School Expels Kids for Less Than a 3.0 GPA

New policy at top-ranked high school requires kids keep a B average.

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Matthew Nuti is a top debater on his school's Model United Nations team, a starting player in junior varsity football, and a spirited member of the yearbook staff. He also has a 2.8 GPA, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology—which tops our list for America's Best High Schools—has called for his expulsion.

Nuti, who just finished 10th grade, was just one of five students expelled under the school's new policy, according to the Washington Post. It was last year that "TJ," a highly selective public magnet school in suburban Washington, D.C., first decided to require that all students have a 3.0 GPA—a B average—to continue at the school. But implementation is a different thing.

"I thought they wouldn't actually try to remove me from the school," Nuti told the Post. The school's verdict was particularly surprising since Nuti earned top marks on the Virginia state Standards of Learning exams, and his middle school GPA, when TJ admitted him in 2006, was nothing other than a 2.8! (The school is purportedly moving to require a 3.0 GPA for admission, too.)

It's a peculiar policy for a public high school, though TJ is by no means an ordinary place (for instance, its class of 2007 has an average SAT score of 2155, on a 2400 scale). Still a number of instructors, including the teacher who gave Nuti his worst mark—a D—say they're troubled by the new rule. And the implications for grade inflation are clear. It also raises the question: When is a student's GPA too low? And is it really an accurate reflection of a student's educational experience?

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