Honor rolls are now not politically correct in Massachusetts.

Fausta’s Blog links to this article :

Needham High School has abandoned its long-standing practice of publishing the names of students who make the honor roll in the local newspaper.Principal Paul Richards said a key reason for stopping the practice is its contribution to students’ stress level in “This high expectations-high-achievement culture.”

Heavens help us if we hurt the emotions of some of the poor students and make them feel inferior to kids who work a lot harder than they do. I am sarcastic, because Needham, at least when I lived in Boston, was a highfalutin place for rich yuppies. Well, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t want to hurt their kids self esteem.

But if you read furthur along, honor roll students aren’t the only ones who got their names in the paper:

The Needham Times has traditionally published the school’s honor roll. Editor-in-Chief Greg Reibman said the paper has “always been interested in recognizing the achievements of all Needham students — not just in academics but in sports, the arts, community service, and in any other way.”

In effect, now the only students barred from being praised for their achievements are the honor students.

What all this is overlooking is that the honor roll is usually based on grades, and if you take a heavy class load or advanced placement studies, your grade average might be “lower” than someone taking easier courses.

In my high school fifty years ago, for three years I never made it to the “Honors Banquet” because I carried two languages and advanced placement English and Mathematics. An “A” in calculus was a bit harder to get than an “A” in business math, and an “A” in German a little harder than an “A” in Spanish, so I always ended up with a lower grade point average.

So those of us in the advanced placement classes started our own “Dishonors” banquet at a local pizza parlour. After the third year, it became a big joke, and more popular than the original one, and the teachers got the message.

Note to Needham: you are “punishing” the kids who work the hardest. Shame on you. But remember to include those who get an A minus in an honors class should be considered an honor student too…
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines with her husband. Her blog is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket

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