Wake County school board votes to stop naming valedictorians


#1

The News & Observer:

Wake County school board votes to stop naming valedictorians

High school valedictorians are on the verge of becoming a thing of the past in Wake County as school leaders cut down on what they call unhealthy competition among top-achieving students.

The Wake County school board unanimously gave initial approval Tuesday to a policy that would bar high school principals from naming valedictorians and salutatorians – titles which go to the two seniors with the highest grade-point averages – after 2018. Starting in 2019, high schools would begin using a new system that recognizes seniors with Latin titles such as cum laude if they have a weighted GPA of at least 3.75.

School board members said the change will allow students to take more of the courses they’d like rather than just the ones that will boost their GPA and class rank.
“We have heard from many, many schools that the competition has become very unhealthy,” school board Chairman Tom Benton said in an interview. “Students were not collaborating with each other the way that we would like them to. Their choice of courses was being guided by their GPA and not their future education plans.”

The new system would result in more seniors being recognized. Benton said this is a better approach, especially in schools where there could be 400 to 600 seniors, for recognizing students than just to single out one or two students in a ranking that could come down to a thousandths of a decimal point.

And in a season the team that scored the most total points for the season may may not make it into the championship.


#2

[quote=Dodo]Everybody has won, and all must have prizes!
[/quote]


#3

Next up, abolishing the position of a solitary CEO! Because we can’t have unhealthy competition in the job market when there are so many people…

Also, has anybody else seen a “competition” for valedictorian? At my school, I don’t think we really care. We aim for high grades, of course, but we don’t *fight *over it. :shrug: Lastly, I can choose any courses I want, really, because I’m aiming to get a high GPA to encourage my future education. It’s a hand in hand thing!


#4

Wouldn’t it be a better solution to simply ax the weighted grade system?


#5

Tempest in a tea pot.

In most schools the competition is between a handful of high achieving students and the vast majority of the student body doesn’t care. What’s wrong with letting these super achievers battle it out. They need to decide if taking the interesting class is a better choice than an easy A.


#6

First they wanted to give participation trophies to every kid. Now, even in school there will be no incentive to perform. Why bother? You are smart, just like everyone else.:cool: Just another example of political correctness gone too far.


#7

And it’s not going to kill the highest achieving handful to find out that they can’t always be first place!


#8

Eh, the valedictorian at my first HS (the math and science school I did my last two years at didn’t have valedictorians) got it by “gaming” the system and how stuff was weighted. She wasn’t very bright.

Getting good grades should be enough incentive to perform. Mostly because literally nobody cares that you were valedictorian 10 minutes after the ceremony ends. If I was interviewing somebody for a job and they brought it up my next question would be how they felt about the song “Glory Days” by the boss.


#9

As a teacher and as a student, yes, I have seen these ugly competitions that can be dramatically awful.

It’s a shame, too. Learning isn’t a contest. If you’re in it for the grade or the GPA, I question your priorities and reason for getting an education.


#10

Who cares? High School is about learning, not a class rank competition. :shrug:


#11

The problem is with current grade inflation sometimes schools can’t determine who did best. If you have 20 students with straight A averages, and all in essentially the same subjects. who is the top achiever? I have seen schools abolish naming valedictorian and salutatorian for that very reason. You can sort of have two or three valedictorians, and I have seen schools do that. But you can’t have 20 valedictorians without making a mockery of the whole thing.


#12

In other news, the school board of a nearby district announced that persons hired will no longer be designated as “teachers”. As the former superintendent (now Spokesperson) explained, that job title carries connotations of superiority that many find hurtful. Labels such as “student” will no longer be used, with all the obvious labels that accompany that lower status, and ignorance. Instead, it is recognized that information sharing must be mutual, with equal respect due to all, regardless of where he/she is on that continuum.

The title “parent” will be reviewed at our next meeting.

(Ok, forgive this sarcastic interlude, with only slight exaggeration from current reality).
:slight_smile:


#13

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

Best thing I’ve read all day! :thumbsup:


#14

In this case, the students would need to perform well enough to have a 3.75 GPA in order to obtain the title. That’s not quite as bad as participation trophies for everyone.


#15

Not that I like it, but how is that any different than what they encounter in the real world? Never met a salesman etc that wasn’t gaming the system.

Getting good grades should be enough incentive to perform. Mostly because literally nobody cares that you were valedictorian 10 minutes after the ceremony ends. If I was interviewing somebody for a job and they brought it up my next question would be how they felt about the song “Glory Days” by the boss.

Agreed, someone who passed up Physics to get an easy A in Workshop will still end up where they deserve.


#16

That’s kind of my thought. Education is not a contest. They are still going to recognize academic excellence. They just aren’t going to pit the students against each other to gain recognition.


#17

I assume that college admissions officials know what’s going on, from students gaming the system to schools lowering standards, so does being valedictorian/salutatorian actually mean anything?


#18

I expect they rely on the ACT/SAT scores. Though someone who does know how the game the High School system will quickly learn how to game the College system as well.


#19

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