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Questions remain on Pasco proposal to eliminate valedictorian honors



A proposal to do away with the valedictorian and salutatorian labels at Pasco County high school graduations (but keep class rankings) doesn't seem to faze college and university leaders much.

But it's not gaining widespread support, either.

A handful of parents (and face it, with just 13 high schools it would be a small number affected) e-mailed superintendent Kurt Browning to voice their disapproval with the idea.

"If he is worried about the  hundredths of a point separating 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th then have the grading system changed," Felicia Politano wrote. "If you earn a 92 then you get a 92 on your report card as that is what you earned."

Timothy Blomeley wondered how the proposal would change anything.

"If the students will continue to be ranked within their class, then there will still be a number 1 and number 2. How does taking away an opportunity for many to strive for, to make a few happy, benefit our county?" he wrote. "By all means recognize as many students as possible, implement the Cum Laude designations at every high school. But why ignore the two students who achieve such an amazing accomplishment?"

The Times editorial board has chimed in, too, with its disapproval: "Identifying the valedictorian/salutatorian goes hand in hand with hearing Pomp and Circumstance, walking across the stage to receive a diploma and tossing a mortarboard skyward. It's wrong to end the tradition just because someone thinks it's messy."

School Board chairwoman Alison Crumbley said she remains "neutral" on the subject, for which she has heard arguments both for and against. The board expects to have further conversation on the idea at its July 1 meeting.

[Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2014 12:16pm]


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