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Old 08-13-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,964 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cdarocks View Post
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.
Not all schools grade that way (by number grades as well as A,B,C etc). That's certainly one way to pick that ONE person, but I'm not sure is someone with a 98.9 average is really any smarter than someone with a 98.8.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:53 AM
 
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Katiana, I agree with you. I don't think the 98.9 average is smarter than 98.8, but in our case one will receive the accolades and one won't. Such is life.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Not all schools grade that way (by number grades as well as A,B,C etc). That's certainly one way to pick that ONE person, but I'm not sure is someone with a 98.9 average is really any smarter than someone with a 98.8.
IRL, one will get the job and one will not.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
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.
I don't know what you consider the Pleistocene Era of American public ed. My sibling, cousins and I all went to the same high school in the late 60s. The oldest one, a cousin, had been in a competition for grades with another girl since first grade! When she graduated at a higher rank than he, he complained that he had taken harder courses. I think kids gamed the system even then, before the days of "weighted" grades (the devil's work, IMO). (Not that I think the girl gamed the system. But it was possible.) Of course, once one gets out of the high school milieu and into college, then into career, one learns that such petty stuff was pretty unimportant. But it was important at the time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
IRL, one will get the job and one will not.
Only if there's only one job, and it's not a sure thing the one with the higher GPA will get "it".
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I don't know what you consider the Pleistocene Era of American public ed. My sibling, cousins and I all went to the same high school in the late 60s. The oldest one, a cousin, had been in a competition for grades with another girl since first grade! When she graduated at a higher rank than he, he complained that he had taken harder courses. I think kids gamed the system even then, before the days of "weighted" grades (the devil's work, IMO). (Not that I think the girl gamed the system. But it was possible.) Of course, once one gets out of the high school milieu and into college, then into career, one learns that such petty stuff was pretty unimportant. But it was important at the time!



Only if there's only one job, and it's not a sure thing the one with the higher GPA will get "it".
The point was there is only one winner and it doesn't matter how close number 2 came. They still lose.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
What are your thoughts on a school with a graduating class size of under 120 students with 7 valedictorians? To put this in perspective, one in just over 17 students is a valedictorian.
Is this an exclusive private school where you have a lot of kids, perhaps students from foreign lands who do nothing but study, with nothing but 4.0's? Does the school base the valedictorian honor solely on grades?

Must be a hell of a long graduation ceremony with 7 speeches.

I guess I am OK with it as long as they don't also have 7 salutatorians.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:41 AM
 
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In our district the rankings are done by numerical grades, not GPA's, that are carried out to 3 decimals. Yeah, sometimes it really is that close between #1 and #2. Classes are weighted so honors/gifted classes count more than regular and Pre-AP and AP classes count more than either.

When my second daughter graduated in 2004, the top two wavered back and forth with just a tiny bit separating them....the one who had been second most of the time came out on top at the end.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Upstate NY
30,408 posts, read 9,086,867 times
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It reflects today's "everyone gets a medal" mentality.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delahanty View Post
It reflects today's "everyone gets a medal" mentality.
We are doing our children a disservice here because real life does not give the job, the contract the trophy to everyone. You can have almost the same qualifications as the person who gets the million dollar contract but you get nothing. I've been the second choice candidate for three jobs now. I'm no better off than the last place candidate. This is reality.

In life there are winners and losers. They don't hand you prizes just for showing up. You're expected to perform and even if you perform at your best, someone else may be better.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,577 posts, read 4,782,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
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.
In the school I went to they recently changed eligibility for being valedictorian. You had to take certain classes to be eligible. The 4th year of a foreign language was one. I don't know the others.
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