No more valedictorians
Valedictorians are on the way out, reports the Baltimore Sun. Competition distorts students’ choices: If grades aren’t weighted, would-be valedictorians avoid tough classes; if grades are weighted, hopefuls avoid unweighted electives such as journalism or jazz band.
I’ve come over to the idea of honoring the top 5 percent of the class or graduating students with magna, summa or cum laude honors. It reduces the risk of Hornstine-ish hysteria over who’s number one by a meaningless fraction of a point.