Valedictorians’ days numbered? Schools rethink class ranking

A graduate wears a mortarboard with the year 2013 on the tassel during commencement at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

LANCASTER, N.Y. (AP) — It’s high school graduation season but in an increasing number of schools, there’s one less tradition — that of assigning class rank to graduating seniors.

In a movement that has gathered steam over about the past decade, schools around the country have stopped numbering students from valedictorian on down. Instead, they’ve adopted honors that recognize everyone who scores at a certain threshold — by having multiple valedictorians, for example, or awarding college-style cum laude honors.

Officials say about half of schools no longer report class rank.

Those who’ve switched cite worries about the college prospects of students with high GPAs but low class ranks and say they don’t want students choosing classes to help their rank, over ones that could help their future.