At many high schools around the country, the age old tradition of naming a valedictorian has gone the way of the Dodo. In the push to legislate accomplishment, a number of districts havethe practice or changed it so there is more than one person honored.
In this latest example, Lancaster High in Buffalo, New York is replacing the distinction with college level Latin recognition.
Society has been shifting over the past decade. Liberal-run teachers unions and a high concentration of Democrat educators have promoted a communistic agenda that has a distaste for individual achievement.
Participation trophies and games without winners may have made children feel accepted, but it has created a generation that believes in entitlement. When an individual doesn’t have to work for an accomplishment, there’s no motivation.
Experts agree that failure isto success. It forges leadership skills, determination, and other characteristics that are essential for achieving goals.
This idea that everyone should be given equal accolades is entirely opposite from the capitalist ideology that celebrates innovation, and that which founded the country. A strong desire to win helped the U.S. put a man on the moon and build weapons that have been instrumental in preventing genocide around the globe.
However, those values are apparently disposable in this generation. A number of schools are embracing the concept of feel-good mediocrity.
Students in Lancaster led the efforts to alter their graduation banquet. Having been raised to expect equal distribution of honors, the move isn’t a surprise. They want the top 10 students to receive summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude honors.
The principal at Lancaster High, Cesar Marchioli, expressed his neutrality on the issue, but thinks that the student who ranks No. 11 will feel left out. Why not just give everyone summa cum laude distinction?
The reason student class rankings were used to determine valedictorian and salutatorian awards in the past is because higher learning institutions still care about them. Grade point averages help decide acceptance and scholarship rewards.
Moreover, the number of top students enrolled at a specific college helps determine its rank as an institution. In Texas, laws guarantee that the top 10 percent of graduates receive acceptance at public universities.
However, school officials don’t care about that. They worry that the potentially intense competition to be the best is unhealthy for students. The fact that these kids will face even more opposition when they attend college or work in the real world doesn’t seem to weigh in the decision.
According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, nearly half of American high schools no longer apply class rankings. People who support the idea point out that small distinctions are often the difference between rank. However, opponents argue that’s exactly the point. Feel-good honors that don’t actually make distinctions between grade averages teach kids that moderate exertions are just as good as extensive ones. That is not the case in the work place.
The change at Lancaster High makes it the latest school to join a host of others that have instituted similar policies.
Wisconsin’s Elmbrook School District recently made the change. Assistant Superintendent Dana Monogue said that the district is “encouraged by any movement that helps students understand that they’re more than a score.”
Rutherford County in Tennessee also bestows the title of valedictorian on every student who earns a 4.0 grade average. Students must also complete 12 honors courses to earn the “distinction.”
The process of applying Latin honors has been recently accepted in district 11 of Colorado Springs. Their changes will take place in 2021. Hamilton County in North Carolina and Alabama’s Marshal County have removed the old systems that “unfairly” compared students by grades.
The idea that a group, rather than an individual should earn the top honor of scholastic achievement lessens the award for truly exceptional students. Regardless of the consequences, the change is taking hold in America.
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