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Trend: Class Rankings Being Axed
SLJ.com ^ | 07/28/06 | Laura B. Weiss

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 hold—getting 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 ...


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: class; competitiveness; education; rankings
Man, more Liberal feel-goodery everybody wins atmosphere in Liberal Academia. Pretty soon there won't be much of a need to go to school, you too can be valedictorian-even if you don't show up for school.
1 posted on 12/16/2006 8:55:53 PM PST by Ronald ReaganROCKS
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

I agree. In their efforts to not hurt feelings they are weakening students and not preparing them for the real world.


2 posted on 12/16/2006 9:00:04 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182

Why should they be compared to other students? A grade point average should stand alone. Life doesn't grade on the curve.


3 posted on 12/16/2006 9:05:25 PM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

Ranking and designations like Valedictorian and Salutatorian are being sytematically removed from the educational system including here in my town.


4 posted on 12/16/2006 9:09:00 PM PST by Nextrush (Chris Matthews Band: "I get high....I get high.....I get high....McCain.")
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

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.


5 posted on 12/16/2006 9:11:12 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (I hope nobody "offends" me today.)
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To: gcruse

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


6 posted on 12/16/2006 9:13:52 PM PST by eeman
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

Do you really need your rank displayed to losers if you are a bad ass?


7 posted on 12/16/2006 9:15:05 PM PST by Porterville (Fight without rules. Fight until only one side stands.)
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

80% of high schoolers could care less about their class standing, let alone even know they had one.


8 posted on 12/16/2006 9:16:45 PM PST by operation clinton cleanup
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To: gcruse

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?


9 posted on 12/16/2006 9:22:22 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: gcruse
Class rank is no curve. It is the accumulation of the grades of their entire scholastic history.

Grading on a curve

"..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..."

10 posted on 12/16/2006 9:24:47 PM PST by Anti-Bubba182
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To: gcruse
A grade point average should stand alone. Life doesn't grade on the curve.

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.

11 posted on 12/16/2006 9:32:56 PM PST by ModelBreaker
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS
I wouldn't have much of a problem with a deemphasis of class rankings (which, due to grade inflation, questionable GPA bonuses for advanced courses, difficulty of comparing between schools, and other factors, are becoming of dubious value anyway) if the SATs and other standardized test scores were given more weight. SATs, though not perfect, are closer to fair and objective measures than grades, assigned by fallible and possibly biased teachers, themselves often products of third-rate "teachers colleges" are, I would submit.

Unfortunately, standardized test scores are being deemphasized, too. Culturally biased, don't you know. And the reason we know that they're culturally biased is that some cultures don't score as well on them. Circular logic at its finest.

So with grades deemphasized, and standardized scores deemphasized, what fills in? Subjective judgments on the merits of extracurricular activities? "Diversity," perhaps? How the college applicants "feel" about the important issues of the day?
12 posted on 12/16/2006 9:36:15 PM PST by southernnorthcarolina (Some people are like Slinkies: totally useless, but fun to throw down a stair.)
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

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.


13 posted on 12/16/2006 9:39:30 PM PST by burzum (Despair not! I shall inspire you by charging blindly on!--Minsc, BG2)
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS
OK....Remove ranking from schools so the poor kids wont get their delicate feelings hurt. Unfortunately the real world and employers are not as concerned about your feelings. They are setting these kids up for a lifetime of failure.
14 posted on 12/16/2006 9:41:28 PM PST by skimask (People who care what you do don't matter.......People who matter don't care what you do.)
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To: skimask

Unless they are working for the government.


15 posted on 12/16/2006 9:48:26 PM PST by Pikachu_Dad
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To: mamelukesabre

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.


16 posted on 12/16/2006 9:55:56 PM PST by edh
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To: ModelBreaker

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.


17 posted on 12/16/2006 10:04:35 PM PST by Goldie Lurks (professional moonbat catcher)
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To: ModelBreaker
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.

Right. And think about the consequences this idiocy will have when it begins to have an effect on the real world. What if the best doctors aren't allowed to rise to the top because a "more diverse and representative" blend of doctors is favored? And apply that to any profession. We're setting ourselves up for disaster. We've almost lost shame altogether. But it's a useful tool.
18 posted on 12/16/2006 10:13:52 PM PST by Jaysun (I've never paid for sex in my life. And that's really pissed off a lot of prostitutes.)
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

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?


19 posted on 12/16/2006 10:20:53 PM PST by word_warrior_bob
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS
A side effect will be to get rid of the senior speech usually given by the Magna Cum Laude. Nobody wants to hear what really inspires the class leaders anymore, either.

-PJ

20 posted on 12/16/2006 10:30:58 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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To: edh

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.


21 posted on 12/17/2006 12:45:28 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS
With inflated grades, getting rid of the class ranking system will make all children the same. Jacobs High School, several miles north of Naperville, has many valedictorians; either based on all A's in school or a GPA over 4.0.

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.

22 posted on 12/17/2006 12:54:37 AM PST by Bernard ("Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for." Will Rogers)
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To: Goldie Lurks

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.


23 posted on 12/17/2006 12:55:52 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

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.


24 posted on 12/17/2006 1:38:56 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: Ronald ReaganROCKS

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.


25 posted on 12/17/2006 1:52:54 AM PST by dawn53
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