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Old 08-12-2013, 08:27 AM
 
4,783 posts, read 4,663,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
IMO, if a school is, consistently having more than one Valedictorian, they need to up their game. Valedictorian is supposed to mean you're the best in your class not in the top 6%.

^This. It would make me think the classes/grading system are too easy. Like someone said, I could see a tie happening here or there but that's about it.

I graduated from a very large public school. We only had one. Then again, I found some of my classes in high school to be more difficult than some of the ones I took in college. So there you go.


This reminded me of some episode of Oprah from a long time ago. I don't really remember what it was really about but this girl had been the valedictorian of her school. She aced everything there and thought she was going to be going to become a doctor eventually. Then she went to college and she was completely blindsided. She was struggling even with the introductory classes. She felt like her HS was too easy and hadn't prepared her for college at all. I would start to wonder if a school with twenty valedictorians would have students like this.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:53 AM
 
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Back in the Pleistocene Era of American public education we had one valedictorian, never heard of a time when more than one person had the exact same average.

Also, the "stress" and "competition" referred to in the newspaper articles did not exist that I can recall. You did the work you did....good, bad, indifferent, and in the end it fell out like it fell out. I have no recollection of kids competing against another specific student. If you were a "good student," liked academic work, you just busted your ass for yourself.

Though it was an excellent school, it was in a small town with a mixed ethnic and socio-economic population all going to the same school (except for a handful of Catholics who chose an R.C. school.) Maybe that now archaic environment made the hyper-aggressive level of competition that people quoted in these news article were wringing their hands about truly wasn't in our picture. Seems like.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,686,045 times
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I don't see what the problem is. My HS had 4 Valedictorians; all girls with perfect 4-point GPA's. My friend was the only Salutatorian, and the only male represented. I think he got a B in PE or something. Some of the girls had taken the most difficult AP courses and some hadn't. Each V spoke for a few minutes, and the S also gave a short speech. I scored high, but I had 2-3 B's, so I wasn't even close to being in the running.

Those girls were smart, worked hard, and deserved the recognition. The classes they aced were not easy. Even though I wasn't a V, my HS set me up to start out ahead of my class at a world-class STEM school, and I was better prepared than even [some of] my Asian-educated classmates/competition.

I didn't find it strange that there were multiple V's. I don't know why you're all being so whiny about the subject. I like the simple system of judging based on GPA, and splitting the title in the case of a tie. Trying to differentiate between students by assigning value to work outside of class is too subjective.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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A number of changes, all of which were made without a mechanism to address the impact, have rendered grades and "valedictorian" status irrelevant. The most competitive colleges are aware of these things and work around them as best they can-something that introduces other problems. There is no longer much spread in GPA and not just because of grade inflation-which also contributes. There is no spread because most schools offer many of the same classes pitched to different ability levels (a desirable thing). So, the kid who used to be a solid C student is now an A students in the lower level classes. So, the classes taken rather than the GPA earned is now the only thing that distinguishes between capable/high achieving and less/low achieving capable kids. Some schools use weighted GPAs for valedictorian but many don't. Further, most colleges acknowledge that Valedictorian status does not necessarily show that the student, even with a school that has only one, is the strongest in the class. In fact, valedictorian status without substantial ECs may signal that the student is a grinder who has spent all of his or her time studying for classes and grade grubbing. Since colleges want students capable of balancing various tasks and they want students for whom academics comes pretty easily, they may be less inclined to accept a valedictorian compared to a student with a slightly lower GPA and strong ECs and evidence that she or he has potential that is not tapped out.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,370 posts, read 25,567,363 times
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I still do not see how it is possible to not just pick one person. Someone will be better than the others. It is not possible that all did the exact same during their 4 years of high school. Lets say that they all took the same classes and all scored a 4.0 or what have you. Could you not then look at what additional things that these kids did? I mean it would seem that when you have more than 1 person making the cut you are just saying they got a perfect score at school. Doesn't becomeing a Valedictorian mean so much more than all A's?

We need to teach kids that the world is full of winners and losers. That is just how the world works. we need them to know that they can count on having a #1 and should have a reason to rise to that number. Are we not showing kids that it is possible to have more than one winner by choosing multiple Valedictorians? It would seem that someone on that list would be upset that a lesser student was a part of the group. In deed that a group was created would be a cut to the real winner.

It is possible to come up with a clear cut winner.

First: with grades and level of education. Lets say someone that is prepaired to move on into the next educational level. If you have more than one person then

Second: SAT scores. I would bet that would eliminate others. High score wins here

Third: School activities, amount of activities that the student particpated in. I would bet that a top student that was in ASB, played a sport, and had a lot of school spirit would beat out a student that lets say was only in the ASB.

Forth: Volunteer work.

Maybe these schools need to reevaluate how they choose a Valedictorian. I just don't see how one person can not be chosen over so many.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
I still do not see how it is possible to not just pick one person. Someone will be better than the others. It is not possible that all did the exact same during their 4 years of high school. Lets say that they all took the same classes and all scored a 4.0 or what have you. Could you not then look at what additional things that these kids did? I mean it would seem that when you have more than 1 person making the cut you are just saying they got a perfect score at school. Doesn't becomeing a Valedictorian mean so much more than all A's?

We need to teach kids that the world is full of winners and losers. That is just how the world works. we need them to know that they can count on having a #1 and should have a reason to rise to that number. Are we not showing kids that it is possible to have more than one winner by choosing multiple Valedictorians? It would seem that someone on that list would be upset that a lesser student was a part of the group. In deed that a group was created would be a cut to the real winner.

It is possible to come up with a clear cut winner.

First: with grades and level of education. Lets say someone that is prepaired to move on into the next educational level. If you have more than one person then

Second: SAT scores. I would bet that would eliminate others. High score wins here

Third: School activities, amount of activities that the student particpated in. I would bet that a top student that was in ASB, played a sport, and had a lot of school spirit would beat out a student that lets say was only in the ASB.

Forth: Volunteer work.

Maybe these schools need to reevaluate how they choose a Valedictorian. I just don't see how one person can not be chosen over so many.
This is what they did when I was in school. In the event of a tie, they sat down and compared transcripts and extracurricular activities. They kept going until one student stood out and the other was the salutatorian.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
I still do not see how it is possible to not just pick one person. Someone will be better than the others. It is not possible that all did the exact same during their 4 years of high school. Lets say that they all took the same classes and all scored a 4.0 or what have you. Could you not then look at what additional things that these kids did? I mean it would seem that when you have more than 1 person making the cut you are just saying they got a perfect score at school. Doesn't becomeing a Valedictorian mean so much more than all A's?

We need to teach kids that the world is full of winners and losers. That is just how the world works. we need them to know that they can count on having a #1 and should have a reason to rise to that number. Are we not showing kids that it is possible to have more than one winner by choosing multiple Valedictorians? It would seem that someone on that list would be upset that a lesser student was a part of the group. In deed that a group was created would be a cut to the real winner.

It is possible to come up with a clear cut winner.

First: with grades and level of education. Lets say someone that is prepaired to move on into the next educational level. If you have more than one person then

Second: SAT scores. I would bet that would eliminate others. High score wins here

Third: School activities, amount of activities that the student particpated in. I would bet that a top student that was in ASB, played a sport, and had a lot of school spirit would beat out a student that lets say was only in the ASB.

Forth: Volunteer work.

Maybe these schools need to reevaluate how they choose a Valedictorian. I just don't see how one person can not be chosen over so many.
If the valedictorian is the person with the highest GPA, #2, 3, and 4 would have no relevance. Plus, in some of these schools, there would be a big competition for activities and volunteer work, not to mention kids doing all sorts of things to get the highest SAT course, everything from taking prep courses to cheating.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,697,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
If the valedictorian is the person with the highest GPA, #2, 3, and 4 would have no relevance. Plus, in some of these schools, there would be a big competition for activities and volunteer work, not to mention kids doing all sorts of things to get the highest SAT course, everything from taking prep courses to cheating.
They still cheat...and their parents scream if a teacher gives them an A-...because they know there can be multiple valedictorians. If there were only one, I think there'd be less of this because the odds of their child being the one would diminish.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:07 AM
 
8,305 posts, read 8,577,591 times
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None of the brightest students at my school could have been Valedictorian because they were taking AP courses and Honors courses which were much harder than the standard curriculum. The standard joke was the hardest course that the Valedictorian in 12th Grade had taken was 12th Grade English.

The whole process was a joke. Now, I was from a rowdy group of honors students who undoubtedly thought we were better than we really were, but we had no respect for the school Valedictorian at all.

My solution is eliminate Valedictorians completely. Just pick selected students who by faculty consensus have been "achievers" while in school and call on them to speak at commencement. That makes a lot more sense than giving one student and often, unearned and phony title.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:04 AM
 
1,229 posts, read 1,321,209 times
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My daughter is in a class that will have multiple 4.0s upon graduation. She is one of them, and her class has been an anomaly in her school, which is a very tough college prep private institution. However, there will only be one valedictorian. The school doesn't look at the 4.0, they look at the individual grades. We have been told there are tenths of a point separating the top 4, but there will still only be one who comes out on top. They don't look at extracurricular activities. If they did, my girl would be on top. As it is, she will prob be number 4 even with 99s and 100s on her report card all the way through high school. Nothing will be said about this at graduation and no one will know how close they all were. I asked my girl how she felt about that. She knows the others ahead of her do nothing except school while she has two jobs, plays year round sports and just finished her 3rd triathlon. I don't think she would trade places with them because her high school experience has been much more enriching for all the other things she has done while still maintaining excellent grades in a rigorous program. There is a little part of me that wishes I was going to hear her give a well deserved speech at graduation, but in the large scheme of her life it won't make any difference to how successful she is going to be.

For the record, I thought all schools chose the valedictorian this way. But the above posts make me think some schools give it to everyone with a 4.0? I think some recognition of that group of students is appropriate, but someone who got all 90s is not the same as someone who was 95 or higher in every subject.
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