I read an article in Thomas Brown's Texas Government Blog regarding Texas House Bill 588 which grants the top ten percent of every high school's graduating class automatic admittance to Texas public Universities. In the article, Brown argues that the bill is unfair in admitting the top ten percent and doesn't do a good job at benefiting the most deserved Texas students.
I moved to Texas in the middle of my sophomore year, and originally was very pleased to here that the top ten percent of every graduating class would receive automatic entrance to Texas public universities. That was until I soon realized exactly what you have just pointed out. While I myself did not graduate in the top ten percent of my class, I was not expecting to either. My sister on the other hand, stayed up 6 days of the week to crazy hours of the night and dedicated her entire life to her schooling, made a 4.0 and never got below an A in her life yet she did not graduate top ten percent of her class. Granted her graduating class was ginormous. But it is completely unfair that she worked so hard and is not receiving the automatic acceptance that other students graduating from smaller classes are receiving knowing a lot worked half as hard as she did. I agree that there has got to be a better way for Texas to reward it's hard working, top of the line students and it's current House Bill 588 is definitely not the way.
In Georgia, anyone graduating with a 3.0 GPA gets free tuition to any Georgia public university, it's called the Hope Scholarship. While this may seem too easy, the catch is that if at any point in college they drop below that 3.0 GPA, they are no longer granted that scholarship and must pay tuition.
While something like the Hope Scholarship may not work in Texas, it is definitely something to look into as a sign that their are other ways to reward students for excelling at school.