According to Fox News, officials for the Cherry Creek School District near Denver believe "all students can learn at high levels, and learning is not competition." Starting with the class of 2026, schools in the district will no longer give special recognition at graduation to the students who earn the highest grade-point average in their class.
"It doesn't sound initially like it's that big a deal, but it is a big deal because it is a part of this huge shift to go to equity instead of equality," responds Christian author and commentator Janice Crouse. "Changing that label, changing that name makes an enormous difference."
Crouse believes doing away with scholastic recognition is an attempt to correct some wrongs and to provide better opportunities for disadvantaged students. But while the intention may be good, Crouse says the move is misguided.
"In the end, it lowers the achievement level for everybody, and it very definitely discriminates against those who have worked hard and who apply themselves," she submits.
Instead of having the highest-ranking student deliver a graduation farewell address, the Cherry Creek School District will acknowledge academic achievements "through various other ways," including an honor roll, GPA honor cords at graduation, and department- and school-specific award ceremonies.
Cherry Creek is not the only district eliminating valedictorian recognition. According to Fox News, it is a burgeoning trend throughout the country.