Benefits of Class Ranking – Editorial


Juniors Emily Torres, Luis Alfaro, and Cecilia Trevino receiving tutoring from physics teacher Daniel Garza | Photo by Mia Perez

Mia Perez, Editor

As the second semester kicks in and transcripts are updated, a change in class placing sparks conversation addressing the importance of a ranking system. Students and parents may argue that rankings may be detrimental to confidence, motivation, and overall success in high school. 

Despite this, I believe student rankings are essential to the competitive nature of public schools, setting the expectation for colleges, universities, and occupations. 

It is because of these rankings that higher achieving students are able to indulge in prestigious titles such as valedictorian and salutatorian. However this data especially holds value to students who wish to pursue secondary education post-high school, as many college acceptance and scholarship opportunities are based on how well a student compares to their peers. In many cases, student rankings can equate to automatic university admission or full ride scholarships. Until colleges themselves lose priority in student rankings, it is in the best interest of the school, and its student body, to continue to enforce class rankings. Class ranking in lower-level education should not be dismantled until the expectation to exceed it in secondary education is.

However, a ranking system isn’t limited to school settings. Students who choose to move on to the workforce after high school and students pursuing a career after receiving a degree alike, will find that the work environment is riddled with competitiveness. Whether it be one-on-one or business-to-business contrast, workers must prove they can outshine their peers in job applications, promotion opportunities, ect. It is the duty of the school to prepare students for the workforce that awaits them as systemic education is based around the intention of pushing students into the workforce to play the role of a “contributing member of society.”

That being said, a claim heavily advocated by students and their parents is the unnecessarily early and toxic competitiveness that can come with placement. However, this undermines the success of other students in the district who heavily rely on rank to determine how much more they need to advance. That is to say, students, whether or not they are aware of it, are fueled by the success and failure of their classmates. A student who places top of the class may be motivated by expectation to keep their spot, while a student placing bottom of the class can be driven by desire to place higher. 

While it goes without saying that class rank does not define a student’s academic capabilities, nor does it account for difference in class difficulty, it is important for the student body to hold value in their placing just as they would in personal grades or testing scores, as it determines what opportunities are available to them moving forward.