Monday 21 March 2022

Parents slam woke Colorado school district's decision to AX valedictorians after bosses declared 'learning is not a competition'

 A Colorado school district has infuriated parents after announcing plans to ax valedictorian prizes in what they have branded the latest 'equity'-obsessed focus on mediocrity over excellence.   

'The practices of class rank and valedictorian status are outdated and inconsistent with what we know and believe of our students,' Cherry Creek School District staffers said in a statement to families last Monday declaring the change.

'We believe all students can learn at high levels, and learning is not a competition,' the letter, first reported by KDVR, asserted.

According to the letter, instead of the highest-ranking student delivering a farewell address at graduation - a stalwart tradition at US and Western schools and universities - schools will acknowledge academic achievements 'through various other ways.' 

Some of the concepts the district said would be replacing the practice include an honor roll, cords given at graduation that mark academic achievement, and separate award ceremonies for department- and school-related student prowess.   

'Taking this away is not going to fix the problem,' one district parent, Kristen Stone, told Denver station KDVR of the change.  

'It’s not going to fix the stress that we are seeing for other students - plus, it’s taking away from those who want to work towards it.'  

The guidance - put into effect immediately by the western Arapahoe County district, less than an hour west from Denver - will do away with the concept of class rankings at all public high schools in the region, officials said, in an effort to not exclude any students. 

The letter contends that the district consulted a swathe of schools, colleges and universities in Colorado before ultimately deciding to nix the distinctions, effective immediately.

It revealed that during this period, district staffers reached out to the University of Denver for their input on the then prospective program, with university brass seemingly giving them their stamp of approval.

The district said in the letter the university said it is 'not concerned with schools eliminating class rank or valedictorian recognition,' citing how university officials do not factor such distinctions into their admissions process. 

The bulletin goes on to assert that 'many college and university admission committees stopped considering class rank years ago, as very few high schools still report a class ranking.' 

It then maintains that further assessments will be conducted on Cherry Creek students, to keep track of their academic progress. 

Others were also quick to lambast the idea of removing the valedictorian designation.

'Now everyone gets a trophy and we are eliminating some of the highest honors because it’s not fair to those that don’t earn it?' one Twitter user wrote. 

The Denver Post, meanwhile, slammed the guidance in a widely distributed op-ed piece, sarcastically saying that 'Cherry Creek schools [now] redefine "valedictorian" as "mediocrity."'

The policy, which is far from the first of its kind - with a Boulder Valley school district doing away with the distinction 15 years ago and a Colorado Springs district nixing it  in 2018 - comes in an age where participation trophies and other 'woke' practices have become increasingly prevalent in several spheres of society, including public schools.

According to political pundit and New York Times bestselling author Vivek Ramaswamy, US public schools are ‘going down the tubes’ because they have been ‘infected’ with ‘woke culture’ that has ‘sacrificed the idea of excellence’ by ‘indoctrinating’ students. 

‘Diversity is a good thing when it’s about the diversity of thought,’ Ramaswamy told Fox News last year.

‘But today what's happening, especially in our schools, is we have taken this notion in the name of diversity - we have sacrificed true diversity itself.’

Ramaswamy added: ‘We have also sacrificed the idea of excellence and when we have gotten rid of excellence, I think our schools are going down the tubes.’  

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search