Debate Magazine

North Carolina School Board Votes to Stop Naming Valedictorians

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Way to prepare them for the real world.


From Fox News: Apparently working your hardest to be the best you can be — and being recognized for the effort — is one lesson a North Carolina school board no longer believes is worth teaching.

Citing what it calls “unhealthy” competition among students, the Wake County school board is the latest in the country to make valedictorians and salutatorians a thing of the past, The News & Observer of Charlotte reports.

The school board unanimously gave initial approval last week to a policy that would prohibit high school principals from naming valedictorians and salutatorians – titles reserved for the two graduating seniors with the highest grade-point averages – after 2018, according to the newspaper.

“We have heard from many, many schools that the competition has become very unhealthy,” school board Chairman Tom Benton told the paper.

“Students were not collaborating with each other the way that we would like them to. Their choice of courses was being guided by their GPA and not their future education plans,” Benton said.

Critics of the change claim it is too “politically correct” and creates an “everyone gets an award” mentality — failing to fairly recognize those who achieve the highest grades.

But school officials say singling out two people for their grade point averages just encourages students to take easy classes and to not help their classmates study.


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