Wednesday, January 09, 2008

When Did "Valedictorian" Cease To Be An EARNED Honor?

The latest Carnival of Education is up and it would behoove us all to go there and read up on the state of education in our country.

I've always thought 'behoove' was a funny word. It's a good word, but it's funny. Lots of really good words are also really funny words. Sometimes, words are even funnier when you know their origins.

I might be ready to go back to school.

Speaking of funny stuff, and school, does anybody else think it's really funny (not the amusing kind) that so many high schools choose their valedictorian and salutorian after only seven semesters? Their excuse is, amusingly enough, still that it 'takes so long to compute the averages, so the counselors have to stop counting grades after seven semesters to give them enough time to get it done." Only in educational jargon, of course, so it doesn't sound so stupid. And after seven semesters, a lot of students drop the hard academic courses because, well, why bother with them since the school stops counting the grades after Christmas of your senior year? Honestly? I'm really glad many colleges have started asking for the full eight semesters of grades. Neener, neener, loser quitter kids.

The fact is, high schools should not start averaging grades for honors purposes until the last day of school. In this age of computers, it only takes a few seconds to find out who has the highest average, and unless there is some kind of politics involved, which of course is ridiculous, there shouldn't be any problems whatsoever. A lot can happen in one day, you know, and the competition for valedictorian shouldn't be over until the fat lady sings on the last day of school. The honor would mean a lot more if it went to the student who earned it EVERY day, not just seven semesters' worth of days. And if a few students are neck-and-neck up until the last few seconds of the last period of the last day of school, so be it. Honors mean nothing unless they're earned fairly.

It's not like the results will take anybody by surprise, you know. All the kids know who deserves the honors; it's just a few adults who feel the need to manipulate the numbers so certain people get the kudos.

The valedictorian should be the student with the highest average in actual non-accommodated academic subjects. The salutorian is second. And I really don't care who their parents are, how many clubs they're in, whether or not they've ever been in detention, or if they're even likeable or not.

It should be a strictly earned points honor.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:43 AM | |


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