Student Says Poway District Penalizing Him For Being Gifted
Many Of Lucas Brown's Credits Won't Count Toward His GPA
Last Updated: 998 days ago
A gifted student told 10News the Poway Unified School District penalizes academic achievement, and he wants the district to change its policy.Lucas Brown is a senior at Rancho Bernardo High School, and like his peers he goes to classes every day and carries a backpack heavy with books. However, Lucas is not like most kids his age."What are you into? asked 10News reporter Allison Ash.Physics, Lucas replied.Why? asked Ash.Because its awesome, said Lucas.Lucas figures things out for fun. Recently, his calculations came up with a new prime number -- one with 150,000 digits. He showed 10News a quadratic map for fun."That map is basically an attractor," Lucas said.He is so gifted in math and physics that he has already passed all the high school AP and honors courses. Through independent study, he has earned 195 credits.However, Poway Unified will only allow 40 of those credits to go toward his grade-point average. David Brown, Lucas' father and a physicist, said that means his son won't look as good on paper as he really is."It presents a picture of someone who is definitely no slouch, but you would definitely not get the impression from the academic metrics that he is in fact the student that he is," Brown said.Brown said Lucas isn't the only exceptional student in this situation, and Poway Unified is not the only school district shortchanging its smartest students. The Browns want Poway Unified to be the district that fixes the problem so students like Lucas get the attention of top colleges and big scholarships."I don't think it puts him at a disadvantage," said Poway Unified School District Board President Todd Gutschow.Gutschow said high school transcripts are for the work students do in high school."A university transcript is a record of what you do in the university. Now most kids Lucas' age don't have both kinds of transcripts, but Lucas does and the combination of those two records really tell Lucas' academic story," said Gutschow.Without a change, Lucas' GPA is just above 4.0. With credit for his extra work, he said it should be more like 4.5 and added that is the difference between a top-tier college like Stanford or Harvard and a state college.