Why Friendswood HS decided to (mostly) do away with the class ranking system

By Brandon Walker - Reporter

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas - Come the start of a new school year, class rankings will be a thing of the past for students enrolled at Friendswood High School.

The Friendswood Independent School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to do away with a ranking system for high school students, except for students who are in the top 10% of their class.

"The students said to us (that) we need to look at class rank. They felt like class rank was getting in the way of individual students' success," said Diane Myers, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning.

The consensus: class rank did more harm than good.

How did they reach such a conclusion?

The board's vote followed a six-month study, conducted by a team of 24 community members including Friendswood High School students, teachers, a counselor and administrators.

Those on the study were tasked to answer the following question:

Does class rank help or hinder Friendswood High School students during the college admission process?

Who was included in the research?

Part of the process included research on other school districts state and nationwide.

"The first statistic that we found was that right over 50% of high-performing school districts across the nation have done away with class rank," Myers said.

The panel's research led them to the following:

  • Class rank may not reflect academic achievement.
  • The calculations are arbitrary.
  • Slight difference between GPAs could seem much larger when ranked by a percentage point.
  • Class rank discourages students from taking a more rigorous course load.
  • Class rank has declined in importance as a factor in the college admissions process.

Other findings from the report can be found below.

 

Why was the top 10% excluded?

The decision excludes students in the top 10%, why?

"Top 10% must be (reported) in the State of Texas ... due to state law," Myers said.

Which grade levels are included and when does this start?

The ranking system only affected students enrolled in grades nine through 12.

The change takes effect once classes resume in August.

Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.