I wasn't my high school's valedictorian. But I wasn't too far off either, and my class rank mattered to me, especially my senior year. I don't think there's anything wrong with comparing your academic standing to your classmates' and using it as motivation. That's why my initial reaction to the story in Wednesday's program was that it would be a bad idea.
But two things from the story struck me. The first was a comment from last year's valedictorian, who said that if the school continues to award class rankings, the title just amounts to making a speech. The other was the idea that students might focus only on the ranking, taking easier classes to boost their GPA.
I guess what it comes down to is the importance of the actual title, and what your motivation is for achieving it.
Jordan Bienstock, CNN Student News Writer