Recently I read a post on line that made me a bit sad and a bit angry as well. A member o my 4-H Club posted that the high schools here no longer rank students according to their academic achievement. While I knew that the system here and done away with the idea of valedictorians in past years, the move now to eliminate ranking moves farther toward a dangerous precipice.
Students applying for college are asked for their class ranking. Now that is not available to our students here. The move to somehow make everyone equal on an academic playing field by eliminating the ability to show one's outstanding efforts does nothing to prepare out students for the real world. The move to eliminate valedictorians because the fact that someone does better academically may hurt someone else's feelings is ridiculous at best.
We make every effort to praise athletes who take the championship, at least at the high school level and above. Unfortunately earlier years of athletics fall into that "everyone's a winner" category that also does not promote reality. But with youth athletics aside for a moment, high school athletes are touted for their achievements on the field but are required to do little academically to play. That is not to say that we do not have outstanding academic students who also play sports we do. But, they are not required to be outstanding in the classroom. In fact, they are required to barely be average.
But for those students who work academically and attempt to reach goals such in their studies, the school system does away with any honor they may receive. These students work hard on their grades and they are not equal to the rest of the entire student body. They should not be treated as such.
We, in this county and this country are making a move that attempts to show that "everyone should be treated the same" no matter what effort they put into something. Hence the youth sports where everyone gets a trophy. There are winners and there are losers and to portray that those who work hard to achieve are the same as those who do not work hard to achieve does a disservice to our youth and to whom they will become in their adult lives.
The youth of today who are led to believe that no matter what, everyone should receive the same reward will face a difficult lesson when looking for a job, when moving forward in their lives. Let's recognize hard work and reward those who make the effort to achieve. That motivation will lead to better citizens, better workers, better leaders. We owe it to our youth to recognize their abilities and reward them accordingly.