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The Ivy Coach Daily

September 5, 2022

Class Rank Must Go

For many years, we have been urging high schools across America and around the world to stop ranking their students. Many of America’s best high schools, of course, stopped ranking their students long ago. And why? It’s quite simple. These schools realized that they were unnecessarily pitting their students up against one another in elite college admissions. The fact is, when high schools don’t report rank — including the designation of valedictorians and salutatorians — America’s elite colleges make do without this information. Instead, they rely on applicant’s grades, the rigor of their coursework, testing, extracurriculars, essays, letters of recommendation, interview feedback, etc. Thus, in our book, any high school that still ranks students is well behind the times.

It’s why we applaud Cherry Creek School District in western Arapahoe County, Colorado for alas doing away with the valedictorian designation. As Cortney More reports for The New York Post in a piece entitled “Some Colorado high schools are doing away with ‘valedictorian’, “Starting with the class of 2026, the Cherry Creek School District in western Arapahoe County, Colorado, will not give special recognition to students who have earned the highest grade-point average in their class at graduations, according to FOX 31 Denver KDVR. The school district notified parents about the ceremonial change in a recent newsletter, the local news station reported. The newsletter said faculty have found the tradition no longer appropriate for their students. ‘The practices of class rank and valedictorian status are outdated and inconsistent with what we know and believe of our students,’ said the letter, which is dated March 9, 2022.”

Well said, indeed! In fact, let’s say it once more for good measure: “The practices of class rank and valedictorian status are outdated and inconsistent with what we know and believe of our students.” It’s 2022. Class rank and valedictorian as well as salutatorian designations have been outdated for many years at this point. It’s high time the high schools that still rank their students join the bandwagon because each year they continue to rank their students is another year in which they hurt their students from a college admissions standpoint. It’s this simple: if a high school doesn’t rank, as most high schools do not, elite colleges just use the available data at their fingertips to render their decisions. Let’s get with the times, high schools that still rank!

Hey hey, ho ho, like flip phones, class rank has got to go. Hey hey, ho ho, like typewriters, valedictorian has got to go. Hey hey ho ho, like VHS tapes, salutatorian has got to go.

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