Parents Furious at Colorado School District for Throwing Out Valedictorian Recognition
“Taking this away is not going to fix the problem. It’s not going to fix the stress that we are seeing for other students, plus it’s taking away from those who want to work towards it.”
The Cherry Creek School District in Colorado will no longer have valedictorians at their high schools. The ban goes into effect in 2026:
The letter also said in part, “The practices of class rank and Valedictorian status are outdated and inconsistent with what we know and believe of our students. We believe all students can learn at high levels, and learning is not a competition.”
District parents had mixed reactions.
“Taking this away is not going to fix the problem,” said Kristen Stone, a district parent.
“It’s not going to fix the stress that we are seeing for other students, plus it’s taking away from those who want to work towards it,” Stone said.
She believes kids need to learn to tolerate failure and keep pushing ahead.
But the vice chancellor for enrollment at the University of Denver said this is a growing trend that he supports.
“Nationally, class rank has been almost eliminated,” Todd Rinehart said.
He pointed out that when students apply to colleges in the fall or winter of senior year, they do not yet know if they will be valedictorians at graduation.
“We’ve never used that in our admission review because the information has never been available,” he said.
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Why have grades? Participation trophies for all! While at it, replace difficult subjects with nap time. In home room, teach how to make white flags, easier to give up to competitive nations. Look to Slow Joe and his Bimbo in Waiting for lack of leadership
This is why we can’t have nice things. They don’t make them anymore.
What “problem” is this action supposed to “fix”? Was the intent to take this action made public and open for comment by the school board or was this decision arbitrarily made? This eliminates any incentive there might have been for students to work hard and achieve excellence instead of mediocrity.
That’s the idea.
Safe to assume that everyone’s watched the movie, Idiocracy?
The parents and other citizens should replace the school board. If the school board is not elected, replace those who are elected and choose the school board.
Many parents have already done this: it’s called Home School. And don’t whine that “not everyone can.” Excuses don’t matter, kids do. IF you value your children, then you will find a way to rescue them from the insanity that is public education.
Running up to each school board replacement, people should visit the outgoing board with feathers, tar and pitchforks.
Another reason to get the kids out of the government schools.
Nobody is forcing parents to send their children to the government schools. They’re definitely bribing them with the parents’ own money, but that’s not the same as forcing them.
Maybe it’s about the bright red gowns and mortarboards.
Economics forces most people to send their kids to the government schools. Private schools are far from free, even religious ones. If both parents need to be employed, home schooling is not an alternative either, especially if the stay-at-home parent does not have both the educational background and temperament to teach. IMO the best solution to all the problems of education and a lot else in this country is universal school choice, with the dollars following the child, and abolishment of public employee unions, which even FDR opposed.
If it is important to you, you will find a way. We homeschooled for 16 years. Our children, and their education, came first. We don’t need the latest gadget, clothing style, etc to be happy.
It’s all about priorities.
University of Denver certainly uses grades and class rank as part of their admission decision. This action is nothing more than an assist for colleges to make their submission decisions totally subject, and then basically immune from challenge.
I grew up in England. There was no formal recognition of the top students – though our report cards for each term had our class ranking , e.g., 4/36 – but not a ranking across the three classes we had in each form. We did, however, have the title of “Head Boy”. It was generally given to the most charismatic of us – typically an athlete or thespian who also did well academically. I was annoyed when I was beaten out by a thespian who was also an excellent public speaker.
This debate reminds me of Edmund Burke’s view of the role and importance of tradition. I see no compelling logic in support of the anointing of a valedictorian except that it generally endorse striving for academic excellence and good character. On the other hand simply dismissing it, leaves open the question of how to reinforce striving for academic excellence and off-setting any implicit or explicit message of removing such an honor.