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Is the valedictorian an outdated concept?

July 03, 2012|By Karin Klein
  • A valedictorian celebrates at North Hollywood High School.
A valedictorian celebrates at North Hollywood High School. (Los Angeles Times )

In an era of grade-grubbing and manipulation of the almighty grade-point average, is there any reasonable way to choose the most outstanding student of a given graduating class?

A Los Angeles Times editorial Tuesday suggests that schools either get rid of the valedictorian -- at least as the supposedly top student in the graduating class -- or rethink how to choose students for the honor. The idea isn't to avoid hurting the feelings of other students; rather, it's to solve the problem of the grade-point boost given for AP and honors classes (as well as International Baccalaureate, for those schools advanced enough to have them) that can make choosing a valedictorian almost meaningless.

For example, one student can take just as many AP and honors courses as another, ace them all and add an introductory course in an extra foreign language or an arts class -- and end up with the lower grade-point average because those courses don't offer the grade-point boost of an advanced class.

What do you think? Take our wildly unscientific poll, leave a comment below, or do both!


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