OPINION: The Negative Outcomes of Class Ranks

Class ranks are a highly-charged competition designed to motivate students to do their best in class. Class ranks are stressed as an essential thing when entering high school. However, while the concept of class ranks can be considered a way to challenge students, class ranks are toxic.

The effort of achieving the top 10% can often lead to stress, unhealthy relationships with school and peers, and cheating to get to the top spots. This is because there’s a separation of learning and class ranks. Students consumed by class ranks are highly likely to cheat to get a good grade, which, as a result, will raise their class rank. There is no learning when cheating occurs in the classroom. This can also pit students against each other as some might develop hard feelings for the students with a higher rank even though they cheated to get there.

While the idea of class ranks shows four years of effort; Universities and colleges no longer see class ranks as significant to get accepted into the school. Many schools have already dropped the class rank, which has forced a change in the admissions process. Instead, colleges focus on extracurriculars and the importance of SAT and ACT scores. While that can put stress on the students taking the SAT and ACT, they are tests that have been modified and shortened over the years.

Students could vote for the student speaker at graduation instead of having a valedictorian give a speech. Having students vote for the student to give the graduation speech allows for a more meaningful speech to remember in the years to come. This also allows students who might not have had a chance to give a speech because of their student’s class rank. Valedictorians would still get the graduation attire to make them stand out in the crowd, but there wouldn’t be as much on their backs during graduation season.

That’s why Azle should do away with class ranks, as many schools have already. This would be the best for the students and make learning more impactful without class ranks constantly on students’ minds.