- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska school board has voted to eliminate class rank, beginning with next year’s freshman class.

The Monday vote aligns the Millard Public Schools district’s high schools with others across the country that ditched class rank over some concerns that fierce competition for standings hurt students, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1NqAIob ) reported.

High school principals and administrators in the Millard district advocated for the change, arguing students were stressed over class rank and picking courses to boost their standing rather than exploring their interests.

District officials also contend that college admissions officers no longer consider rank as important as other criteria, such as ACT scores.

Board member Mike Pate said he was comfortable with cutting class rank, saying that it’s no longer as relevant as before.

“Other than pride and bragging rights, what use is it?” Pate said.

Instead, students in Millard schools who meet or exceed certain GPAs will be honored with Latin distinctions commonly used to mark high achievers at colleges and universities.

Students with a GPA of 4.0 or better will be honored as summa cum laude. Those earning a GPA of 3.75 to 3.99 will graduate magna cum laude, while students with a GPA of 3.5 to 3.74 will be recognized as cum laude.

“This isn’t the same as ‘Everyone gets a trophy,’” board member Mike Kennedy said. “That’s not what this is about. This is not about making kids feel good either. To be on that Latin system, you’re going to have to demonstrate you’re worthy of those recognition tiers.”

The decision of the state’s third-largest district likely will spur others to consider a change.

A spokeswoman for the Papillion-La Vista School District said Monday that discussion of class rank is “definitely on the radar.” She said a district committee probably will take up the matter.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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