September 30th, 2008
07:58 PM ET

Tossing the Title of Top Student?

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

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Tiffany

    Student's should work hard whether they're in advanced or normal classes. Maybe the school should test their IQ in every subject, then just pair up the students who got better grades and the rest in other classes.

    September 30, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  2. Joey

    I for one don't really understand why you NEED a Valadictorian. It seems like a cruel way to look at the student body and show off the fact that you got the better grade, and they didn't. You might have some amazing feeback about the school, but if you don't make the grade, you can't be the one who stands in the crowd and adresses the class for the very last time.

    So I agree that valadictorian is a bad Idea, and should be rid off

    September 30, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  3. Trevor

    I think every school should have valedictorian. !WOW! that's a long word. back to the subject I think there should be a little competition in schools but grade no. They should have a valedictorian for like football or soccer.Grades are just to over rated.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:06 am |
  4. Hannah

    It would seem a little strange to even have a name for "the Top Student." If its been going on for a while just keep doing it. If the top student doesnt want to give a speech then just say the name over an intercom and be done. No pressure added right?

    October 1, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  5. Lanxton

    Wouldn't the person be embarressed? I say they should cut it off. If your the smartest kid wouldnt that make you a nerd or something along those lines.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  6. Daniel

    I think they should keep the award because it challenges students to do there best in school

    October 1, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  7. Amber

    I agree with Jordan–my class rank mattered to me. It's been 10 years since I graduated from high school, yet I still remember that I was 23rd in the class with a 3.98 GPA. One way my high school addressed the issue of students taking "easy" classes to earn a higher GPA was weighting the honors/AP courses slightly higher than 4.0–which is why our valedictorian graduated with something above a 4.0. My class was a very high academic class that thrived on competition. Looking back , I would say it was healthy competition.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:28 am |
  8. melissa

    I believe that they should pick a number one student because the other kids will be working really hard for it and they should be recognized.

    October 1, 2008 at 7:15 am |
  9. JungMo

    I'd like to see the both sides. There will be beneficers and losers as well when we make the top student be the valedictorian. If you are a student who concerns the class rank will find it as a good motivatoin to study, but if you are not that kind of student, you will be intimidated by heated competition.

    For so-called goody goody students, it will help, while for most of average students, it will bother.

    Whehter you keep the valedictorian or not depends on what kind of students you try to educate.

    October 1, 2008 at 7:48 am |
  10. Cascade High School Algebra Class

    The competition in the classroom keeps some students grades up. Some people aspire to be a valedictorian, and that dream shouldn't be taken from them. However, as long as the education stays the same, it shouldn't matter. Isn't that why we're at school anyway?

    October 1, 2008 at 8:50 am |
  11. Kinnane

    I think they should keep the title of the top student! It challenges kids to do as best as they can in school.

    October 1, 2008 at 8:55 am |
  12. Corbin

    I personally say you should drop the valedictorian even though I am a little ahead of other kids. I am not the kind of person to make other kids angery at school. I am nice at school to everybody. I would dislike it being gone but, it would please others. You should take the valedictorian away.

    October 1, 2008 at 8:55 am |
  13. Andrew

    KEEP IT! It makes students work harder and do there best!

    October 1, 2008 at 8:56 am |
  14. Mr. Martin's Class

    We took a vote on the val and sal labeling issue and here are our results:

    20 are FOR keep the titles because they feel you work hard for that honor and should get that title. They also feel it is good competition that helps many peope do better than they would with out the labels.

    6 are AGAINST keeping the titles because some students take easier classes (as Carl reported) so they can have the title of Val or Sal.
    Mr. Martin's Class

    October 1, 2008 at 9:29 am |
  15. Savannah

    I think they should keep Validvictorians becuase I do thnk it is a good competition. I think if your smart then you should be able to be rewarded.

    October 1, 2008 at 9:54 am |
  16. Leslie

    I think Validvictoirans is good competion. Thats like a race for better grades. The people who want to win it try harder and study harder there for gettting better grades and almost everyone want to win it !

    October 1, 2008 at 10:00 am |
  17. jeremy

    well we have plenty of smart people in my class but i dont think we should compete on the smartest person it would be a bad idea some people who arent smart wont do well at all and then they wont feel the same like some people have a low GPA and want to fit in with all the smart people as friends but if they are competing for the highest GPA it could break up their friendship and cause big problems accross the whole school and make people feel left out.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  18. Korbie

    I think Validictorian is a great competion. It makes kids who wants to win try harder. Which means that if there grades aren't that good, then they will try alot harder to get their grades up so they can be Validictorian. The person wh wins Validictorian also can encourage the other people trying to win for it the year after that, or for the other kids in the grade below!(:

    October 1, 2008 at 10:05 am |
  19. Erica

    i think they should because they need students to have compotion i think they shoulnt take it away

    October 1, 2008 at 10:06 am |
  20. Sally

    I am not in high school yet, but my brother is in. He says that the compotition is very strong. My mother and father both were valivictoines but now days i think it is a lot different

    October 1, 2008 at 10:11 am |
  21. Susan

    Check with the Cypress-Fairbanks school district near Houston. They do not have a valedictorian, nor does the "#1" student give the speech. My niece & nephew graduated there and it is ranked like college, "magna cum laude" and so on. I've personally seen the students skipping tougher, college prep classes to be at or near the top. There have been all out family feuds over this stuff. When does the students' rankings matter? At the end of the junior year. That is what they send in with college apps in the fall of the senior year. The transcripts for college apps show grades through the end of the junior year. That is when they really do matter. Like the Duke student said, hers was about giving a speech. One of my kids gave a speech, one did not.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:52 am |
  22. Chris

    Competition fuels our society and it has throughout history. A move away from competition is a dangerous trend in our school systems today. Competitive games in physical education classes are being taken away, and now competition in the classroom. Students need motivation as a driving source. Obviously not every student can be valedictorian, but how many students that compete for that honor would continue to work hard if it were taken away?

    As far as Nease high school in Florida is concerned. I have a very simple solution to the problem of students taking lesser classes just to receive higher grades. Set a standard for valedictorian that students must meet, such as required classes to become eligible for valedictorian. As an educator, I have to say that I am disappointed in last years valedictorian. It is a great honor and she had to put forth a solid effort to become valedictorian. To me a valedictorian is an example of effort, hard work, and determination to succeed. Her downplaying the award shows a clear lack of leadership that is disturbing.

    7th grade current events class Paris, MO

    October 1, 2008 at 11:01 am |
  23. Casey

    I think valedictorian should stay because it gives students an incentive to do better in class.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:10 am |
  24. Neal

    I think that they should get rid of it. If students are taking easier classes it is not preparing them for the real world. Maybe if they looked at the classes that are being taken and used that as some of the criteria it would be better.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:11 am |
  25. Mattea

    I think it is not a good idea to have a valedictorian, because it could led to very bad things to occur in the school with the students.Being in a one room school it is kind of hard when you only have six students in the school.I don't think it's a good thing to put students under the preasure of having to compete with other kids.Students may suffer from mential and emotional stree by having to try and bring out more then they are capeable of.I know that people should not be put above the rest of the students,because God made all man equal in His sight.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  26. ben

    i think it is a bad idea

    October 1, 2008 at 11:55 am |
  27. Nick

    Why are they getting rid of of the the valedictorian i dont think there very smart

    October 1, 2008 at 11:57 am |
  28. Sabrina

    I think it would kind-ofbe unfair to the kids who work hard for that title, I think that they should give top 5 or 10 instead.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:58 am |
  29. Blake

    I THINK IT IS A great idea

    October 1, 2008 at 12:02 pm |
  30. Anonymous

    Hi Carl!!! I think that it is bad to not have valedictorians,because then if you don't, you might not get to go to a super nice college.So you should have valedictorians.Bye Carl!!! =-)

    October 1, 2008 at 12:03 pm |
  31. Andrew

    I think that validictorian is a honor and needs to stay. it gives kids somthing to work for and to make better grades and last time i checked that was a good thing. it also does give the kids a little taste of competition in the real world.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  32. chelsea

    What is the purpose of getting rid of it? It promotes students to do their best in school, it's like they're competing to see who can eat them most or anything like that. I think they should keep the position, students who work that hard deserve recognition. If it's taken away then students who are underclassmen that were striving early before their senior year to be the number one in their class in hopes of becoming the valedictorian might slack off. What school wants their best students slacking off?

    October 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
  33. Anna

    I think that the school should not get rid of the valedictorian. It creates a good competition. I mean if you get rid of the title someone is still going to be number one. If they get rid of this person who has worked hard to be number one will not have the respect they need from achieving this goal.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  34. Lexie

    Carl, my class and I watch cnn student news everyday. We think it is very interesting. By the way my whole entire 5th grade class is blogging right now in the computer lab. So if you get alot of blogs to day they are proboly all from my class. When our teacher says we are going to watch Carl Azuz on cnn student news we all go crazy!(no joke!) I would hate to not have a valadvictorian if i were in highschool becuse people deserve what they earn. I would love for you to put this blog on cnn student news but if you are busy or already have half of my class or someone else i am ok if you choose them. =) <3

    October 1, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  35. morgan

    I think that the titles for the top students should be kept. Either way, there will still be a number 1 student and whether there’s a title involved or not the kids will be just as competitive to satisfy themselves by knowing that they are the “star student”. There’s no point in taking that away from the kids, especially if they are willing to work hard enough to achieve that.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:15 pm |
  36. Meagan

    Some people’s goal is to get the MVP award in sports but for others it's all about getting the valedictorian position for their grades. It's not fair to take away such a prestigious award when someone who has worked all of their life to obtain it.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:16 pm |
  37. Daniel

    I think that the idea of a valedictorian should still occur. I myself would not be in the running, but I believe that it is important the students have the competition that comes with it. In the end the students just develop better strategies and do better in school. What is so bad about that?

    October 1, 2008 at 12:17 pm |
  38. michael

    I think it is a bad idea to just get rid of the spot of the valedictorian because everybody wants to set their goals in life to be higher, and that is a way students can do that by being a valedictorian. Why take away something from students that are the best at what they do and want a spot in something in school to show that.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  39. T.J.

    I think the title of valedictorian should be removed. It’s just a waist of 15 minutes of them talking about how they did better than everyone else.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:18 pm |
  40. Ashley

    I think that valedictorians should be kept. Having a valedictorian may make things in school more competitive but that isn’t really a bad thing. Even if the title was done away with, there will always be someone who is better than the rest. Most valedictorians work extremely hard to get to that number one spot, so they should be rewarded with the title. And really, if there aren’t any problems between the students (like doing illegal things to get to the position) then why do away with it?

    October 1, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  41. Cynthia

    I don’t think it is a good idea to do away with the valedictorian because having that title is what some people strive for, without it they may not work as hard. Even without the title though, you would still have a student who is at the top and usually with the competition to be the best, students will try harder to reach that goal with is better for their grades in the long run.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  42. steph

    By getting rid of the valedictorian what are the benefits that follow? There isn’t any, by keeping the valedictorian position you create the competitiveness throughout the school system that relates to real world. This is only feathering your preparation for the outside/ work world that you will face after high school. I believe that there is no reason to get rid of valedictorian; this means a lot to others to be able to speak to their student body as the best student of their class.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  43. Kevin

    I think the student with the best grades and other important stuff..should become valedictorian because they've rtied the hardest in the school...or we could toss a coin

    October 1, 2008 at 12:39 pm |
  44. emma

    Not having a valedictorian is a bad way to view high school because a lot of people strive for that. and yeah it's competiton but that's what the world has become and what it always has been. You always want to strive for something and not having a goal of being something better defeats the purpose of trying. I think that people will stop trying if they don't have something to aim for.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  45. Cody

    I think that it's stupid for schools to be taking away things like this, schools need to be looking into things that really matter.

    October 1, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  46. Nicholas

    I do not think that valedictorians should be done away with. I don't think that they should be due away with because these people would feel like they actually accomplished something. I know that people like this would really want to do that. I also know that after this time, the kids might get pretty competitive. I think that if you keep letting valedictorians do what they have done for so long that it will encourage the students to work alot harder than usual. When they find out how good they did they would tell all of the students that no matter how hard you try you will always find success.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:19 pm |
  47. *Katie*

    A feel that this would be a bad idea. A know that I am trying to be a valedictorian. If I couldn't be one the I would not try as hard to get all A's through high school. Now you see that not having valedictorian would be a horrible idea.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  48. Ashley

    I think that it is a bad idea for them to ban having a valedictorian. This is because the kids strive to be it. And when they strive they also do good in school.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:25 pm |
  49. buddy

    i say yes to valedictation because the students are more busy trying to make good grades then waste time making fun of people so keep it don't get rid of it so the jerks go first and then the good ones instead of mix where the jerks don't get in trouble

    October 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  50. Ashley

    I think that it is a bad idea for them to ban having a valedictorian. This is because the kids strive to be it. And when they strive they also do good in school. When we do good in school we get a good edgacation.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  51. Rachel

    I think that schools need to have a valedictorian because it keeps competition within the schools and it motivates kids to get good grades. It's not fair to take away these opportunities for kids, this gives them a chance to get recognized for the great work they are doing and have done all year.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  52. Logan

    I think having a valedictorian is a good thing to have because it awards the people(s) that have worked hard there school years to gain such a high academic award.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:29 pm |
  53. Brianna

    I think that they should not get rid of valedictorians. I think that because otherwise people won't try very hard to get great grades, and that would ruin their grade. They also should let kids have dreams, so if they do get to be one, then they'll get a good job.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  54. Crizta

    yes, I think they should keep it becouse it is a great oppertuinity for kids and there teachers.I would be the luckiest kid in the world to win it.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  55. Bob

    My ideas on the valedictorian tossing is that they should not have it because people are taking the easy classes to get out of it and in the future will not know the skills they need.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  56. Austin

    I don't think that they should offer the title to people that don't take the more advanced classes.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  57. Kelly

    I think that they should keep the title valedictorian. But they should only allow it people that take the harder classes. They should keep the title because some people work really and that would be a reward for them. But should be allowed to give up the title if they do not want it.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  58. josh

    Taking out the title of valitorion would be a bad idea. If schools take out the valitorion award more students wouldn't try to get grades and would screw around more in class

    October 1, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  59. parker

    I think that the idea of getting rid of the valedictorian rank is a good idea because the students should just do as good as they can and not take lower classes just to get the higher grade. Students should be put at their full potential, and if they can exceed in the higher class, they should because they should get the rank for doing the best they can. If they take the lower ranked class and are the valedictorian, they shouldn't really have that rank, because the students that have that rank should be at their full potential.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  60. Emily

    I think that this is a bad idea. I want to be valedictorian of my class, and I know it means a lot to other people as well. I do think it's ridiculous that people are taking lower classes, though. And the competition part? Competition happens anyway! It's not exactly something you can change! I think that people should work to their full potential, and if they get the top spot of the class, that's great!

    October 1, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  61. Quinn

    I think that this situation, with the whole idea of valedictorian is a bad idea because it just judges people on how they do in school. People are being ranked higher that others. Also like the news said, students are taking easier classes which are not as much help in the future for them.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  62. Elizabeth

    I think that they should keep the valedictorians. This gives Seniors a competitive real world situation. They should not be punished just because some Seniors don't care about their grades or goof off in class.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  63. Kaylan

    I think they should keep the valedictorian's position alive. The only problem is that they should chose the valedictorian based on his/her classes. If they have the best grade in the advanced class, they earned it. They shouldn't get the valedictorian position if they aren't in the harder classes. Then they aren't trying as hard as some others.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  64. Curtis

    I think that they should keep valedictorian because the people who worked for it deserve it. They put all there work into becoming valedictorian and that is what they should get. I also think that the people who are taking harder classes should be able to get more points than the people who were taking the easier classes. That way the people who are working harder get what they earned.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  65. Joe

    I think they should not toss the top student because if the student were working up to the top student then if they got rid of the top student the the students would have nothing to work for.

    October 1, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  66. Daniel

    I think they should keep the title of valedictorian because i makes students want to try to be better and they get better grades for better jobs.

    October 1, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  67. Ming-Huang

    This needs to stay in all school districts. It gives the students something to work for. If this were to be taken away what would the benefits be that follow.

    Well im going to SPEECH on out of here.
    No puns will ever be as good as CARL PUNS.


    October 1, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  68. jc

    i think they should remove those kinds of programs from school is to competitive and is not right well , i just graduated from high school and having those programs was not good because i did as much work as they did and i still didn't get it i think there are different ways to see how a student can do good at school , but i don't think they should be awarded for that.

    October 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  69. Mishicot

    Our class thinks schools should KEEP valedictorians. What's school without a little competition?

    October 1, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  70. St. Theresa's 8th grade class

    We believe all high schools should keep valedictorians for the following reason. It is a competitive way to learn. We think; however, that to be a valedictorian you need to take more advanced classes.

    October 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  71. Gordon

    My class thinks the idea to do away with the title of valedictorian is silly. Do they also plan to quit keeping score at football games and other athletic contests?

    October 1, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  72. Avery

    I don't see the point of taking away the valedictorian. Competition is a good thing. The best student deserves to be recognized. School systems are bad enough these days and this just proves it.

    October 1, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  73. Donetta

    I think it would be a bad idea to get rid of valedictorians. It helps kids push themselves to their full potential. I someday wish to be valedictorian and hope it is not gone before then.

    October 1, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  74. Brett

    I believe that having the ability to become valedictorian is a good thing and so is the competition. Alot of people like to be competitive, at least they are being competitive at a good thing.

    October 1, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  75. D'Angelo

    I think that competition to have good grades is a good thing/ Maybe 50% of students would have good grades because most people are competitive.

    October 1, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  76. Philip

    Why not award the top 10-20% within a class a title like colleges do (summa cum laude) and let them and the faculty choose a veledictorian instead of basing it solely on grades?

    October 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  77. Tre', Charis and Tavius

    My sister goes 2 a co-op school 1 day a week and she made a National Honors Society thing or something but i think that is like validectorian.

    October 1, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  78. Samantha

    I think schools should go shut downt the idea of naming the person who gets the top grade. It isn't really fair, to let someone have that title, it might make some one feel bad if they didn't get as high as a grade as that person. Everyone should be mentioned for their terific work! I go to middle school, and just today, I was awarded a "Job" for doing this project, and I got candy, and that kind of stuff, but everyone else, didn't, and I knew that they were disipointed, and I felt bad for them! So I don't think they should pick out that one person, who has the top grade, gibe them a name, and then let them make a speech at the end of teh year! So I think they should just drop the whole thing together, and instead, congradulate everyone on their hard work! Just don't let them make a speech. That would take too long! 🙂

    October 1, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  79. Melissa

    This is by far the most absurd thing i've ever heard. I'm a high school senior this year. I'm not competing for the title of valedictorian, i'm not even a straight-A student. The decision as to whereas what this all comes to is not going to effect me, but even i know that this title is so important to so many students as well as parents. Some students work rigorously all through their high school years just to earn the title. So what if students want to work hard to earn good grades and be at the top of their class. I don't understand why anybody WOULDNT want students to be working that hard. If students need to take an easier class to do better in school and pass, good for them. Wouldnt that be better for a student; instead of letting them fail and take the course over again, potentionally delaying their graduation time? If the title of valedictorian is gone, what else is there for a student to strive for? Grades would substantially drop, without question. Students would drop out of schools. If you're going to drop the title of Valedictorian, you might as well start paying all the students to get good grades in school. Its hard to tell what society wants out of us; Pay us to go to school and get good grades, but drop the title of the highest ranked student. ????

    October 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  80. Megan

    They shouldn't get rid of the title because this is what kids look up to.

    October 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  81. Samantha

    My school doesn't have a valedictorian and my best friend literally is number one in the class, and I wish she got the recognition that she so readily deserves. She works so hard! Good competition is better than none at all-trust me-I see the lack of care around my school because there is really no inspiration.

    October 1, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  82. Chelsea

    Being an honor student myself, grades are very important to me and my whole life i've been working towards the goal of being high my class rank. This is also a tradition for every high school in the nation. I think it would not be a good idea to cut this honor for a student who has worked very hard.

    October 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Kira

    I think you should keep valedictorians alive because some students want to be proud and get a reward for working very hard. But then some people could get upset because the aren't the valedictorians. Just pick the right desicion

    October 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  84. David

    I think that valedictorians should still be listed so that every student works their very hardest to accomplish this awesome and successful goal in their life and to have a goal in life. However, students should also be taking courses that will match their brain level and not taking easier courses so they can become valedictorians.

    October 1, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  85. elizabeth

    I think the valedictorian is and would be a great horor for the many kids that recieve the title. I feel that if the student is up for the challenge and the competiton no one should stop them.

    October 1, 2008 at 7:31 pm |
  86. Lukas

    I think students with the best grades should be given an award because that is a huge accomplishment!

    October 1, 2008 at 7:34 pm |
  87. Emily

    In my opinion this is a good thing to have in schools. I am a tenth grader, and knowing that I have a chance to be top student in my grade is a little nerve racking but in a wonderful way. when i went to my sisters graduation last school year my family knew the valetictorian. He worked so hard through high school, and not for the title either it is just who he was and what he did. I think this is how it is with most people, it is just something that comes naturally to them and they cant help it and they should be recognized for that because not many people have it!

    October 1, 2008 at 7:37 pm |
  88. Nina

    I think that Valedictorian because it is a goal for some students and it encourages them to do well in school. Although it does cause a lot of competition between the classmates, I think that the competition is good for most kids because it challenges them to do well.


    October 1, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  89. Ashley

    I think it's a good idea to get rid of it. People shouldn't have to constantly compete to be the best. Students should already have the honor of having good grades instead of having to work for a title of some sort, if that makes any sense 😛

    October 1, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  90. Tara

    I think their should be a valedictorian! It would definetley push kids harder! Schools should realize this. Maybe their should be certain classes you have to take......

    October 1, 2008 at 8:06 pm |
  91. Jake

    I don't believe this is a good thing. Some students work hard for this all during high school. It gives them something to work for. And besides, the students who really care for this honor aren't doing it just for the title, but for the scholarships that come with. So they aren't going to choose class for an easy A, but a class that will show true intilect

    October 1, 2008 at 8:16 pm |
  92. Melissa

    I think they should keep the title. It keeps students working their hardest to maintain good grades. Compitition is heathy in this kind of situation, and even if you don't get the title, you still know that you did your best.

    October 1, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  93. Kathryn

    I think that they should keep the valedictorian because it gives students purpose to go to school and try their best. Sure they might take easy classes but they are trying, aren't they?

    October 1, 2008 at 8:55 pm |
  94. Sandy

    After viewing the story with my son, I look back on what that meant to me and my classmates "back in the day". I too was not far from it, ranking 5th in the class. I proudly wore that badge of honor my entire life and even still use it today to motivate my children to do good in school. I came from a small graduating class, 100+, but some of the larger schools have graduation classes of 600+, a number that by comparison would have put me much farther down the scale. But in the realm of things, it may not just be the number that you ranked, but rather what percentile you were in. Isn't that how most standardized tests rank you throughout the school years anyway?

    I know friendly competition is always a good thing, and I think that in today's society where all too many are not being motivated enough...keeping the title would be a good thing. Just because you weren't in first place, doesn't mean you're not a winner, in school or life. I think things should stay just as they are. Isn't that why we have the Olympics? Someone has to receive the Gold.

    October 1, 2008 at 9:03 pm |
  95. Sarah

    I think that they should pick a valedictorian because it promotes students to learn more. I don't think that school officals have notice that it is a type of good competion not a bad kind.

    October 1, 2008 at 9:06 pm |
  96. Blakeumms

    I for one, personally disagree with the issue. Valedictorian, yes is a very prestigious accomplishment that should be honored by many high schools.
    The right to have the title valedictorian, is a great motivational influence to ALL the students in the high school, that have contributed their time to studying and striving to do and be their very best.
    Having the opportunity to be become a valedistorian can positively motivate some or ALL students to strive to be their best, even if they don't recieve the title "valedictorian". In todays society striving to be the best is a constant effort, that someone has rightfully devoted so much dedication to retain.
    To have a chance to "compete" for the title valedictorian, is a positive, harmless, somewhat "fun" way to be the best you can be; and to uphold these values and morals the opportunity to become valedictorian should not be comprimised, because others do not recieve the title valedictorian. It should be a self-valued accomplishment that someone (you) have the right to an education, not to mention the fact that you fanatically "out-do" yourself, by simply just striving to be the best you can be, and doing the best you can!

    ~p.s. man I'm glad I got that off my chest, it was bugging me all-day today at school, goodness that was a "mouthful"


    October 1, 2008 at 9:24 pm |
  97. Tommy

    The valedictorian title should stay in all high schools because everyone can try to get it but for the ones that strive for it getting to be valedicorian is more then a honor it is being able to be acknowlegde by you peers.

    October 1, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  98. austin

    I don't think they should award anything for the title because it is too competitive and it could get worse.

    October 1, 2008 at 9:57 pm |
  99. Andrew

    The title of valedictorian should stay. Some say that this is bad competition but if students compete with each other, then wouldn't more students get good grades because they try harder. I don't see how this could be bad competition.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  100. Maximillion

    I think there should be a valedictorian! Some kids try very hard to get there grades up, and If people are taking easier courses then there average could be equalled out to the rest of us.

    October 1, 2008 at 10:25 pm |
  101. Arianna

    I think they should toss the name. It's just really dumb. You rock Carl

    October 1, 2008 at 10:32 pm |
  102. miranda

    i think that i would be crual to toss it .Because if they toss it their will be no valavictoria so their will be no other kids pushing harder to get to the top and do their best .

    October 1, 2008 at 11:00 pm |
  103. Madeline

    I think that they should keep the valedictorian, because it gives kids a reason to get good grades and become really good in school. Sure it is competitive but thats where the fun comes in.

    October 1, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  104. Josh

    Im not in high school yet but I think that they should have a valedictorian.
    That can boost a lot of kids confidence just to be at the top of your class. It might help kids focus more on school, and get better grades...

    October 2, 2008 at 10:09 am |
  105. Alexander

    I think that taking away the title is a good idea. Having the dumb competition will make some students too competitive. It also isn't fair to the students that chose classes they like instead of classes that are really easy just to get the award.

    October 2, 2008 at 10:13 am |
  106. Dylan

    I agree with miranda if we eliminate valedictorian's we eliminate all competition to be the best you can be. If you have a competition you will be saying that there will be no competition out in the real world.

    October 2, 2008 at 10:32 am |
  107. Katey

    I think it's a good idea, because my brother was trying to get to be valedictorian, and he lost a friend while trying because they were arguing so much. Trying to get to the top tends to mean that you have to leave your friends behind, or stay with them and toss it up, which is what Im going to do. In my opinion, it's a good idea.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:00 am |
  108. Kyler

    I think schools should keep valedictorian. It gives kids a reason to work hard in school. They might be competitive but its to get good grades. The position of valedictorian will help kids get better grades so it all works out.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:02 am |
  109. Veronica

    I think it would not smart to toss it up. The student who works the hardest deserves to be mentioned. Not only that, but when there is a valedictorian other students actually try to get good grades and be number one.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:02 am |
  110. Alexa

    I don't think they should toss the title of a top student. I think that it gives the people who have tried their best, a award that they deserve. If I was a the top student, I would want to be awarded valedictorian. I believe that it gives competition between students, to try to do better, which helps people learn more. They should not toss the "Valedictorian" name, it is unfair to the people who have tried their best and have succeeded.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:04 am |
  111. Mckenzie

    I think that they should not stop having the titles for the top student. I think hat it would be cool to be a valedictorian. Even though our school does not have that. But then again I would not want it because if the students get their own parking space then that is ridiculuos because if you won the title you might get more appreciated by some of the teachers.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:07 am |
  112. Dana

    We should be able to compete for the title of valedictorian. There are many students who wouldn't strive for good grades if this title was removed. It's important to try hard in school. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I get an academic award is great-it must be an incredible feeling to be a valedictorian. I'd hate it if this title was gone when I got into high school.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:10 am |
  113. Brytani

    I am neutral with it because some people are put down by the fact itself of people announcing who's the best where others will try harder to become valedictorian next time. You kind of have to look at both sides of the story......

    October 2, 2008 at 11:53 am |
  114. Liz

    I think they should keep the title of valedictorian. Because of the competition some kids might work harder on their grades to recieve the title.

    October 2, 2008 at 12:06 pm |
  115. amanda

    I think they should keep the valedictorian because that is a goal for some people or a dream, and taking it away from them is not fair. I understand students take easier classes to raise their GPA so they can get that title, well maybe we should change the rule instead of taking it completely away. Some people count on this to get into college just like some count on sports to get them into college. I think just change the rules on how you can get it and go from there.

    October 2, 2008 at 12:09 pm |
  116. Brian

    I think that having a "Valedictorian" is a way to motivate people to do better in there school work. If you take that away and only have a top student, I don't think that people would push themselves as hard to do there best. It also just doesn't sound as cool.

    October 2, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  117. cody

    well they should keep the validvictorian becouse some kids work and work to be the top of their class and they might take easier classes but they still had to work to get where their at. it does not matter what classes they take their still working to get where they are at.

    October 2, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  118. josh

    i really dont care muc if they toss it or not cause im not one in the race to get it for say ill never be able to get it so really i dont think they need it it just labels ppl in a way

    October 2, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  119. Jacob

    I have to say, I definitely don't agree when they say that the position of Valedictorian causes an "unhealthy" competitive atmosphere. Competition encourages kids to work harder and challenge themselves, and if they don't feel like trying harder, why would they deserve a reward. Life is a competition, and that doesn't change no matter how hard you try to hide it.

    October 2, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  120. Danielle

    The title of valedictorian has been in our schools for a long time and yes, it brings out the competative side in people not always the best but sports do the exact same thing. if we were to get rid of valedictorian just for competativeness then just get rid of all sports for the heck of it. Last i checked no one has gotten hurt just because they want the best grade in the class.

    October 2, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  121. Josiah

    I think awarding a student "Valedictorian" is a good idea. It rewards the student who set themselves apart from everyone else by out-performing them acedimically.

    October 2, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  122. Brooke

    I think it would be a good idea, and also a bad idea. It could be a good idea because some kids may take easier classes and get better grades than the kids who take harder classes and whose grades arent as good. I also think it could be a bad idea because the ones who are taking the hard classes and getting good grades arent being recognized for how well they do.

    October 2, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  123. alexis

    its not like we dont care if wrere the best.we think we know alot that we dont but we syill need to know if were the best or the worst.

    October 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  124. kate

    i think that valevictorian is the best way to get motivation in high school i want to be it when i get into high school

    October 2, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  125. heidi

    I am a motivated learner in a gifted program and I strive to become my schools Valedictorian and I personally would not work as hard if I new threre was not any reward. I also think students who need help in things would not agree because if they have no chance of getting it why would they want it. So I see both sides but do not agree with that idea.

    October 2, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  126. Kellie

    First of all I think it is so undoubtedly rude that ANYONE would even come close to trying this out. 1) we need below average and average for there to be above average, right? Well, I happen to be above average and thrive on competition. If there is NO way to get competition no one will succeed. Anyway, competition is NATURAL to EVERYONE, for example....... Business, such as two fast food restaurants, they NATURALLY compete to get better service. Anyway, I believe that we should have a top student. ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR.

    October 2, 2008 at 9:21 pm |
  127. Tesha

    OMG! i think that it woudld be really stupid to not have a valedictorian beacause of the competition! I would think that it would be good. I mean u would think that it would just make the students want 2 get better grades and isnt that the point! How could that be a bad thing? So i think it would not be fair for them 2 take it away. i guess i get it that i makes them take easier classes but still thats their problem when it comes 2 college. But others who try hard, and r in A.P or honors classes and still get good grades should not have to suffer if they really want 2 get "Valedictorian"

    October 2, 2008 at 10:44 pm |
  128. Janelle

    I think that having a Valedictorian is a good idea. From when I went to my first Graduation that I remember, I've always wanted to be Valedictorian of my class. I think it's an honor. If they took it away I know I would be very disappointed, and I know a lot of younger kids would be disappointed as well. But I also think it's unfair if students in "resource", as my school calls it, have the same grades or even better than the number one student in my class. I've heard from people in resource tell other students that the teachers just tell them the answers, they don't have to work at it at all. So maybe if the student is in "resource", they shouldn't be considered for the Valedictorian. It also isn't fair when seniors take really simple classes to get a higher GPA. There are some students who take the hard courses, like; Trigonometry/Calculus, Anatomy, Physics, Psychology, Personal Finance, and Accounting, and they try really hard to get a high GPA. And there are other students who just take the easy classes. For example, p.e., choir, applied math, senior topics, art. It shouldn't be fair for them to be a possible candidate for Valedictorian. It should be given to someone who took challenging courses.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  129. Bryan

    I think it's a bad idea,because if there's no title to win valedictorian then all of the students that worked so hard to get there will have no more hope for school.

    -CORTNEY JHS period 5

    October 2, 2008 at 11:33 pm |
  130. Brandon

    No no no no no...................... no they should not get rid of the top tudent title and i was sort of hoping to get it but if i dont oh well.

    October 3, 2008 at 9:43 am |
  131. garrick

    i think that we should have valedictorian because it gives good competition

    October 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  132. Michael, and Garrick

    We think that valedictorian is good for the competion. But people trying to become valedictorian should not be able to only to take easy classes.

    October 3, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  133. stefan and djordje

    we think that there should be valedictorians cuz competion is good.and people would be trying to get a higher grade but people shouldn't be a valedvictorian if they take easy classes

    October 3, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  134. CASSIDY


    October 3, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  135. Hunter

    I think valedictorians should stay.That makes students want to get it which ups grades.

    October 4, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  136. Nathanael

    I am a sophomore and I think that the problem is not the valedictorianship. Competiton is the force that drives people to greatness. It's the classes. The Honors classes should be weighted into your GPA. There is a kid in my year who was in the top ten last year. There was no way he would have been so had he taken Honors classes.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:58 pm |
  137. Alice

    I think they should have valedictorians on all kind of subjects.

    October 5, 2008 at 7:55 am |
  138. Jeff

    I think the school have to select whether to have a valedictorian or not.
    They should do a check up on students about whether you get motivated by having a valedictorian or you get depressed by valedictorian. If a school has more 'get-depressed' students by having valedictorians, they should stop it. The school just kind'a take a look the atmosphere.

    October 5, 2008 at 7:58 am |
  139. Nicholas

    Dear Carl, I'm only in 7th grade but I don't think they should just throw away valid victorian because when it's my senior year I want to be valid victorian. There may be other kids just like me that want to be valid victorian.

    October 7, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  140. BRYAN

    If I got ten dollars I would buy little kids fake money and make them feel richer and learn about how to count money which is a very helpful skill in life.

    October 7, 2008 at 6:05 pm |
  141. peyton

    I think that the title should be kept because it motivates the students to do better in school because they know that they can get something for doing well in school. It helps you to want to succeed when you know you will be recognized for all of the effort you have put into your work. Schools that get rid of the title will soon realize that they have made a mistake by removing the competition from the classroom.

    October 9, 2008 at 8:43 am |
  142. Cody

    It's not a huge deal for me. Would be nice but not my priority. My main thing is to do my best and pass.

    October 9, 2008 at 11:12 am |
  143. haley

    Well I think they should have valedictorian in their high school they need it to learn for a good education. Why would they want to get rid of it? It is part of high school.

    October 9, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  144. megan

    Schools should keep the valedictorian status because it gives students a reason to keep trying in high school. People complain that it is too much competition for students but life is a competition and you have to learn somewhere! Kids need to be recognized for their great achievements. Most of those who complain probably don’t like it because they have never known someone who had to do all of the hard work in order to achieve it, they can’t do it so they don’t want anybody else to either. Keep the valedictorian status. Kids who can do it, have earned it and shouldn’t be let down.

    October 14, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  145. Audrey

    I think they should keep the title of Valedictorian. They say there was to much competition in the classroom but what's wrong with a little friendly competition? Plus some kids strive all their lives to get Valedictorian and they get to high school and find out they no longer do Valedictorian. They will be crushed!

    October 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  146. Elizabeth

    i think that they should drop it i mean im only is 7th grade but still i think it isnt fair that just beacause you learn easier doesnt mean you should get so much praise we all learn different becuse God made us that way so i would say just try your best and set goals and you can be your own valedictorian. lol

    October 14, 2008 at 8:49 pm |
  147. Danielle

    That is sooooo not fair! I kinda want to be Valadictorian, and so do some of my friends!!! We are in 7th grade, and by the time we get in High School, that chance will be good. But I guess if the compotition leads to suiside, mabye it is a good idea.

    October 15, 2008 at 1:35 am |
  148. chloe

    NO NO NO NO NO!!! they should not go away with the valedvictorian name bcuz if the do get competive that is just the real world. they should get competive also bcuz they need 2 c what it is like 2 get ahead or behind in grades! like if they get 2A's 1B and a C or 2 then they will not get valedvictorian so KEEP THE NAME!!KEEP THE NAME!!

    October 15, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  149. Nic

    I think that is bad to get rid of the title because it gives students a chance to do their best.

    October 15, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  150. Lizzy

    I think that it's a bad idea to drop the title of valedictorian because a lot of kids like me spend most of their time trying to earn it...straight-A students might not have much to work for anymore if the title is taken away.

    October 16, 2008 at 12:10 pm |
  151. Jennifer

    I dont think they should take the title out they should keep it because sometimes somre kids would like to make there parents prould of them.

    October 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  152. chris

    I think that doing away with top student is ridiculous because when you do that to students, it creates competition within the class. The reason competition is good is that when you get into the real world businesses, you'll have to compete with your co-workers to get a job, and doing that in school, it gets students ready for it.

    October 16, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  153. Carly

    I personally think that taking away the title of valedictorian would be HORRIBLE! A lot of kids like me are really dedicated to making straight A's, if we didn't have anything to strive for in high school many kids would just quit trying. Getting rid of valedictorian would ruin the world!

    October 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  154. Ashton

    I think it should be kept. it gives students something to work twords. And even if you dont get it just keep trying. You'll get there.

    October 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  155. Amanda

    I think it is a great idea. School's should respect and celebrate that everyone has a different learning style and speed. Someone who might not get good grades, might be trying and working a lot harder than a naturally smart student. I think it is unfair. Everyone learns differently, so how can we put a label on who is the best? Some students have an unfair advantage.

    October 16, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  156. Isabella

    I think that tossing the top student is a dumb idea and not realistic. In the real world there is always someone better than you and students need to learn how to deal with that pressure. The fact that there is no title just can confuse colleges and make one school that doesn't rank look worse than a school that does rank. Of course, the top student at one school may not be nearly as smart as even a student who ranks number 5 but colleges recognize what your grades and ACT or SAT scores are.

    October 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  157. p897

    no!! People act hard to get that! why drop it? its good competition! Pitiful!

    October 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  158. Emily

    I would hate if my school got rid of rankings. I know that I have a shot of being my high school valedictorian, and now it's a dream that I have. A lot of my friends would love to be named top of the class, too, so I think that getting rid of it would crush some people's dreams!

    October 16, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  159. Blake

    The valedictorian title creates a type of compition whithin the classroom. But it's a good type of compition. It gives students a chance to really show what they can do. So the idea of getting rid of such a marveloust title is ridiculous.

    October 17, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  160. annastacia

    I think that valedictorians should be kept. Having a valedictorian may make things in school more competitive but that isn’t really a bad thing. Even if the title was done away with, there will always be someone who is better than the rest. Most valedictorians work extremely hard to get to that number one spot, so they should be rewarded with the title. And really, if there aren’t any problems between the students (like doing illegal things to get to the position) then why do away with it? If the valedictorians were given up then most kids would just stop thinking about school and have no reason to come. If they knew there wasn't going to be the top students in the school then what was the use of haven it from the beginning of all of it starting? Most kids focus on how good their GPA is, so they know they are the TOP student and could get valedictorian in their class. So the real question is, "Why did they start valedictorian in the first place if they were just going to take it away?"

    October 20, 2008 at 12:07 pm |
  161. Amanda

    Some high schools are getting rid of a senior class tradition–naming a valedictorian. They say that lowering competition among students is better for their overall success. With the pressure of being the best in your class students lose focus on the little more important things.Threrfore What about the person who is Valedictorian, they took easy classes, while maybe average to co-saluditorians were both better students and took the higher level courses offered. In that time they didn't weight AP courses, so there was less incentive for students.(Its not always like this) but when it does happen like that, its wrong and it can really damage peoples self-estem .People who are challenging themselves,or taking hard classes should not be punished, or brought down on for not having the best GPA . Its not all about book smart people in this world, there are alot of things people are smart at. School valedictorian. should not determine your standing with any of your other classmates.

    October 20, 2008 at 12:17 pm |
  162. Chris

    I think that valedictorian is a wonderful title, I would love to have it. But if I was trying hard to recieve it and didn't, I would be dissapointed. The one person should have the glory and honor of the title, they earned it. But for some like me, I would be jelaous.

    October 20, 2008 at 8:48 pm |
  163. Jordan

    I think it is a wonderful idea to throw out class rankings. Competition for fun is not a bad thing. But it get seriously become an issue of increased anxiety and stress that are damaging students rather than helping them. I don't like snotty and vain kids, nor do I like the ones who are too afraid to talk about there grades, and are discouraged from schoolwork altogether. I think we need positive encouragement to get good grades, that doesn't compare kids, but instead asks kids to simply do there best. Please listen, this is coming from someone who could easily get the title. It's worthless. life experience, knowledge, friendship- If you're gonna worry about something, make it these things

    October 22, 2008 at 10:32 pm |