The School Newspaper of John Carroll School

Con: Class rank system gives unfair advantage

February 24, 2014

For the past three and a half years, you have tirelessly worked your hardest every day to obtain the best grades. You have pushed yourself by participating in countless extracurricular activities and have led your sports team to many victories, bringing glory to the school. This should be more than enough to get you into the college you want. Right?

However, your class rank at your school of 100 students is 51. The school of your dreams will only accept students in the top half of their class. What now?

Class rank is an old, useless, and dying tradition. Your rank among your peers only reflects the grades you receive compared to others in your class. It doesn’t show the hours of work you put in, the level of classes you took, or the other activities that make you up as a person.

While it is valuable for determining the valedictorian, class rank only pits students against each other. For example, to obtain a higher rank, a student must wish lower grades on another student.

The entire college application process is frustrating, but nothing is more frustrating than someone trying to tell you your worth based on your grades compared to your classmates’ grades. What is worse is that this number is not even accurate.

First of all, class rank does not take into account motivation, determination, and the hours students put into their work. I cannot be the only one who sees some students never paying attention in class, never studying, and still acing tests. Class rank does not measure the work you put in, only the final grade. Class rank is no better at determining a student’s ability than the SAT, which only predicts how well students will do during their first year of college.

Secondly, while JC does have a weighted class rank, it does not fully account for how hard the student worked. It is unfair that some students can get a higher class rank by taking easier classes, and then, consequently, receiving higher grades.

That is not to say weighted class rank is a bad thing. A person could be doing poorly in a challenging AP or honors class, but have a higher rank than a person working hard in regular or honors classes, because of the weighted points.

Finally, class rank, in no way, accounts for desire to learn, extracurricular activities, sports, leadership, or passion.

Hope Kelly is the Editor in Chief of The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

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