Parents slam woke Colorado school district’s decision to AX valedictorians after bosses declared ‘learning is not a competition’
- Cherry Creek School District staffers sent a letter to families last week saying it will halt valedictorian awards since it singles out the best performer in a class
- The guidance by the western Arapahoe County district – less than an hour from Denver – said schools in the region would do away with class rankings altogether
- District parents reacted with ire to the March memo, labeling it unfair and an empty, ‘woke’ gesture
A Colorado school district has infuriated parents after announcing plans to ax valedictorian prizes in what critics have branded the latest ‘equity’-obsessed focus on mediocrity over excellence.
‘The practices of class rank and valedictorian status are outdated and inconsistent with what we know and believe of our students,’ Cherry Creek School District staffers said in a statement to families last Monday declaring the change.
‘We believe all students can learn at high levels, and learning is not a competition,’ the letter asserted.
According to the letter, instead of the highest-ranking student delivering a farewell address at graduation – a stalwart tradition at US and Western schools and universities – the will acknowledge academic achievements ‘through various other ways.’
Some of the concepts the district said would be replacing the practice include an honor roll, cords given at graduation that mark academic achievement, and separate award ceremonies for department- and school-related student prowess.
The guidance – put into effect immediately by the western Arapahoe County district, less than an hour west from Denver – will do away with the concept of class rankings at all public high schools in the region, officials said, in an effort to not exclude any students.
Cherry Creek school district’s 2021 valedictorian ceremony is pictured – but the awards will be phased out in 2026 as part of a push for ‘equity’ that has angered parents
The letter contends that the district consulted a swathe of schools, colleges and universities in Colorado before ultimately deciding to nix the distinctions, effective immediately.
It revealed that during this period, district staffers reached out to the University of Denver for their input on the then prospective program, with university brass seemingly giving them their stamp of approval.
The district said in the letter the university said it is ‘not concerned with schools eliminating class rank or valedictorian recognition,’ citing how university officials do not factor such distinctions into their admissions process.
The bulletin goes on to assert that ‘many college and university admission committees stopped considering class rank years ago, as very few high schools still report a class ranking.’
It then maintains that further assessments will be conducted on Cherry Creek students, to keep track of their academic progress.
Despite these declarations, district parents largely reacted with ire to the announcement, with many arguing the new policy makes light of students’ hard work, while criticizing the move as an empty gesture in an overly ‘woke’ social climate.
‘Taking this away is not going to fix the problem,’ one district parent, Kristen Stone, told Denver outlet KDVR of the change.
‘It’s not going to fix the stress that we are seeing for other students – plus, it’s taking away from those who want to work towards it.’