In most high schools, students are ranked according to their cumulative grade-point average (GPA). The procedures used to calculate students’ GPAs vary from school to school. Some high schools consider grades from all of a student’s courses while others include only courses in designated academic areas. Some schools assign equal weight to grades from all courses in computing student GPAs, while other schools employ complicated weighting strategies that attach higher value to grades attained in courses perceived to be more academically challenging.
Determining class rank does not help students achieve more or reach higher levels of proficiency. With the possible exception of the top-ranked student, class rank also does nothing to enhance students’ sense of self-worth, their confidence as learners, or their motivation for learning. On the contrary, evidence indicates ranking students may diminish student motivation. If we say our purpose is to develop talent, then computing class rank is unmistakably counter to that purpose. Additionally, calculating class rank could foster unnecessary competition. Students are already encouraged by the emphasis put on by colleges to earn good grades, and more competition could breed unhealthy results. The practice of naming valedictorians, one that incites much competition, has been known to prompt cheating. That's what we want from future doctors, law makers, police officers, etc. right?
In my opinion, a class rank number doesn’t provide an accurate measure of a student’s academic abilities. Just because someone doesn’t place in the top 10 doesn’t mean they aren’t doing their best. Some students get so hung up on placing near the top of their class that they forget about other important aspects of their lives and education. Class rank is nothing more than a number. It shouldn’t take away from the opportunity to go to a great college or get a scholarship.