Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Mon, Dec. 09

Top students deserve to get top recognition

It's one of the great conundrums of the universe: The people we charge with making our children smarter do astoundingly stupid things.

Those of us who went through school a few years ago, may not have finished first or second in our high school graduating class, but many of us finished as high as we did out of a desire to be first or second or at least not to suffer the embarrassment of finishing lower than the top third.

The Prescott Unified School District, those wonderful folks who turned "Good Friday" into "Spring Holiday," have tried yet another foray into that utopian world where no one gets their feelings hurt. It is a bizarre proposal to eliminate publicly honoring the top class rankings in favor of a plan in which ­ instead of a valedictorian, salutatorian and those who finish in successively lower rankings ­ the district would have only "graduates with distinction."

Thus, any students who attained a 4.0 grade-point average on 24 completed credits instead of 22, passed one advanced placement course and earned the 16 credits the Arizona Board of Regents requires for university admission would gain that title.

A Prescott High School Site Council in 2002 designed the policy, which was set to go into effect for students graduating this year.

The PUSD Governing Board voted to have the new policy apply in its entirety to students beginning with the graduating class of 2007. For this year only, the board voted to allow students to graduate with distinction as long as they earned the 22 credits the high school requires.

The district is bombing the administration of our schools back to the days of T-ball, where no one loses.

That a site council comprising teachers, parents and administrators came up with the idea demonstrates only that the political correctness virus can affect many.

Perhaps colleges don't pay as much attention to class ranking any more in admissions, but they already have a student's GPA and his or her standard test scores and any other information they need.

Any student who works hard enough to be the top-ranked or second-ranked student in the graduating class deserves that honor and any publicity that goes with it.

The district should have left well enough alone.

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