Sunday, June 18, 2006

Valedictorians and Lepers

Law professor/blogger Ann Althouse has posted an item about a high school that had 41 valedictorians.

She believes that simply stating the standard and sticking to it is "lawyer repellant."

I disagree. In a world of advanced placement and honors classes, it can be hard to come up with a weighting system that all will accept and lawyers will go after the process that produced the calculations. Schools are notoriously lawsuit-shy. As a result, they will produce crazy alternatives such as 41 valedictorians.

This is also tied to a society in which parents push, push, push to get their kids into Ivy League universities and where the competition for those slots has gone off the cliff. With regard to the application-building/puffing that is common nowadays, a university president remarked, "I don't know where these kids find lepers, but they find them and they read to them."

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