Class rank

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Mom96, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Mom96

    Mom96 Member

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    How common is it for high schools not to do class rank? My son's doesn't. But, on applications to SAs it's estimated? His guidance counselor actually got the estimate corrected, told admissions he is top 5% rather than 10% that they had him at. But why not just do an official rank?
     
  2. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    Alot of school districts don't rank high school students because of concerns that folks might take that value too seriously. Basically, the low ranking kids'll get too depressed to apply themselves further and the academic studs will either develop egos the size of Texas or further belittle the lower ranking kids. Its a huge debate among educators and it complicates things because most colleges still want to see that class rank because of it's objectivity.
     
  3. Mom96

    Mom96 Member

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    That's a pretty depressing summary of the situation. But probably fairly accurate too. If students are working super hard to get the grades, why shouldn't they get some recognition?
     
  4. chengers25

    chengers25 New Member

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    My school doesn't rank because it's not fair to those who take harder classes compared to easier classes. It's quite normal and nothing to worry about.
     
  5. 845something

    845something Member

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    Mom96 - I'm guessing your DS is just starting the application as a junior, so that is the candidate questionnaire. It's not the official application, just a reference for admissions to determine who moves onto the real application. Just like it doesn't ask for official test scores to be sent, it's just a quick check.

    Schools that don't rank are plenty common. If your DS had left it blank, then they would have used his reported SAT or ACT national percentile as his rank.

    On the second step/official application his counselor will be sent a form that asks for his exact class rank or class percentile. If they don't put it, it goes back to the national percentile.
     
  6. Mom96

    Mom96 Member

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    Thanks for the replies! DS has a congressional nomination and is on final steps of application. I'm just frustrated that it seems to work out that weighted GPA, accounting for all the honors and AP classes, isn't counting for much.
     
  7. Full Metal Bulldog

    Full Metal Bulldog Citadel Class of 2016

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    I believe that goes back to the whole "fair" issue. My senior year I was able to take 7 (an entire full schedule) of AP classes, aside from one elective. I also went to school in a rural, not-too-difficult district. So it was fairly easy for me to make A's in those classes and skyrocket my GPA. Kids who aren't able to take such classes, or where those classes are exceedingly difficult, didn't quite have the luxury. So using class rank, as regards to weighted GPA, in that particular instance, is more fair.
     
  8. Mom96

    Mom96 Member

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    Thank you all for the info and replies.
     
  9. soccmomer

    soccmomer Member

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    My sister's kids district does not rank because the classes are too large and there would be multiple kids with the same GPA.
     
  10. navymomwannabe

    navymomwannabe Member

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    We have multiple kids with the same gpa at my son's high school. He is ranked no. 1 but so are about 20 others (weighted). We don't have a valedictorian though, they did away with that designation.
     
  11. colinmcd

    colinmcd Member

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    My HS doesn't rank, because towards the top of the class many kids have the same GPA (for example: three kids have exactly a 98.65 GPA). But my guidance counselor was able to submit a percentage based ranking for me.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Why do you think it is unfair? What should class ranking be based on? Would you consider the West Point candidate evaluation system unfair as it considers academic, leadership, and physical? I don't think Harvard cares how many push ups you can do
     
  13. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    That's why a lot of schools weight AP and college level classes. Assuming everyone in the school has an equal opportunity to take any class, don't you think the student that takes multiple AP and/or college level classes and has a 4.0 deserves a higher class rank than the student that took regular classes and has a 4.0?

    The student that takes Algebra II or regular Chemistry as a senior is not competing/learning on the same level as the student that takes AP Calculus BC or College Chemistry.

    If your school doesn't weight classes, then not ranking students makes sense. It's all about creating a level playing field.
     
  14. USAF-RETIRED

    USAF-RETIRED Member

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    An "A" in Physics at Bronx Science vs an "A" in Earth Science at an avg.Public School

    The reason class rank my not be "fair" is that an "A" in Physics at Bronx Science or a similar magnet school is not the same as an "A" in Earth Science at an average Public School.

    On the other hand the SAT or ACT is the same across the country, and a pull up is a pull up everywhere.
     
  15. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    Within the same school, ranking is fair if you are comparing an "A" in Physics to an "A" in AP Physics. You're comparing apples to oranges if you're comparing an "A" in Physics at Bronx Science to an "A" in Earth Science in a public high school.

    The academies look at class rank/difficulty of classes within each high school. For USMA the class profile of 2017 lists 71% of current plebes having a class rank in the First Fifth (20%) of their graduating class. For a smaller less competitive high school, there would be fewer students in the top 10% with the high gpa. A larger more competitive high school may have a larger percentage of students (say 30%) with that same high gpa.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yes, but that is why they do the school profile in the PAR. The profile tells them the % of students that go Ivy, public, 2 yr or into the workforce with no additional education. Thus, they do take into account how an A at a magnet school is different than an A at traditional high school by looking at the class rank compared to the % for post hs.

    I.E if you rank top 20% and 40% go Ivy it will be seen differently if you are top 10% and the top 10% go public with none going Ivy.

    Xposted
     
  17. USAF-RETIRED

    USAF-RETIRED Member

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    Yes.

    Yes, my point exactly. Class rank is useful within a specific school, but a students class rank in school A compared to another (different) students class rank in school B without taking into account the strength of each school could be "unfair".
     
  18. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    It is ONLY fair if they go to the same school AND they take into consideration the schedule for their class ranking. As far as I know the Academy does not adjust your class ranking based on your difficulty of classes. Your class rank is your class rank. They adjust your GPA based on the courses taken and how difficult your school is but not the ranking.

    This is exactly an issue I had/have when our school sent in the class rankings. Our school weights the Honors/AP courses and DOES use that to determine class rank. My DS is currently ranked 4th in his class. BUT when they sent the ranking to the Academy they sent the Academy his ranking AS IF they did not weight the classes and according to his Portal he is ranked 10th in his class (He had 1 "B" his freshman year in an advanced course).

    Another student from his school who is also applying did not take the difficult courseload and managed a 4.0 GPA with all A's. He is ranked around 50th in the class because his weighted GPA is not much over 4.0. My DS on the other hand has a weighted GPA of 4.6. If the school sent in the ranking for this student the same as my DS (Which I assume they did), then he would now be ranked #1 in the class and appear to be higher than my son (Which is not the case).

    If the school weights GPA and uses that to rank them fairly within the school, this is what should be sent to the Academy. This gives a fair comparison of how they stack up against their direct peers given the same opportunities.

    To me, class ranking is only good to compare you to peers in your own school given the same opportunities and competing against the same people. In my mind it is useless comparing it between schools. There are WAY to many variables when doing this. The standardized test scores would be much better suited for that.
     
  19. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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    Class Rank can be very misleading for all of the reasons previously mentioned. I was quite concerned about my own DS's Class Rank which was just inside the Top 20%. His weighted GPA is 4.44

    Our county is reportedly in the process of doing away with Class Rank. Thank goodness. Students and parents obsess over its importance. Should honors be weighted more or less than AP? Is AP calculus the same as AP psychology? What about un-weighted classes like JROTC, physical education, drivers-ed, etc...?

    Our school is also a magnet school for Computer Science. I believe that those students receive some type of GPA boost as well. If you want to be in the top 5% at my DS's high school, you pretty much have to determine that before you begin registering for 9th grade classes. Many students will pay to take drivers-ed outside of school so that it won't lower their GPA. Other students simply forgo getting their license. Students will look to be medically excused from physical education or take summer gym, as it is another GPA killer.

    Early bird classes is another way students add up weighted courses. They come in extremely early to take an 8th class. Rigor is not necessarily a factor because honors and AP are weighted equally in our county. Many kids essentially repeat classes. They take honors BIO and then take AP BIO. Same thing with CHEM. It's essentially the same coursework.

    I'm biased toward the Standardized Tests like ACT and SAT. It's not perfect, but I don't know of a better way unless the SA's devise their own test? Maybe not such a bad idea?

    My other pet peeve with Class Rank is how easy it can be manipulated. I don't know anyone that got their SAT score changed, but plenty of people get their high school grades changed. There was a recent post here about a kid that got a 79 and "C" on his calculus 7th semester report card. He petitioned the teacher and miraculously the grade was changed to an 80 and a "B".

    Really? At my DS's school you need an 85 for a "B". An 80 is a middle of the road to lower "C". My DS has four B's so far in HS. Apparently, language is my son's Achilles heel. He has two B's in English and two B's in Spanish over the past four years. The numeric grades for those B's were 87, 90, 91, and 92. The 92 was actually a 92.3 No extra credit, no meeting with the teacher, no forensic review of grading, etc.... He had 3 of the 4 marking periods were A's. He had an A on the final. Unfortunately, he had an 84 on the midterm and that was enough to derail him. You accept it. You learn from it. You move on.

    I don't want to discount the value of being top ranked in one's HS class. It's an accomplishment worthy of praise. I get upset, or perhaps offended, when a parent of a child with a stellar HS GPA, but mediocre SAT/ACT scores attempts to explain that their DS/DD isn't a good test taker.

    I envision a 2nd LT on the battlefield, under immense pressure and stress and attempting a calculation. He then proceeds to give incorrect coordinates resulting in the loss of an entire squad. Shocked, amazed and distraught the platoon leader utters, "hmmm, he had a really high GPA?". The company captain responds, "yea, but he was a really bad test taker".
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  20. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    Within a school with the same teachers, same curriculum etc. I think class ranking is good. Everyone in that particular school has the EXACT same opportunity (to include teachers, classes, same competition etc.). Thus given the same situation how you rank against your peers says a lot.

    Now, when you compare one school to another then I don't think it is relevant anymore. Again, too many variables to consider including the quality of competition, quality of teaching, available classes etc. You are no longer comparing Apples to Apples. This is where I think the Standardized test scores, Your schools national ranking etc. can help even things out.
     

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