23 thoughts on “Letter: NCHS Student Calls for an End to Honor Roll’s Publication

  1. My kids have always made the honor roll but I agree with Alex. There is no need to make this list public. A child does not need the additional stress.

    Alex, I see positives in you. Your distress with the honor roll publication has brought out some serious leadership and analytical skills. You WILL be successful. Good luck.

  2. You make great points Alex. A student’s success in school should not be measured just in grades, but needs to be measured by the unique qualities of each student and their personal successes in a variety of ways.

  3. Totally agree. My kids are well past high school, but I always thought it was hypocritical of the high school to be so careful about kids’ privacy on most matters, but then to publicly reveal what is effectively their GPA. Nobody’s business.

  4. Well said, Alex. ” Your point about the implied dishonor for those 23% who are not listed is poignant and pertinent. Perhaps this is a form of public shaming for the minority more than a distinction for the majority. In any case, being one of 77% can hardly be considered an “Honor.’

  5. No matter how you feel about this issue, this is a well written, well researched and well argued piece. It’s a good sign when our teens advocate for ourselves. Bravo Alex – you make New Canaan proud!! 👏

  6. Absolutely disagree, high honor students work extra hard and they deserve to be proud of their achievements !! … I am happy to show the whole world how hard they studied … the world out there is tough… so they have to be prepared for all the pressure after they finish HS , College…

    • Robert- to suggest that only those that work “extra hard” achieve honor roll is, in my opinion, not taking into account those that also work “extra hard” but due to other circumstances such as a learning disability etc do not meet the threshold of honor roll. It also does not take into account the rigor of classes each student takes. One student could work extremely hard in a honors level and not make honors where another could take a entry level class and do very well. Shouldn’t all be afforded the opportunity to be proud of their work regardless of the recognition in the paper?

  7. Well written and researched however, I was initially in complete disagreement with not recognizing the extra effort and hard work of students. That is until Alex indicated that 77% of students made the honor role. I completely agree that this serves to shame or single out students who are struggling and does little to acknowledge those who are actually excelling. With 77% of students making honor role that implies that over 1/3 of these students are actually below average, doesn’t it? Again, this does little to celebrate success but more to alienate the 23%. I honestly don’t know the parameters for making the honor role or if there is grade inflation but I would wholeheartedly support a publication of just the top 10 or 20% of students for a given semester, celebrating their achievement. Thank you Alex for your well articulated perspective.

    • “With 77% of students making honor role that implies that over 1/3 of these students are actually below average, doesn’t it?”

      No. That does not necessary mean that they are below average. They just didn’t make it to the honor roll. You shouldn’t just assume that because they didn’t make it to the honor roll, that they are struggling. That kind of assumption might lead to bullying of those who didn’t make it to the list. Also we should respect the privacy of those who made it to the list.

      • “With 77% of students making honor role that implies that over 1/3 of these students are actually below average, doesn’t it?” Is based on the honor roll being some measure of school performance (likely grades) and 50% being the average. I think the math is pretty straightforward, however, if you want to debate the merits or methodology applied to get on the honor roll than that is another issue. When I say that a student may be struggling, it is in this context that I use the term. It is not to imply they are in any way less hard working or less intelligent but simply not performing as well based on this measure.
        However, it does sound like you did not fully read my comment as I agreed that publishing the top 77% of students serves more to alienate the 23% and was not in favor of it. I did propose publishing a list of the top 10%-20% to celebrate their performance and success. Of course, if they are ashamed to be on the list or feel they will face bullying, I am sure they can opt out of that as well.

  8. Diamonds are the result of the messy business of mining and labor force exploitation.

    Does this articulate teenager deserve a less clever and more relevant analogy?

    • No, he doesn’t need your analogy at all. Why? Because he is eloquent and set it out so well for you to understand .

  9. I agree with him completely, especially in a town as small as ours. I suspect it matters more to the parents than the students. I fear we miscalculate some of the toxicity the well intentioned pressure on our students to do well, produces. I personally have two adult daughters thriving in different countries. Their impetus to move abroad was driven by their negative experience with HS here. Both clever students but couldn’t accept the culture. Now I accept that is extreme, but I promise all the none proud, non extrovert, non overly sociable student is being damaged, little by little. This writer is experienced it and is eloquently telling us why it is wrong. Our job is to listen!

  10. I admire the obvious effort and emotion that the writer has put into this piece, but respectfully disagree with the idea that celebrating academic performance via the publication of the High Honor and Honor Roll is a detrimental practice.

    My understanding is that the NC school district, from K-12 has the goal of providing our students with the foundational education and skills to succeed in an academic setting. The NCHS High Honor and Honor Roll have qualification thresholds, as does admittance to an AP course. If 77% of our high school students are meeting these honor roll thresholds, our public school district – which is an attractive amenity to many families when they seek to move here- is doing its job, not handing out a participation award.

    Students learn at different levels and achieve at different levels – just as there are vastly different levels, from person to person, related to athletic achievement, talent within the fine arts, or professional achievement. Life is competitive, there are awards and honors to recognize high performers across all walks of life — and in addition to offering recognition, honors and awards can inspire and motivate. No one is mandating that everyone pursue these honors and awards but why shouldn’t we acknowledge those who earn them?

    The quarterly publication of the High Honor and Honor Roll is the celebration of academic achievement in our community and we should be pleased to publicize the large group of NCHS students who qualify for this recognition.

  11. Late to respond but like Alex, I feel strongly about this subject and wholeheartedly agree with what he so eloquently says . I know that it’s been at least since 2011, when my eldest was a freshman at Nchs, that roughly 75% of the students made the honor roll. Not much prestige in that imv and rather has the negative effect of highlighting the 25% who did not make. .

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