Here’s one controversy Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools expects to sit out: Officials said Thursday they have no plan to follow the Wake County school board in abolishing valedictorians.
On Tuesday, Wake’s board united on preliminary approval of a policy that ends high school recognition of valedictorians and salutatorians after 2018. Starting in 2019, schools will recognize seniors with Latin titles such as cum laude if they have a weighted GPA of at least 3.75.
Board members cited concerns that jockeying for the top two spots creates “unhealthy competition,” adding that the new system recognizes a larger number of high-achieving students.
“We have heard from many, many schools that the competition has become very unhealthy,” school board Chairman Tom Benton told the (Raleigh) News & Observer. “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.”
News of the change, which comes up for a final vote on June 7, sparked lively debate on the News & Observer website. Some supported the board, while others celebrated competition and talked disparagingly about participation ribbons and trophies for all.
State law still requires districts to list class rankings on student transcripts.