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NEISD Class Ranking FAQ

North East ISD embarked on a comprehensive review of our current Rank Policy, EIC (LOCAL) in March of 2018.

A large committee of district leaders, campus leadership, and counselors reviewed literature, rank trends across the state and nation, college and university admissions practices. The committee’s primary task was to determine if our current policy represents current trends and practices.

During this 20-month process, the rank committee incorporated input from the District Educational Improvement Council (DEIC), PTA Executive Board, Secondary Principals, Curriculum Assistant Principals, Secondary Counselors, and Middle School parents.

The district’s primary purpose throughout this process was to ensure that the future higher education goals of NEISD students was at the forefront of any decisions the committee recommended to the NEISD Board of Trustees.

  1. Why is North East ISD changing rank? Our recommendations were based on trends across the state while maintaining a competitive edge in the educational marketplace. We have been thorough in our literature review and our recommendations. When universities are determining which students are being admitted to their institutions, we want NEISD students to be competitively positioned for those seats.
  2. Who will this impact? Current 8th graders and high school students WILL NOT be impacted. The District wants current 7th grade students to be able to make informed decisions on high school credit courses while in middle school. The district will continue to monitor trends and practices at our colleges and universities to avoid any potential adverse effect on students. 
  3. How will this decision impact student(s) college admission? North East will continue to rank the top 10% of students in high school in order to comply with state law. All students in the top 10% will know exactly where they rank in their graduating class.  Most universities North East has spoken with said they are adopting a “holistic review” of students who are not in the top 10%. Many college admissions staff have shared with North East ISD, their primary focus is to get the student into their institution, not to exclude them.
  4. What is a holistic review? Holistic review refers to the process of looking at multiple data points, such as SAT, GPA, community service etc., when determining admissions to colleges or universities. College and universities may use a variety of methods when determining if a student will be admitted to their institution. North East ISD does not have any control over how these decisions are made, but will monitor any changes made by the college admissions office.
  5. Will my child be excluded from automatic admission to a college or university allowing the top 25% to be admitted? No. North East ISD will modify and adjust our local processes or policies if the college or university automatically admits the top quartile. Please note:  grade point averages (GPA) will always be calculated and available for students who attend high school in the North East ISD. 
  6. How will colleges or universities know North East ISD does not rank students outside the top 10%? More colleges and universities understand the state of Texas does not require class rank beyond the top 10%. Therefore, many colleges and universities have added questions on their application forms to verify if a district does or does not rank beyond top 10%. 
  7. Do colleges outside of Texas care about rank? The majority of colleges and universities have stated that while rank may be a data point to consider, they take a holistic approach when evaluating students for admission.
  8. How many high schools chose not to rank students? About 60% of high schools across the country do not rank students.
  9. Will not ranking students affect scholarship opportunities? North East ISD will modify and adjust our local processes or policies and or work with the entity awarding the scholarship by providing GPA quartiles if needed.
  10. Is there a negative effect for not reporting rank?  High schools that have eliminated class rank report no adverse effect for their students when it comes to the college admissions process or to the awarding of scholarships.
  11. How are the changes to rank related to Social Emotional Learning (SEL)? There exists an appropriate amount of “tension” for students taking enriched courses. While we want North East ISD students challenged, we do not want that tension to be at such a degree where students feel they can’t take courses they like, e.g., athletics and fine arts, and have to take only those courses that have multipliers.
  12. How will the changes to rank be communicated to my student? Since this change in policy impacts current 7th graders, we are in the early stages of developing a communication plan. Once completed, the high school campuses will facilitate meetings to explain the change to students.
  13. What credits are calculated in a student’s rank? 
    1. North East ISD only calculates courses required for graduation on the Foundation HS Program with Distinguished Level of Achievement. For example, for a student to graduate on the Foundation HS Program with Distinguished Level of Achievement, he/she will have to earn 26 credits. Most North East ISD students graduate with more than 26 credits, therefore, not all courses will be calculated. This gives students the opportunity to take courses they like.
    2. Students cannot pick and choose what courses they wish to have ranked.
    3. High school courses taken in middle school are not calculated in rank.
    4. Only semester grades are calculated for rank.
    5. Courses are ranked based on the first time the course is taken. Repeated courses are not calculated in a student’s class rank. For example, a student took and failed the first semester of Geometry with a “64” average. The student then repeated this course at Evening High School and earned an “83.” The semester grade used in calculating that student’s rank would be the “64” and the repeated grade will not impact rank.
  14. Students are ranked according to a cohort or the year they enter the ninth grade.
    1. A student’s cohort cannot be changed. For example, if a student graduates early the student will always be ranked with the group of students he/she entered the ninth grade with.
    2. Students will receive their rank at the end of the sixth semester, mid-summer, early fall, and again at the end of seventh semester.
    3. Courses taken after the student’s seventh semester will not be calculated in rank.
    4. A 1.15 multiplier will be applied to courses that are titled as Advance Placement and have an AP test. A 1.08 multiplier will be applied to courses that are considered, Pre-AP, Honors, GT, or Dual Credit, and do not have an AP exam.
    5. For students transferring to an NEISD high school, advanced courses taken outside NEISD are given the same multiplier as long as a similar or the same course is offered in NEISD.
    6. Elective credits with the highest point value are used first in the calculating rank. For example, advanced core courses may offer higher point calculations than on-level elective courses. In other words, a 95 (95 * 1.15 = 109.25) AP Chemistry will replace a lower elective course, e.g., a 100 in Band III as one of the 6.5 elective credits required for graduation.
  15. How will NEISD calculate rank for required courses taken after the 7th semester? Rank calculation in NEISD is based on the number of credits required for graduation under the Foundation High School Program with Distinguished Level of Achievement (DLOA). The 26 credits required for Foundation graduation plan are specific to various categories and are calculated for rank.  However, if a required high school credit is earned in middle school or in the eighth semester of the senior year a new denominator will be used for calculation because these credits do not count in the seventh semester rank. 

    Example:  A student would have an adjusted denominator for rank if the student took Algebra I in middle school and is scheduled to take three of his/her other required credits in the eighth semester of his/her senior year.  This adjusted denominator is based on the required credits earned in the first seven semesters of high school and will exclude all credits earned in middle school and/or in the eighth semester of their senior year.

    Let’s do the math for this scenario:  

    Foundation High School Program with DLOA, total credits needed: 26 

    Credits earned in Middle school that will not be calculated for rank: one (Algebra I)

    Required credits scheduled in eighth semester of the senior year that will not be calculated for rank: three (three required credits in the eighth semester. 

    Total credits used for the new rank denominator:  22 

    In a nutshell, the denominator used to calculate rank will be based on the number of Foundation program credits earned in the seven semesters of high school.  No middle school or eighth semester courses will count.