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Minooka to host community forums on class rank

Published: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 2:00 a.m. CST

MINOOKA – In contrast to the board of education meeting earlier this month, just one parent took center stage Tuesday to speak to the board about the proposal to eliminate class rank at Minooka Community High School.

A proposal was made by MCHS instructional leaders at the district’s first November bi-monthly meeting that would eliminate class rank, as well as status of valedictorian and salutatorian at the school, beginning in 2015.

After hearing from many parents and several students who were upset about the proposal, the board of education agreed to remove voting on the issue from this week’s board meeting.

The parents and students at the Nov. 7 meeting were against eliminating class rank, saying it helped motivate and challenge students and would hurt them in the long run. Several people spoke of the hard work put into accomplishing rank and having it pulled out from under them at the last moment.

Instructional leaders took a different view, showing research that indicates most colleges in their survey did not consider class rank for college admissions.

Further, the leaders said, class rank puts too much stress on students and may keep them from taking courses to further their college careers as they take weighted classes to compete for a higher rank.

Parent Elizabeth Kaufmann spoke Tuesday during the open session portion of the meeting, and provided a view different from other parents who spoke in the past.

Kaufmann said class rank could discourage students and excludes them from exploring other options. She also spoke of how different high schools include different courses to determine rank, making for an unlevel playing field.

“Now instead of doing our personal best, it’s about staying in the game,” Kaufmann said. “I encourage the administration and board to look at other avenues. This is one piece ... to make sure [students] are college and career ready.”

MCHS administration will be conducting student, faculty and parent/community surveys on the issue between Monday and Dec. 3.

Additionally, open forums will be Dec. 4 and 9. Details will be sent to community stakeholders via MCHS email blast.

Details also can be found on the district’s website along with the proposal for review, at www.mchs.net.

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