ELIMINATION OF CLASS RANK
Beginning with the Class of 2018, Clarkstown will no longer rank students. The decile system will be phased out with the current tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders.
Why does Clarkstown want to stop ranking its students?
In general, it will be beneficial for our students as they go through the college admission process. Eliminating class rank allows the college application and admission process to focus less on a single number and more on the student’s overall achievement, experiences, grades, and test scores.
How will it help our students?
In many high-achieving schools, such as ours, with a high college-bound population, ranking can hurt many students who have taken a very challenging college preparatory curriculum and have high GPAs (grade point averages).
Will changing to no rank make it more difficult for students to apply to college?
It will have the opposite effect. Removing class rank could eliminate a prospective barrier to college consideration for some students. Our current system of decile ranking compares students to each other and contributes to the increasingly competitive school environment. In a revised system, academic rigor, standardized test scores that use national norms, and an overall grade point average will provide enough information about the progress and promise of a student in the pursuit of post-secondary school opportunities. This year and often, a student with a competitive grade point average (an average of 3.2, for example) and strong standardized test scores would be ranked in the bottom half of their class. This could lead to fewer post-secondary options for that student. We are seeking a reporting system that increases, rather than restricts, post-secondary school options for students.
What do colleges do when high schools don’t provide rank?
Generally, colleges will consider all the other factors in the application (e.g. rigor of courses, GPA, essays, recommendations, course work, etc.). Thus, not ranking will not negatively impact how college representatives view applications from our students.
According to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, the use of class rank has been used less and less as an indicator for college acceptance. Grade point average, rigorous coursework, the student essay, and even student interest in attending the school are prominent factors.
What other high schools in our area have eliminated rank?
To name a few: Blind Brook, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Harrison, Hastings, Horace Greely, Iona Prep, Lakeland, Mamaroneck, Mahopac, Panas, Ossining, Pelham, Pleasantville, Rye Neck, Scarsdale, Somers, Valhalla, Syosset, Great Neck North, Great Neck South, Roslyn, Tappan Zee
Adapted from: Oak Park and River Forest High School, IL and Xavier High School, IA.