Monday, January 16, 2012

Proposal To Do Away With Class Rank At BHS and other Program of Studies Changes

2012 2013 Cover
BHS Program of Studies Cover (Designed by Jeff Turri)
We have been been discussing class rank at BHS a great deal lately. After much discourse with our Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), we have forwarded a recommendation to the School Committee to do away with class rank.  Please see the Proposal from the BHS Instructional Leadership Team to eliminate class rank for the Class of 2016 (current 8th grade class) which was presented at last Tuesday's School Committee Meeting. The topic will be discussed again on Tuesday, January 24 at School Committee.

Our rationale for the move is that class rank is that the focus on class rank has been a deterrent for some students to take classes that they are most interested in due to a unhealthy focus on class rank.  Other local schools that do not rank students include Lexington, Belmont, Concord-Carlisle, Reading, and Winchester.  In looking at this change we have also done extensive research with college admissions officers to ensure that our students would not be negatively impacted by the move away from class rank.

In addition we have modified the long-time 500-900 requirement to the BHS Exploratory Requirement.
We feel that students will benefit greatly from taking 10 credits from this broad selection of courses. We anticipate this list of electives will continue to expand from year to year.

As always we look forward to your feedback and questions! Please feel free to e-mail me, call me, or stop in and see me if you have any questions.
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  1. As a parent of an 8th grader (and 2 college students), I disagree with your plan to do away with class rank. You say kids take classes they are not interested in just to boost their class rank. Doesn't that also boost their GPA?? And isn't that what colleges are most interested in?? Whether there is a class rank or not, students will continue to need to take the most challenging courses in order to stay competitive at the most competitive colleges. Class rank and GPA are based on the same thing -- class levels and grades. Are you going to do away with GPAs next?? I hope not!! I think class rank should stick around as a reflection of relative GPA. Just my opinion.

  2. Actually, I just posted a video with an interview of a couple of Dean of College Admissions from some prestigious colleges that discusses what they look for. Here's the link Our goal is that students take courses that they are most interested in and not what will give them the best rank. This has been happening and we would like to readjust the focus when students choose classes.
    Thanks for your comments!

  3. The class rank only emphasizes a student vs. student atmosphere. Use G.P.A. only, as a measure against yourself only. Those who care will undoubtedly go around figuring out where they rank but they will know it is not the high school's priority.

  4. Thank you for changing the 500-900 requirement. I hope the range of new electives will be broad. The kids are already getting a "liberal arts" education by taking 4 major areas of study plus foreign language. The elective which is a true first choice for the student will enable those who wish to get more in depth to do so and those who just want to try something new to do so.

  5. Sr. Mom - Thanks for sharing your first hand experience with the class rank!