CV May Eliminate Class Rank

CV May Eliminate Class Rank
Posted on 01/23/2024
CV May Eliminate Class RankNoah Shin
Staff Editor
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Cumberland Valley School District is considering changing the class rank policy. This new policy would be phased in over the next few years and become fully effective after the class of 2027 graduates and would remove all class ranks from report cards for students, though they would still be available on official transcripts. The proposal also considers eliminating the titles of valedictorian and salutatorian and incorporating a system of Latin honors.

One of the main reasons the CV administration cites for this change is mental health. Dr. Christopher, CV’s previous superintendent, told The Sentinel that the shift is being made to alleviate the growing stress high school students are facing.

Biology teacher Kristin Shumway agrees that the removal of rank from report cards would be beneficial to the students overall.

“With less focus on GPA and class rank, it will create space for students to focus on the process of learning and exploring different content areas and course offerings at CV, so that they can truly be prepared for their futures,” Shumway said.

Shumway thinks that the policy will shift the school environment to being more learning focused rather than grade focused.

The valedictorian of CV’s Junior class, Carter McClellan, is personally ambivalent to the situation as it will not affect his class, but he sees the good and bad outcomes of this change for future students. He described how the current system can be perceived as a way to encourage healthy competition between students and a way to incentivize hard work. However, he also sees the many flaws of class rank.

“For one, nobody likes to be rated. Humans are naturally very competitive, and nobody enjoys not being seen as ‘the best’. Even then, I think it is ridiculous to see the top ranked person as ‘the best’ since you cannot really quantify something like that. Additionally, there’s the problem of jealousy. I have heard stories from teachers about students competing for top ranks who would actively sabotage each other in class,” McClellan said.

As the district plans to phase out the importance of class rank, there is also a proposal to implement a system of latin honors which would recognize a greater proportion of the school’s top students for their academic achievement. These titles would be given out based on final GPA. Students with a GPA between 93% and 95% would graduate cum laude. Students with a GPA between 96% and 99.99% would graduate magna cum laude. Lastly, students with a GPA over 100% would graduate summa cum laude.

The administration takes student perspectives seriously and recently surveyed students on their opinion on the issue last fall. Principal Dr. Jesse Rawls has also had multiple meetings with the school’s student council where student representatives have been able to voice their concerns. However, even though the administration is working to be conscious of student voices on the issue, Shumway predicted that, "Any time an establishment decides to make changes to a traditional policy, there will be some push back. Students and families are used to having class rank, and it has historically been a large motivator for many groups of students.”
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