Point: Would class ranking work to motivate Schreiber students?

Delia Rush, Managing Editor

Just to make one thing clear, class ranking should never be used to belittle any student. It tends to place students in a particular order, from highest to lowest GPA or whatever other scoring system a particular school uses.
These lists are commonly not on a public display, but rather a way that students, guidance counselors, and college admission officers can gain a broader perspective on a specific student’s academic abilities.
Currently, any existing ranking system at Schreiber is under strict privacy and is only used to keep track of the valedictorian, the student with the highest cumulative GPA at the end of junior year. Thus, a list serves its purpose here at Schreiber at graduation, similar to neighboring towns such as Manhasset High School.
According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), a ranking system has “the purpose of measuring and comparing student academic achievement and to promote fairness and equity in college admission procedures.”
NASSP’s explanation of ranking systems also reveals that larger state schools, such as in Texas and California, have started to require more admittances based on class rank. With thousands of applications consisting of several writing supplements, transcripts, and activity records, class rank is helpful in determining the final verdict on a student’s admittance.
Schreiber, especially, has a reputation amongst college admissions directors for having an obscure GPA system due to the extra points that can be added from honors or AP level courses and honors projects.
The first time you try to calculate your own GPA using the system formatted on one of the first pages of the agenda, you will be a bit confused. Not many high schools have GPAs going all the way up to a 5.5, so Schreiber is an anomaly.
If a ranking system were to be utilized here at Schreiber, it should not be on public display, but accessed for personal knowledge or sent to colleges once the time comes.
Having this information can help a student reassess his or her standing in comparison to fellow students. While many argue that comparing oneself to others is unhealthy, this can be helpful while considering education beyond high school, especially when colleges give statistics on accepted students’ class rank.
“I don’t think that a ranking should be for everyone to see, but to know your own number may help put things into perspective,” said junior Sophie Lipstein.
In the professional world, individuals are constantly compared to one another and while a fully structured ranking system may not exist at every business or be prevalent within every career path, competitiveness is a huge part of American culture.
Some may argue against a ranking system out of fear that a few tenths of a point can bump a student down the list due to a difficult quarter. If that student is thriving elsewhere in his or her academic career, has a strong GPA, is an active member in the community, and has a suitable amount of credentials for a particular school, a class rank will not hurt a college acceptance.
If anything, a college will see just how competitive Schreiber is, which exemplifies that the student can still succeed in such an environment, which
is crucial to success
in college level
academics.