As we prepare for this week's school committee vote on the elimination of class rank, I want to share an article that I came across this weekend from the Wall Street Journal regarding a recent study on ranking and the effects that it has on those who function in a system that focuses on rank. Not surprisingly, "Performance declined for everyone in the implicitly competitive environment," according to the study.
As we think about what is really needed to help our students for whatever path they are on, I feel strongly that we need to set up a culture that focuses on collaboration instead of competition. Our focus needs to continue to be on challenging our students and getting our students to challenge themselves and push themselves and their thinking. In order to truly do this according to this study, we need to take down the "leaderboard" that have traditionally posted.