2015_*
post Nov 30 2014, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Nov 29 2014, 05:09 PM) *
As for why more team members don't take the class, I can't speak for everyone, but our Honors are generally the overachieving type who take more classes than they know what to do with and who worry about their GPA too much (sigh, yes, this was me). Also, in all honesty, the class is really not of much help, so those who really do want to make the team perhaps have heard this and rightfully see no need to take it and/or those who take it end up being complacent with what they're learning in class and don't end up making the team.

For all practical purposes, our AcDec class at Liberty has essentially become an Octathlon class since 90% of the students in it are freshmen who are more interested in the GPA points than anythings. However, I think we may be the exception rather than the rule (in Frisco anyway); I know that Centennial's AcDec class is still thriving, with around 20 students and most of the actual team in it.
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Guest_the_crazy_honors_*
post Dec 1 2014, 09:38 PM
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At Richardson, the class is effectively mandatory if you want to make the team (we've gained the ability to be stricter every year), because class is the primary practice time (due to a combination of precedent in the district, UIL rules, and schedule compatibility for all the kids). It's an unweighted elective, but that's a problem with our school, not our school's handling of Decathlon. Lots of things, like magnet electives (which are often more work than an average AP class), are unweighted because the weighting system focuses on whether courses have anything to do with AP Exams. (Pre-AP and AP classes are 95% of the district's secondary GT program.) The Decathlon class is graded 0-100, but it's common to give 100s to anyone displaying an honest effort. This is done to keep kids from being scared off from taking the class (I think my school has a problem with arbitrary grading in certain classes); when I was competing, at least, we used positive peer pressure, one-on-one talks with coaches, and fun incentives (usually snacks) as the main modes of keeping kids accountable for doing well.
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Guest_Herohito_*
post Dec 2 2014, 04:48 AM
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We had a class only one of the years I was in the program - it was the most successful year we had by far because that consistent effort 5 hours a week was more than V's generally study on their own anyhow.

Weighted but useless honors credit was the system we used. Grades were basically based on effort and improvement, and you got an A for putting in a strong effort for the team. The second semester barely had any graded material; it was more of a self-guided group study session, with non-competition members serving as a support cast that helped drill material or practice performance. I think that system worked great, and we would have done much better in the following year had we had the same class in place. There were a few grade-hogs in the class but I think little was lost in that regard.

I think we had to have a signature to join, but it's been a few years so I just don't remember. I think any student was allowed to join if they asked permission.
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Guest_KF2.0_*
post Dec 2 2014, 04:52 PM
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Thanks to everyone for sharing some of your experiences. It's good to know some of the pros and cons of different approaches.
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Abuelo
post Dec 2 2014, 05:56 PM
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QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 2 2014, 04:52 PM) *
Thanks to everyone for sharing some of your experiences. It's good to know some of the pros and cons of different approaches.



Forty seven of the sixty schools participating in LAUSD Aca Deca offer a class (trying to make it 100%). It is an elective that UC does not accept for their A-G requirements, despite the efforts of our previous and current State Directors.

cool.gif
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Guest_KF2.0_*
post Dec 2 2014, 08:04 PM
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QUOTE (Abuelo @ Dec 2 2014, 07:56 AM) *
QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 2 2014, 04:52 PM) *
Thanks to everyone for sharing some of your experiences. It's good to know some of the pros and cons of different approaches.



Forty seven of the sixty schools participating in LAUSD Aca Deca offer a class (trying to make it 100%). It is an elective that UC does not accept for their A-G requirements, despite the efforts of our previous and current State Directors.

cool.gif


That's a useful statistic! I would love to be able to set something up for my kids, but it will be difficult as I am not a teacher or member of the high school's staff.
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TinDefacto
post Dec 2 2014, 09:00 PM
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QUOTE (Abuelo @ Dec 2 2014, 12:56 PM) *
It is an elective that UC does not accept for their A-G requirements, despite the efforts of our previous and current State Directors.

What are A-G requirements? What does this potentially affect?
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Guest_NicoTheVarsity_*
post Dec 3 2014, 03:44 AM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 2 2014, 02:00 PM) *
QUOTE (Abuelo @ Dec 2 2014, 12:56 PM) *
It is an elective that UC does not accept for their A-G requirements, despite the efforts of our previous and current State Directors.

What are A-G requirements? What does this potentially affect?

A-G requirements are subject requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for a UC to consider your application. I'm not sure how widespread those requirements are spread but here in California every counselor was preaching them to any student hoping to go to one.
A-G Requirements
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Guest_KF2.0_*
post Dec 3 2014, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (NicoTheVarsity @ Dec 2 2014, 05:44 PM) *
QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 2 2014, 02:00 PM) *
QUOTE (Abuelo @ Dec 2 2014, 12:56 PM) *
It is an elective that UC does not accept for their A-G requirements, despite the efforts of our previous and current State Directors.

What are A-G requirements? What does this potentially affect?

A-G requirements are subject requirements that need to be fulfilled in order for a UC to consider your application. I'm not sure how widespread those requirements are spread but here in California every counselor was preaching them to any student hoping to go to one.
A-G Requirements


Hawaii used to have a similar Board of Education diploma, the requirements of which were higher than a standard high school diploma. Not as important as the A-G system, but mostly a way to encourage kids to take more core classes.
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TinDefacto
post Dec 3 2014, 10:16 PM
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QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 3 2014, 04:38 PM) *
Hawaii used to have a similar Board of Education diploma, the requirements of which were higher than a standard high school diploma. Not as important as the A-G system, but mostly a way to encourage kids to take more core classes.

Why don't they just... require kids to take more core classes? o.O
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Guest_KF2.0_*
post Dec 4 2014, 02:38 AM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 3 2014, 12:16 PM) *
QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 3 2014, 04:38 PM) *
Hawaii used to have a similar Board of Education diploma, the requirements of which were higher than a standard high school diploma. Not as important as the A-G system, but mostly a way to encourage kids to take more core classes.

Why don't they just... require kids to take more core classes? o.O


I actually kind of like the idea - it sets a minimum, but also sets another goal for more motivated students. Not sure what the real-world applications of the B.O.E. diploma are, though.
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TinDefacto
post Dec 4 2014, 08:10 AM
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QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 3 2014, 09:38 PM) *
QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 3 2014, 12:16 PM) *
QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 3 2014, 04:38 PM) *
Hawaii used to have a similar Board of Education diploma, the requirements of which were higher than a standard high school diploma. Not as important as the A-G system, but mostly a way to encourage kids to take more core classes.

Why don't they just... require kids to take more core classes? o.O


I actually kind of like the idea - it sets a minimum, but also sets another goal for more motivated students. Not sure what the real-world applications of the B.O.E. diploma are, though.

I mean, sure, but there are ways to set higher goals for more motivated students while still requiring all students to take more core classes. That's what Texas does.
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Guest_the_crazy_honors_*
post Dec 4 2014, 03:49 PM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 4 2014, 02:10 AM) *
QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 3 2014, 09:38 PM) *
QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 3 2014, 12:16 PM) *
QUOTE (KF2.0 @ Dec 3 2014, 04:38 PM) *
Hawaii used to have a similar Board of Education diploma, the requirements of which were higher than a standard high school diploma. Not as important as the A-G system, but mostly a way to encourage kids to take more core classes.

Why don't they just... require kids to take more core classes? o.O


I actually kind of like the idea - it sets a minimum, but also sets another goal for more motivated students. Not sure what the real-world applications of the B.O.E. diploma are, though.

I mean, sure, but there are ways to set higher goals for more motivated students while still requiring all students to take more core classes. That's what Texas does.

Yeah, and that sure works beautifully in our graduation rates. You and I went to very different high schools. I know kids who were taking an intermediate between the second and third years of math (there are four) in their fourth year of high school. Think we kept those kids for six years? I imagine there's a waiver system no one knows about--the special-ed "High School Diploma" has lower math and science requirements and is supposed to be incredibly easy to get, for one--or all those kids just drop out. I like the idea of a common, minimum (for neurotypical kids, at least) diploma and a more meritorious one on top, like our Distinguished Achievement Program only more meaningful than an extra year of foreign language.
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TinDefacto
post Dec 4 2014, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE (the_crazy_honors @ Dec 4 2014, 10:49 AM) *
QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Dec 4 2014, 02:10 AM) *

There are ways to set higher goals for more motivated students while still requiring all students to take more core classes. That's what Texas does.

Yeah, and that sure works beautifully in our graduation rates. You and I went to very different high schools. I know kids who were taking an intermediate between the second and third years of math (there are four) in their fourth year of high school. Think we kept those kids for six years? I imagine there's a waiver system no one knows about--the special-ed "High School Diploma" has lower math and science requirements and is supposed to be incredibly easy to get, for one--or all those kids just drop out.

Thaaaaaaat is a very, very good point. I knew it couldn't be possible that Texas was actually doing something right with their education system. Touché.
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Guest_Gurkha_*
post Dec 6 2014, 03:07 AM
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At Coppell it is a class that counts as AP/Honors GPA credit...buuuuuttt...not counted for top 10% GPA credit.

In Texas, instead of affirmative action they simply qualify the top 10% of the class rank for any state school su has UTA or A&M.

It's a catch 22...AcDec is hard so top students need to think about where they are applying for college. If it's Harvard, Rice, MIT or Stanford etc then AcDec helps your overall GPA. But if your focused on UT for example then AcDec hurts your chances. Top kids still get high A's in AcDec but the work load interferes with other class studies...opportunity cost.

Scholastics is the problem...they are right at that top 10% cut off. If they are say 15% thenAcDec looks good to college admissions.

It's almost impossible to have varsities. Our students can retest every test and we don't have D's so GPA's are inflated. Students have to come to tutoring to retest and it overwhelms the teacher so teachers simply hand out passing grades. If kids have a 79 or 89 in.a class many teachers simply cough up the next higher grade 80, 90 to avoid the onslaught of parent complaints.

If I simply give high A's in ACDec then honors kids pile into the class then sandbag the tryouts so they don't have to keep competing...they just want the GPA boost. If I kick them out of AcDec after tryouts then it's bad for recruiting. Yet, if I am too tough then honors will not join because it's too hard. Also no varsity would ever join AcDec if I gave the real grade.....so I scale the varsity grades just enough. It's a delicate science.
B
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