Promote weighted high school journalism classes


HSPA Foundation Board of Directors resolution:

According to the Indiana High School Press Association, some high school journalists must choose between following their love of journalism or their pursuit of valedictorian status because journalism classes are not weighted as an academic honors class. If students choose to take a journalism class, it may penalize their overall grade-point average.

In most schools, journalism does not carry academic honors status despite studies that show students who serve on newspaper and yearbook staffs have higher high school GPAs, ACT composite scores, ACT English scores, college freshman English grades, and overall higher college freshman grades than average students (NAA, 2008).

The Indiana Department of Education determined this week that the granting of credits for honors diplomas is a matter of local control.

To classify journalism as such does not require approval by the State Board of Education. At least four high schools in Indiana already recognize journalism as a weighted class – Munster, Carmel, Floyd Central and Bishop Chatard.

Therefore be it resolved:

The Hoosier State Press Association Foundation urges Indiana publishers to reach out to superintendents and school boards in their area to request that their school districts elevate journalism classes to academic honors status. In addition, publishing editorials in support of this move may result in parents and others in the community backing this change.

If this request is acted upon by school districts, future journalists will not be punished for pursuing their passion, and journalism will receive its just recognition as an important piece in the fabric of the school community.

So approved on March 7, 2014