Let's get worried about self-esteem, shall we?
For years, high schools have been retreating from singling out students as valedictorians and salutatorians to ease the competition and pressure that the quest for the top class rankings can place on teenagers.Why is a little competition a bad thing for high school seniors? My God, we are emasculating them, aren't we?
High schools in Huntington Beach are adopting a different approach, replacing the traditional recognitions with the broader, more inclusive Latin honors used by colleges and universities: magna cum laude for students with grade-point averages of 4.0 and above and summa cum laude for students earning 4.4 and higher.
"Before, there was only one recognized," said Janie Hoy, principal of Huntington Beach High School. "Now we're opening it up to many."
You're talking about students who are within fractions of a point of each other competing for that top spot," said Carol Osbrink, assistant superintendent of educational services for the Huntington Beach Union High School District. "In our way of thinking, that's borderline unhealthy."
Of course, the high school could do both, allow the two top students their moment in the sun and recognize the top students. Because all that "borderline unhealthy" behavior is going to go one anyway for college admissions.
That same behavior is driving students to do horrible, terrible things . . . like take advanced classes. In subjects other than their main interests! As one teacher said, "When there's a race for the top, you'll have science and math students taking Advanced Placement music theory when they have no interest in music." Oh dear Lord, what if little Nguyen actually finds an appreciation for music?! Oh, the humanities!
Find the hidden meaning: "In our way of thinking . . ." = communism undertones. Anybody read Ayn Rand in AP English?