During the January 9, 2018 School Board meeting, the Provo City School District Board of Education voted to implement the Latin Honor Report Card System. What follows is a two-part series of the research that took place in order to implement this system and the changes Provo City School District will be making moving forward.

Current Situation

The topic of class rank has been discussed quite a bit throughout this school year. During the course of those discussions, it was determined that Provo High and Timpview were using different systems to determine class rank and grade point average, as well as Valedictorian and Salutatorian at graduation. It was quickly concluded that the two high schools needed to identify a common system in order to create consistency between the schools.

Research

According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, about 50 percent of secondary schools across the nation no longer publish class rank, citing the following reasons:

  • Class rank may not accurately reflect academic achievement
  • Not ranking improves the competitiveness of students in the college application process.
  • Class rank calculations are arbitrary.
  • Class rank encourages “gaming the system” and discourages students from non-weighted classes.
  • Class rank has declined in importance as a factor in the college admissions process.

Additionally, Provo City School District contacted the admissions office at 10 of the most selective schools that have accepted PCSD students including Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Duke, BYU and the University of Utah. It was widely stated that colleges conduct a holistic view of a student’s application, giving greater preference to:

  • Information about the high school;
  • Rigor of the courses taken by the applicant;
  • Grades received in AP and areas of study;
  • Performance on standardized test; and,
  • Essays, recommendations and other factors.

Half of the universities also stated that they do not request or even consider class rank in the admissions process. All of the surveyed universities clearly stated that class rank does not hinder or benefit a student, and any weighting of class rank or grades, is stripped by the university and recalculated according to the university’s own standards.

This is part one of the Latin Honor Report Card System information. Part two will continue tomorrow afternoon.

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