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Seaford HS Committee Recommends Eliminating Class Rankings

"Unhealthy competition" from high achieving students cited as one of main arguments for adjusting ranking system.

The Seaford High School Shared Decision Making Committee has recommended that the district do away with traditional class rankings.

Seaford Superintendent Brian Conboy said during his administrative report at Thursday night night’s school board that the committee has suggested only identifying the valedictorian and salutatorian in each graduating class starting in 2014. The committee’s recommendation also urged notifying students who are in the top 25 of the class. Conboy said similar changes have been made in other districts.

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“One of the things they said in the memo to the board was that they felt it was encouraging some unhealthy competition among the high achievers,” said Conboy about the reason for the committee’s recommendation to stop class rankings.

Conboy said the reason why the top 25 of a class would still be determined is that many colleges look at being in the top 10 percent or 5 percent when choosing applicants. He said any changes to class ranking procedures would need to be approved by the school board.

Richard DiBlasio, vice president of the Seaford school board, suggested during Thursday's meeting that any adjustment to the class ranking system not be made until the current freshmen have graduated. 

wade blumstein January 20, 2013 at 07:53 PM
@ Chris - having kids in WHS they eliminated class rankings 2 years ago. That is what I was told at freshman orientation for parents last year.
Chris Wendt January 21, 2013 at 07:25 PM
No class rankings for Wantagh High starting with the Class of 2012. From the District website: "In the Wantagh Public Schools...un-weighted and weighted averages are determined at the beginning of senior year. Considered in all calculations are all high school final grades including high school level courses taken in the Middle School. The un-weighted average is determined by averaging all true final course grades with the amount of credit granted as a factor. The weighted average is determined by averaging each un-weighted grade multiplied by a weight based on the pre-determined level of difficulty. Thus: Advanced Placement & College Level Courses are weighted: 1.15 Honors Courses are weighted: 1.10 Regents Courses are weighted: 1.05 Courses without Regents designation are weighted: 1.00 In this way, the more challenging program is recognized by the student’s weighted average. Beginning with the Class of 2012, Wantagh High School does not issue a class rank to its seniors." This says to me the standards are way too low, rendering the normal distribution and standard deviation almost meaningless in terms of being able derive any true sense of performance from weighted grades.
old miller January 21, 2013 at 10:48 PM
The class ranking system was easily manipulated, so much so that it became obsolete. It was no longer indicative of who worked the hardest / was the most academically inclined. Further, grade inflation and "parental influence" when it comes to placement in honors-level and AP classes, as well as Honor Society membership, is rampant throughout much of the schools in the immediate area. Here's a question for you all- What % of students should be placed in honors-level classes? 10%? 15% I'm under the impression is that it's closer to 40% in Wantagh HS.
Matthew Provenzano January 21, 2013 at 11:12 PM
I have a very unique viewpoint on this, as I was part of a group of students who first recommended eliminating the rankings. As far as college acceptances go, they don't care about exact rank. They want which percentile you are in in the class, which a guidance counselor can send to the school on their own. This is not a "trophy for everybody" program. Everyone knows who is a high achiever in the school and who isn't. When college acceptances come out, it's very easy to see who the "Top 25" are. That's the trophy, and that's the true bar of success because it represents a student holistically and not just by a number. There is nothing worse for a student than being labelled as a number. "He's number [x]!" and "She's number [y]!" only depersonalizes the school atmosphere into an environment that judges one not based on their character and effort, but on their number. I have lived it and I am glad to see it go. And I'm sure my former class mates are, as well. Just as an FYI, the Top 25 signed a petition to have it removed--this wasn't something the administration originally intended to do
Matthew Provenzano January 21, 2013 at 11:58 PM
My mistake--we petitioned to eliminate the re-rank in the second half. But I still stand by the social and educational benefits!

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