Ditch valedictorian? Another MN school rethinks honors

The high school that serves Howard Lake, Waverly, and Winsted, Minn., may be the latest to drop the idea of a valedictorian at graduation time.

Under the proposal, seniors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher would be recognized as summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude, the Herald Journal newspaper reports. Next year’s class would be the last to have a valedictorian and salutatorian.

A high school math teacher at the school says getting rid of the competition for valedictorian will motivate students in the competition to take more rigorous courses rather than a safer class that they have a chance to ace.

But a member of the school board is taking issue with the idea.

“It seems like we’ve lost respect for history and tradition, and we’re going to change everything,” Charles Bush said.

Last year, four students had grade point averages of at least 3.9. But only two were recognized as valedictorian and salutatorian.

About half of Minnesota schools responding the high school principal’s survey have already eliminated the two honors.

Related: The new trend in validating top students: Make them all valedictorians (Washington Post)