Skip to comments.Trend: Class Rankings Being Axed
Posted on 12/16/2006 8:55:51 PM PST by Ronald ReaganROCKS
With high school students under mounting pressure to achieve high grades and gain acceptance to select colleges, a new trend is taking holdgetting rid of class rankings, which some say just intensify the pressure teens already feel in the competitive college application environment.
A recent story in Time reports that Naperville, IL, noted for its excellent school system, has jettisoned the rankings, which colleges have traditionally used to sort the academically weak from the strong. The rankings will be phased out over the next year; 2007's upperclassmen will choose whether to include a rank in their official transcripts, Time reports.
But Cecelia Freda, Middletown High School South school librarian and winner of this year's SLJ Giant Step Award, whose school maintains the statistics, says, "Rankings are a good thing. One of the benefits is that the people who work hard deserve that honor. For the other students, it's something to strive for."
(Excerpt) Read more at schoollibraryjournal.com ...
I agree. In their efforts to not hurt feelings they are weakening students and not preparing them for the real world.
Why should they be compared to other students? A grade point average should stand alone. Life doesn't grade on the curve.
Ranking and designations like Valedictorian and Salutatorian are being sytematically removed from the educational system including here in my town.
Intense pressure? It's a good thing these poor teens didn't go to school in the pre-cucumber and condom days when people used slide rules and had to learn certain things before they could move up to the next grade. No calculators, no cell phones, no computers, no nothing. A pencil, a pen, a pad and a slide rule. Yeah. It's a lot more "intense" these days. Geeeesh. This is dumb. Our "schools" are dumb.
I agree with your sentiments but since grading standards vary from high school to high school, how could you compare GPA from different schools. Granted, the quality of students from different high schools will also differ but at least a college admission office would know what rank a particular student is in his/her high school
Do you really need your rank displayed to losers if you are a bad ass?
80% of high schoolers could care less about their class standing, let alone even know they had one.
Even GPA is a joke now.
When I went to school, F=0.0, D=1.0, c=2.0, b=3.0, a=4.0
Only the younger teachers gave half grades, c+, b+, etc, because technically, they didnt' exist.
Now, some schools actually give you a 4.5 for an a+ and give you a bonus point if the class is judged to be "hard". THat's just not fair. 4.0 was perfect in my day. If you are getting 4.5s figured into your average you are cheating. If you get a bonus of 1 point for a "hard" class, like math, you are cheating. In some schools nowdays, If you get an a+ in advanced algebra, you get a 5.5 added into your GPA.
Do you think that is fair?
"..The idea behind grading on a curve is that, rather than awarding a 100% to any student who gets a perfect score, the student with the highest score gets 100%, with all lower scores being tweaked accordingly. The point of this is that then the grades are not affected if the instructor has been teaching poorly, or if the test is more difficult (or easier) than anticipated by the instructor. It also serves to make school more competitive. There's more than one way to implement a curve-grading scheme, depending on the instructor's personal preference and the amount of effort they're willing to put into grading..."
Actually it does. By almost any measure of achievement, folks sort themselves out into a bell-curve, with a few super-high and super-low achievers and a bunch of folks in the middle.
The reason the left wants to eliminate class rankings is that Black and Hispanic kids do worse, on average, than do Asian, Jewish and White kids. In the leftist mind, you have to eliminate anything that will distinguish because any distinction that does not favor Blacks and Hispanics is, by definition, racist. So you eliminate class rankings. You argue that GPA is sufficient, But the next step is GPA becomes meaningless because everybody gets an A--it's called grade inflation and it's already happening.
It's unfair to the kids who work hard (of any race or creed) because they aren't allowed to stand out from the pack.
How do you achieve great results?
Set a standard and meet it.
Ask anyone who has ever served in the military the importance of setting standards (or goals) and subsequently meeting them. And ask anyone who has ever served in a below average unit why the unit performed so poorly. The answer to the later case is almost always that the unit failed to set and enforce standards.
These schools are going to go down the toilet because academic performance does not occur in a vacuum. People need to know what the level of the bar is and how they are competing with others. All this change is going to do is to tell students that it doesn't matter if they don't meet standards anymore because it won't affect them. We'll see how this works out for them.
Unless they are working for the government.
I can see your side of the argument regarding GPA...however, please keep in mind that you can set your sights rather low taking easier courses and maintain a 4.0 GPA. For example, suppose I simply take the bare minimum courses to graduate while another student takes harder courses (i.e. calculus instead of "review of math II" or advanced physics instead of "Earth Day Science"). Of course, courses being hard is a rather subjective interpretation.
At the end of the course, the student taking the harder courses might receive 2 Bs while the other student may have earned 2 As. Now, when some college is evaluating the students, they may only look at the GPA and not the coursework. While this is not a college I would prefer to attend, some students might be overlooked.
As far as "partial" grades, I actually prefer this approach if done properly. When a student gets a "high" B and another gets a "low" B, they both equal 3.0 at the end of the course. At least the partial grades help weigh this properly. I do agree that the "4.5 for an A+" is worthless....it is impossible to master 100% of anything!
Of course, my argument assumes the teacher is applying the system properly.
The newest trend developing is the standards based report card.
4-exceeds standards, 3-meets standards, 2-partially meets standards, 1-does not meet standards, 0-well below standard...Just a politically correct method of not mentioning the GPA of students of ethnically diverse backgrounds.
God forbid you should COMPETE in anything, it's so...so...I don't know, exciting, and for boys it will just make them too macho and misogynistic, how will they ever turn out to be gay like we want them?
Everything you said makes sense except for one thing.
IT ISN'T FAIR!
You can't just up and change the system like that. Not all schools follow that system. How do you adjust for applicants from a school using the old system against applicants from a school using the new system? And how do you compare GPA of an 18 year old applicant to a 30 year old applicant from the same highschool? Not to mention different highschools.
But even if there is an equalizing method for comparing the two different systems, I would still be against it. The reason....its just silly. Once you get to grad school, they get way more realistic. It's A, B, or incomplete. No half grades, no extra credit, and no one gives a * what your GPA is. And you beter not get incompletes because they will pile the work on 3 fold. In grad school you either get ignored or you graduate. Then after that you either get a job, or you get a phD. Real life doesn't have 9 gradations. Real life is thus: good, OK, or fired. And OK is only acceptable if it doesn't happen every day.
One of the local papers has a session with all the area valedictorians each year. Jacobs has about 1/2 the total from 12 schools, because all the others have one each. It must be emberassing for these kids, once they get over the initial rush of being one of many.
The system you described makes me want to spit.
It does so because it describes 5 levels of acheivment. Similar to the old abcdf system...BUT...
The difference is that in the old days, a C was considered average, acceptable, meeting minimum requirements. But by your system, average is the second place grade. That tells me that they have reduced the upper acheiving gradations by one and increased the FAILING gradations by 1. Apparently, many people are failing nowdays and they needed to expand that part of the scale to better differentiate one failure from the next.
What a joke.
I was ranked 500 in my class and we only had 209. It must have been because of the negative 80 percent that I was awarded as my final average. sarc.
This has to do with GPA. My son's college uses the plus/minus system of GPA. So just getting an A, doesn't automatically get you a 4.0 for the class. An A- will only rate you a 3.6.
And in college GPA does matter. You keep your scholarship by keeping up your GPA, you get accepted into a master's program only if you have a certain GPA, etc.
With honors classes in high school your GPA is often above a 4.0, but that was happening when I went to HS many moons ago (35 years ago the first 10 ranked in my class had above a 4.0, so this is nothing new.
Sooner or later the kids will have to face the reality that school is competition, so why not in HS before they run into total shock during college.
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