By Del Stover
For decades, the tradition at high school graduation ceremonies has been for the valedictorian -- the top-achieving student in the class -- to offer a farewell speech to fellow graduates as they listen quietly in their caps and gowns.
That’s so old school.
These days, it’s not unusual for a high school graduation ceremony to honor a dozen or more valedictorians -- or none at all. At some schools, high-achieving students line up to make a few remarks at the podium with awards-show brevity. Elsewhere, no one is given a special moment under the sun.
This is not the most momentous issue in public education, but how a high school honors its top students -- and whether it reports class rankings -- is a surprisingly common one for today’s school boards. Indeed, every few years, the selection criteria spark controversy somewhere and spill over into the courts.
Would you like to continue reading?
Subscribers please click here to continue reading. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to purchase this article or to obtain a subscription to ASBJ.