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(Des Moines Register)   More and more high schools are getting rid of class rankings, because it's "bad" for the esteem of students   (desmoinesregister.com) divider line 55
    More: Fail, Iowa, high schools, class rank, University of Northern Iowa, valedictorians, West Des Moines, salutatorians  
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1939 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2013 at 9:25 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-04 08:45:03 AM  
Pfft. Amateurs. You handle this by enrolling everybody in AP and IB classes to bump up their GPAs by a half point or so. Also, you could take something of a "13th floor" approach to the problem, simply start numbering the students in the school so that the lowest number begins well past the mid-point. There's no reason you can't have class rank and self esteem all at once.
 
2013-12-04 09:12:17 AM  

Pocket Ninja: Pfft. Amateurs. You handle this by enrolling everybody in AP and IB classes to bump up their GPAs by a half point or so. Also, you could take something of a "13th floor" approach to the problem, simply start numbering the students in the school so that the lowest number begins well past the mid-point. There's no reason you can't have class rank and self esteem all at once.


img.fark.net
 
2013-12-04 09:27:11 AM  
Now all we need to do is get rid of yearly appraisals.
 
2013-12-04 09:32:38 AM  
Rankings are meaningless anyway...I was in the top 3% of a very large graduating class, and I'm farking retarded...
 
2013-12-04 09:35:31 AM  
You're doing a disservice by not telling people they need to work harder to be competitive.  You're also negating the benefits of being ranked highly and thus giving the people with talent the confidence to excel.  Attempting to reduce negative self-esteem is not worth sacrificing things that cause high self-esteem.
 
2013-12-04 09:36:30 AM  
Yeah Fark the grade grubbers and pushy parents looking to pad college applications, they're just as bad, if not worse than the "how dare you call my dumb kid dumb" crowd
 
2013-12-04 09:36:48 AM  
Yes, because we really would hate to recognize kids for academic achievement. In the meantime, please continue to worship  jocks and cheerleaders.

Ok, they want some protection of self esteem, lets take a swing at all atheltics as well. Get rid of organized high school althletics as we know it.  Teams are randomly mixed and play against each other, but with no team names, mascots, or traching of records or statistics. Basically every so often the particpants for a league meet, divide up into teams (random allotment of players), and play a few games.   No cheerleaders. No rivalries. No set schedules of certain opponents. No encouragement of fans to come to a came.

No tracking on individual statistics allowed.  That would be bad for self esteem too, you know. How dare we hurt the feelings of the fat little slug who can't run as fast as the far more talented player?
 
2013-12-04 09:40:47 AM  
I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?
 
2013-12-04 09:43:07 AM  
Ctrl + F "Self esteem"

No results. The actual article says:

But the competitive nature of the school can act as a doubled-edged sword for students applying to college. Dowling seniors who have a GPA of less than 3.56 currently fall into the bottom 50 percent of their class - a black mark on otherwise impressive transcripts.

So class rankings screw over kids at competitive schools because even with high grades they'll still have a low ranking. They drop the rankings so it doesn't do that. Makes sense to me.
 
2013-12-04 09:43:28 AM  
Ask yourselves this: what, really, is the difference between a student who scored 87% and a student who scored 90% on a math test? (Noting it's a letter grade difference.) Can you really say one's learned the unit better than the other?

Honest answer: no, you really can't. Not with just the percent. Any number of things having nothing at all to do with math could be involved, anything from being an ELL (and having misunderstood an instruction, for example) through external stress (parents argued the night before, etc) to otherwise distracted (someone working a chainsaw outside, some students able to focus through it better than others), etc.

A better way to give feedback is through a rubric "5 - Demonstrates understanding of the skill, able to use it spontaneously in novel situations, etc;   4 - Demonstrates knowledge of the skill, able to use it appropriately in familiar situations, few errors"...  and so on.

You give more useful feedback that way, and students aren't being conditioned to see their peers as rivals, but rather as a learning community. (I've seen classrooms like this where the attitudes among students was that 'no one gets left behind'. Very mutually supportive. They were quite impressive.)
 
2013-12-04 09:43:55 AM  

salvador.hardin: I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?


img-cache.cdn.gaiaonline.com
 
2013-12-04 09:44:42 AM  

salvador.hardin: I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?


High rankings are great things to be able to mention in college entrance applications and interviews.  Also in undergraduate, graduating cum laude gets your grad school paid for.
 
2013-12-04 09:45:16 AM  

Loaf's Tray: Rankings are meaningless anyway...I was in the top 3% of a very large graduating class, and I'm farking retarded...


But, you ARE an above average functioning retard...so that is deserving of recognition.
 
2013-12-04 09:46:51 AM  
Wow, this is complete outrage over nothing.  I graduated high school 15 years ago and we'd already gotten rid of class rankings.  They still gave out awards for being in the "top 2%," or "top 5%", etc, but they just didn't publish a particular number for anybody.

Part of the reason was that on an unweighted scale, Honors and AP classes were counted the same as regular classes.  This created unique problems like, "should I challenge myself and learn something, or should I take the easy A and keep my class rank?"  They tried a system where honors/AP would be 2-3-4-5 instead of 1-2-3-4 but that also created a set of problems-- if you had a GPA above 4 (fairly common), you were better off being a teachers aid for a period than taking a class that interested you but didn't have an honors option (e.g. photography).

Seriously people, its not all about the snowflakes.  Class rank is a just not a very good indicator of academic performance with all of the diverse options that schools offer anymore.
 
2013-12-04 09:54:43 AM  
This has NOTHING to do with self esteem. I has to do with the fact that students in very high performing schools with very high averages are receiving a rather pedestrian rank and having that rank be considered by colleges in determining acceptance or scholarships IF those ranks are made available.
 
2013-12-04 10:02:24 AM  

DubtodaIll: salvador.hardin: I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?

High rankings are great things to be able to mention in college entrance applications and interviews.  Also in undergraduate, graduating cum laude gets your grad school paid for.


My district's HS doesn't do numerical rankings. They still do Honor Roll and High Honor Roll, as well as name a Valedictorian and Salutatorian. There's also National Honor Society and a few other honor societies. There's plenty of things to be able to mention without being able to say that you're number x out of y in your class. As far as reporting to colleges goes, the school reports in what quintile (top 20%, top 40%, etc) the student falls.
 
2013-12-04 10:15:04 AM  
Teaching kids today that their feelings are the most important things in the world only leads to more people on Fark tomorrow whining about children in restaurants and on airplanes.
 
2013-12-04 10:20:18 AM  
...unless you're in the navy.   Enlisted men have a rating and rate, not a rank.


All the children are above average.
 
2013-12-04 10:30:17 AM  
The problem with rankings and grade curves is that it doesn't indicate how intelligent you are. Grades should be given in respect to the correct answers you give not based on how others did
 
2013-12-04 10:32:33 AM  

theesir: This has NOTHING to do with self esteem. I has to do with the fact that students in very high performing schools with very high averages are receiving a rather pedestrian rank and having that rank be considered by colleges in determining acceptance or scholarships IF those ranks are made available.


I agree with you on this. You GPA and SAT scores should be the determining factors for college admission. To turn away a student with a 3.5 GPA due to some arbitrary rank, when there are seats available at the college, is beyond stupid. A 3.5 GPA is Honor Roll material, someone who excels at academics.

Oops, but I forgot. It is more important to let in all the high school football stars FIRST, before considering letting in the academic achievers...
 
2013-12-04 10:33:06 AM  

DubtodaIll: You're doing a disservice by not telling people they need to work harder to be competitive.  You're also negating the benefits of being ranked highly and thus giving the people with talent the confidence to excel.  Attempting to reduce negative self-esteem is not worth sacrificing things that cause high self-esteem.


If 100 students take a test and 90 get 95% but 10 score a 92. The 10 people are not stupid and low rankings would indicate that they are when that just means they scored lower than others.
 
2013-12-04 10:33:18 AM  
Class rankings are stupid, and not for self-esteem reasons.  The top kids in my class weren't the smartest by any means; they just took easy but weighted classes---in my HS, band (for some reason) was given a full point weight (so an A in band was worth 5.0 on the 4.0 scale)---so it wasn't a surprise when all of the "top" seniors each year were in band (since everybody gets an A in band).

Classes in HS have different weights, as well as different teachers who teach and grade with different degrees of difficulty.  Rankings are absolutely meaningless in that environment---they tell you who is the best at gaming the system, not the best at school.
 
2013-12-04 10:35:06 AM  

Warlordtrooper: DubtodaIll: You're doing a disservice by not telling people they need to work harder to be competitive.  You're also negating the benefits of being ranked highly and thus giving the people with talent the confidence to excel.  Attempting to reduce negative self-esteem is not worth sacrificing things that cause high self-esteem.

If 100 students take a test and 90 get 95% but 10 score a 92. The 10 people are not stupid and low rankings would indicate that they are when that just means they scored lower than others.


It indicates that the test was too easy.
 
2013-12-04 10:35:52 AM  
Where's that link to the thread yesterday about the 30-year-old girl who was afraid to become an adult....pretty sure I had a point to make with it.....
 
2013-12-04 10:37:16 AM  

MythDragon: salvador.hardin: I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?

[img-cache.cdn.gaiaonline.com image 850x799]


Given the results of the US Military over the last five decades, that probably isn't the greatest example.

/kidding, kind of
 
2013-12-04 10:39:51 AM  

DubtodaIll: Warlordtrooper: DubtodaIll: You're doing a disservice by not telling people they need to work harder to be competitive.  You're also negating the benefits of being ranked highly and thus giving the people with talent the confidence to excel.  Attempting to reduce negative self-esteem is not worth sacrificing things that cause high self-esteem.

If 100 students take a test and 90 get 95% but 10 score a 92. The 10 people are not stupid and low rankings would indicate that they are when that just means they scored lower than others.

It indicates that the test was too easy.


Yes I agree but that is a different argument but I pulled those numbers from my ass to make a point. Rankings are great for sports but not so much for grades
 
2013-12-04 10:40:00 AM  
I graduated 63rd out of a class of 100, which put me in the top half of my class, and greatly contributed to my success as lower middle management....
 
2013-12-04 10:40:44 AM  
Isn't this a non-issue?  It says they won't get auto-accepted.  Granted, that criteria is dumb (they should take both gpa and rank into account for that decision), but they would still get accepted into any state school when a real person looks at the application.
 
2013-12-04 10:41:26 AM  
Then again some schools experienced petty, vicious, and legally costly fights over who should be ranked first.

Some of you may remember Blair Hornstine who apparently dedicated her life to getting into Harvard.

sjol.com

She had some possibly imaginary illness which she claimed kept her from taking gym class. (An "A" in gym, as a non-advanced subject would bring down her grade average and no non-"disabled" could rank as high). The school decided to make her co-valedictorian so she and her father, Judge Hornstine, sued to have her named sole valedictorian. They won and received $60,000 damages, though Blair didn't addend graduation because of a "hostile atmosphere".

She was accepted by Harvard but then was disinvited when it turned out that one of her extra curricular activities, writing for a local newspaper, involved lots of plagiarism.
 
2013-12-04 10:41:42 AM  

Warlordtrooper: DubtodaIll: Warlordtrooper: DubtodaIll: You're doing a disservice by not telling people they need to work harder to be competitive.  You're also negating the benefits of being ranked highly and thus giving the people with talent the confidence to excel.  Attempting to reduce negative self-esteem is not worth sacrificing things that cause high self-esteem.

If 100 students take a test and 90 get 95% but 10 score a 92. The 10 people are not stupid and low rankings would indicate that they are when that just means they scored lower than others.

It indicates that the test was too easy.

Yes I agree but that is a different argument but I pulled those numbers from my ass to make a point. Rankings are great for sports but not so much for grades


I agree it doesn't indicate much about the actual intelligence of the student but I'm all for encouraging competitive spirit which is something that emphasis on class ranking can accomplish.
 
2013-12-04 10:45:08 AM  
Because high GPA kids shouldn't feel good about themselves.
 
2013-12-04 10:48:20 AM  

HairBolus: Then again some schools experienced petty, vicious, and legally costly fights over who should be ranked first.


I was going to say that. Are they really stopping ranking because of esteem, or is it to avoid that type of bullshat.
 
2013-12-04 10:51:03 AM  

DubtodaIll: I agree it doesn't indicate much about the actual intelligence of the student but I'm all for encouraging competitive spirit which is something that emphasis on class ranking can accomplish.


When you emphasis class rankings on grades, you emphasis taking easier classes to get good grades instead of hard ones and learning stuff.
 
2013-12-04 10:51:47 AM  

Errk: Because high GPA kids shouldn't feel good about themselves.


You can have a high gpa and low rank which is the flaw. Gpa and sat scores should be factored into admissions ranking should not
 
2013-12-04 10:54:11 AM  

Errk: Because high GPA kids shouldn't feel good about themselves.


Smart people should feel horrible at all times for being smarter than the rest, and should never, under any circumstances, display said intellect.  Everyone is special, and anybody can be a straight A student because it has nothing to do with ability but just sucking up.  It's not like athletic ability, which is a gift and only a select few are touched by the gods with said blessing.  Those can brag and be given all the special treatment they want ... oh, so long as they are not also smart, at which point they have to hid that because see, supra.
 
2013-12-04 11:18:09 AM  
media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

I have a dream that one day my four little children will live in a country where they are judged not by the color of their skin but by their scores on standardized tests.
 
2013-12-04 11:24:44 AM  
Of all the metrics for college applicants, class rankings are the least useful. CSB follows:

My reference point is that of a tail-end boomer who was part of a group of about 20 (out of about 300) for whom it was understood that we were going to college pretty much wherever we wanted to, or at least, wherever our parents would spring for. OTOH, our school was pretty much happy just to have the kids go to Directional State, so the guidance counselors were pretty much useless for our purposes.

This was 1980, when every college had its own application form, which had to be typed. Then there were the essays, which also had to be typed, without the benefit of grammar check, spell check or auto-correct. That's what limited most of us to two or three applications; I wanted out of my home town so much that I put in five, which was unheard of in those days.*

When my youngest sister went through that school six years later, they were still talking about my class, because we pretty much justified the whole idea of an honors track for the next decade. Of course, grade point padding didn't exist then, so you had to be willing to take the hit on the raw GPA and hope that colleges understood the context.

Then someone figured out that you could call more than one class an "Honors English" section, which opened up room for ambitious (but not as bright) students, although their parents would never admit that qualifier.

My parents' involvement in my applications was limited to writing the check for the application fee. After that, it was up to me to handle the process, the forms, etc. The sheer variety of the applications taught me more than a bit about weighing options, managing paperwork and following up on people.

After watching my cohort's children go through the process 30 years later, I'm convinced that the Common Application is a huge mistake. Excepting (perhaps) the essays, it's just a matter of getting Mom/Dad to write another check/pull out the credit card. Then there's the simple mechanics of getting words on paper. Even when the essays aren't generic BSing, the basic tools in Word give the kids a leg-up for which I would have killed.

I don't know anyone in my cohort who wasn't/isn't/won't be up to their elbows in their children's' applications. Then again, I don't blame them, because the admission departments are so swamped with applications from kids who aren't really committed that they can afford to bounce those with the slightest fault to them.

* Went 3-1-1: Accepted to Northwestern, Purdue and U-M; wait-listed at Stanford because moron guidance counselor sent in his form blank; was locked in for my Congresscritter's appointment to Annapolis, but was a bit too nearsighted for the standards of the day, so I call that one a tie.

The tl;dr version: Kids today really do have it easy, but we made it that way for them, so we're reaping what we sowed.
 
2013-12-04 11:37:33 AM  

HairBolus: Then again some schools experienced petty, vicious, and legally costly fights over who should be ranked first.

Some of you may remember Blair Hornstine who apparently dedicated her life to getting into Harvard.



She had some possibly imaginary illness which she claimed kept her from taking gym class. (An "A" in gym, as a non-advanced subject would bring down her grade average and no non-"disabled" could rank as high). The school decided to make her co-valedictorian so she and her father, Judge Hornstine, sued to have her named sole valedictorian. They won and received $60,000 damages, though Blair didn't addend graduation because of a "hostile atmosphere".

She was accepted by Harvard but then was disinvited when it turned out that one of her extra curricular activities, writing for a local newspaper, involved lots of plagiarism.


Ha, interesting...
Our class's co-valedictorians were twins. One went to Harvard, the other went to Yale, so they wouldn't have to compete.
 
2013-12-04 11:43:03 AM  
Who cares what your ranking is.  No one can afford college anyway
 
2013-12-04 11:52:31 AM  
Next up, bubble wrap school uniforms and eveyone gets a trophy.
 
2013-12-04 11:58:16 AM  
While I definitely had my lazy streak in High School, the class rankings were really f'd up. I graduated 83rd taking APs for Chemistry, History, and Calculus. I wanted to learn something. We had a handicapped kid that had constant supervision get 8th. One of my "friends" graduated in the 20s somewhere finishing his senior year taking 6th grade math. There were some of the really smart, dedicated ones that made it to the top. But, most were taking easy A's.
 
2013-12-04 12:04:13 PM  

theesir: This has NOTHING to do with self esteem. I has to do with the fact that students in very high performing schools with very high averages are receiving a rather pedestrian rank and having that rank be considered by colleges in determining acceptance or scholarships IF those ranks are made available.


This post puts you in the ranking of top 3% of Farkers who actually bother to read the article. Good on you!
 
2013-12-04 12:14:54 PM  

DubtodaIll: salvador.hardin: I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?

High rankings are great things to be able to mention in college entrance applications and interviews.  Also in undergraduate, graduating cum laude gets your grad school paid for.


At what school? It sure as Hell didn't work like that for anyone I know. You weren't even sure you could accepted to grad school with a 4.0 GPA.
 
2013-12-04 12:16:35 PM  
1.) We do not measure the level of mastery of any given subject in school, but should.
2.) Standardized tests are more problematic than they are beneficial.
3.) Class sizes are too large to get the level of education necessary.
4.) The curriculum for most subjects is silly and glosses over material or skips important material.
5.) The course moves at a constant pace despite where the student is.
6.) High School does not mirror the the collegiate environment, but should to prepare students.
7.) We do not encourage students to try new things and allow them to focus on their talents, but instead chastise them on their faults and force them to make course commitments to fulfill the credit.
8.) Collaborative and team learning is arguably one of the most effective methods to learn course materials, yet we do the opposite. (Most classes are lecture-style with very little hands-on work, discussion, or critical thinking involved. This forces students to try to remember material rather than learn it.)
9.) The idea of "failing" and students being "held-back" is a social issue that when not properly utilized ends-up hurting the student in the long run. For example, I would argue that MOST students do not master or learn the course contents. Regardless, they are allowed to move on and never fully develop a strong foundation which limits their ability to learn anything new. The reason we do not hold more students back or "fail them" is because 1.) They would not be in the same classes with their peers and could never theoretically "catch-up" the way conventional school works. 2.) We view trying and not succeeding as failing with a very negative stigma. THIS is the time where kids should be encouraged to try EVEN if they fail. It is okay to make mistakes and fail here, but once you get outside this environment, it is very much NOT OK to fail. Kids are pushed through the system set up for failure in the real world versus being prepared for it.
10.) Politicians and bureaucrats control the public school system. Our school system is plagued with mismanagement, lack of resources, poor administration, lack of qualified teaching staff, and lack of motivation or incentive. Arguably, as a nation we should be investing most heavily in the education arena, as we should be forward thinking rather than a reactive nation that keeps procrastinating and putting band-aids on problems. Things will only get worse the more you leave the problems to fester. If our level of competency and education was collectively higher, as a result, many of our problems as a nation would be fixed - and get this - would continue to improve!
11.) The decay of the traditional family and family involvement. Many students now have little if any parental support and do not have a positive environment outside of school. This makes any effort IN SCHOOL that much more difficult. In some cases, their environment or "support structure" is actively against the students.
 
2013-12-04 12:19:50 PM  

Paelian: DubtodaIll: salvador.hardin: I'm sure all the experts will show up to talk about how kids are coddled too much, but can anyone lay out what value the rankings actually provide? And if such rankings do have value, why aren't they used more in the professional world (outside of sales and sports)?

High rankings are great things to be able to mention in college entrance applications and interviews.  Also in undergraduate, graduating cum laude gets your grad school paid for.

At what school? It sure as Hell didn't work like that for anyone I know. You weren't even sure you could accepted to grad school with a 4.0 GPA.


Any US News top 30.  All of the top tier students are generally recruited into career paths, at least thats how it was when i graduated from wake forest six years ago.
 
2013-12-04 12:22:07 PM  
Ranking has almost nothing to do with college admission and everything to do with helicopter parents wanting to claim bragging rights for their little snowflake/genius.  As long you have a GPA of 3.8+ and black out the SAT, no one gives a damn about rank.

The real problem is with kids who do very well in school but just aren't really all that smart.   It's these over-achievering drones that warp the system and keep a lot of the truly gifted kids from reaching their potential.
 
2013-12-04 12:25:59 PM  

impaler: DubtodaIll: When you emphasis class rankings on grades, you emphasis taking easier classes to get good grades instead of hard ones and learning stuff.


And you not emphasis spelling
 
2013-12-04 01:44:30 PM  

Loreweaver: theesir: This has NOTHING to do with self esteem. I has to do with the fact that students in very high performing schools with very high averages are receiving a rather pedestrian rank and having that rank be considered by colleges in determining acceptance or scholarships IF those ranks are made available.

I agree with you on this. You GPA and SAT scores should be the determining factors for college admission. To turn away a student with a 3.5 GPA due to some arbitrary rank, when there are seats available at the college, is beyond stupid. A 3.5 GPA is Honor Roll material, someone who excels at academics.

Oops, but I forgot. It is more important to let in all the high school football stars FIRST, before considering letting in the academic achievers...


Yeah, I'm sure the ~125 players on a football team are taking away all of the available spots for the other 10k+ students at any given college.

/show me on this doll where the bad football player touched you
 
2013-12-04 02:34:34 PM  
FTFA: The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa use a formula to offer automatic admission to qualified applicants from the state's high schools. The equation includes a student's GPA, test scores and the number of core courses completed in high school, as well as class rank.

The situation is that, in short, schools are adjusting how they present their data to a mathematical model in an attempt to, as they see it, get a more sensible result.  On the face of it there is nothing wrong with this, nor is there necessarily an unambiguously better solution.

You could change the model, the mathematical equation that universities are using to make these decisions, but odds are that model is based on the data that came out of the same high schools that would be affected by such a change.  You could have a high school modify its grading scales to better fit the model currently being used (similar to what this school is doing, although in this case they're just eliminating a variable).  You could argue that judging people based on such metrics is unfair, and though that could be argued either way (depending on what you think fair is) there is no denying that logistics and cost are going to push against anything more elaborate or personal guiding college admissions.

Personally, I don't feel that college is for everyone.  If we were to let children advance through topics at the pace of their ability to understand them instead of by the speed our planet goes around its star (sounds pretty ridiculous when put that way, huh) and focus on the applicability of the material instead of the testing of it they might actually be ready to strike out on their own in the adult world by the time they graduate high school.  College used to be where people went to start academic careers, not rack up debt while gaining independence from their parents but not the responsibility of adulthood.
 
2013-12-04 03:31:53 PM  
The reason colleges started using class rank is because of grade inflation.  If one school gives everybody an A in every class then all students have a 4.0.  The school in the article has a median GPA of 3.56, meaning on average in every class everyone gets an A or A-.  When grades don't mean anything anymore because every snowflake must get an A so they don't feel bad then colleges need to look at other items to determine which students are more likely to do well at college.  It sounds like the school in the article may have a larger proportion of talented students than the general student population so maybe that median GPA is legit, but median GPAs in public schools where the population is more randomized have inflated greatly in the past 20 years making GPA a poor measure of actual student performance.  The SAT and similar tests can help differentiate the top performers from the herd but class ranking helped as well since you can't fudge the numbers like you do with grades.  If you're in the bottom 50% of your class maybe that's because you are dumber than half the people in your school, even if you have a 3.56 GPA.
 
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