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Class Rank

class rank


Proposal

For the past two years, MCPS has been researching current trends in recognizing academic achievement for high school graduates.  Based on the work of a committee made up of middle and high school representatives - including students, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators - as well as local college admissions officers, we will propose to the School Board a change in the way MCPS recognizes seniors at graduation ceremonies. 

The proposal is to recognize all students who attain the same levels of established academic achievement standards and discontinue the practice of ranking students based on GPA ("class rank"). All MCPS high schools will use the same criteria and distinctions to recognize graduates. Individual high schools will determine how these students are identified (cords, stoles, sashes, medals, robes, etc.) and how a student or students will be selected to speak (selection committee, auditions, peer nominations, etc.) at the graduation ceremony.

MCPS will survey all students in grades 8-11 and their parents for feedback regarding several recognition options.

Rationale
1. Most colleges no longer consider class rank important. While in 1993 over 40% of college admissions counselors considered class rank to be of considerable importance, by 2017 that figure had dropped to 9%.

2. Calculating class rank can be detrimental to students, because many excellent students are squeezed out of the top 10% at competitive high schools.

3. Calculating class rank can unintentionally encourage students to base course selections solely on how each course will affect their class rank, instead of on personal or career interests.

4. Discontinuing class rank will encourage colleges and universities to dig more deeply into our students' transcripts to see a more complete picture.

5. Class rank can still be estimated based on GPA percentiles for any scholarships or programs that require it.

Further Reading

Information from Local Colleges
Local School Divisions - Class Rank
Local School Divisions - Graduation Distinctions
Class Rank Articles - Key Points
Point/Counterpoint

Calculating Class Rank: The Top Virginia High Schools

Based on U.S. News & World Report 2017 Best High Schools in Virginia

School

School Division

Class Rank?

Thomas Jefferson

Fairfax County

Does not rank students

McLean

Fairfax County

Does not rank students

Langley

Fairfax County

Does not rank students

Oakton

Fairfax County

Does not rank students

W. T. Woodson

Fairfax County

Does not rank students

Yorktown

Arlington

Does not rank students

Stone Bridge

Loudoun County

Yes

West Springfield

Fairfax County

Does not rank students

Briar Woods

Loudoun County

Yes

Dominion

Loudoun County

Yes