No valedictorians? Imagining a world without No. 1s

Broward schools might soon ditch ranking tradition

NEWS ITEM: The Broward School Board might soon eliminate awarding the titles valedictorian and salutatorian to the top two high school seniors, citing the nasty competition and undue stress caused by the designations. Instead, the top 15 percent of graduating students would be honored as cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. The Palm Beach County school board has no plans to stop the tradition.

Imagining the world, if it were run by the Broward School Board …

The Olympics: "Greetings athletes. We are gathered here today in Sochi to celebrate the youth of the world, and to strive for the Olympic ideals of Citius, Altius, Fortius – Faster, Higher, Stronger. But this competition thing can get a bit nerve-wracking. All those falls and tumbles after all that practice and hard work — such a shame!

  • Michael Mayo
  • Michael Mayo
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  • No more valedictorian and salutatorian rankings?

    The Broward School Board may do away with the the titles of valedictorian and salutatorian. Instead, of a No.1 and No. 2, all students with certain GPAs will simply graduate magna cum laude, summa cum laude and cum laude. The reason: it's all colleges care about.

    Should the Broward school district eliminate valedictorian and salutatorian rankings?

    • Yes, I think this is a positive change.
    • No way, this does not make sense.
    • I'm not sure.
  • School Board eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian School Board eliminating valedictorian and salutatorian

"Look, we know you're really talented and it's special just to make it here. So we are announcing that as of today, there will be no more gold, silver and bronze medals. Instead, after each competition, everyone will be awarded a ribbon that says, 'I competed!' and the top 15 percent will get limited-edition Sochi doorknobs. Competitors will then gather on the podium for a group hug."


Photos: Not at Comic-Con at TATE'S Comics

The Academy Awards: "Good evening, I'm Ellen DeGeneres. It's an honor to be hosting the annual celebration of Hollywood's finest work – other than the work performed by plastic surgeons! But seriously ladies and germs, how can we label something 'the best' in creative endeavors that are inherently so subjective? For that reason, the Academy is changing things. There will be no more envelopes, no more golden statues, no more boring speeches from the make-up artists and foreign documentarians.

"Instead, all who have been nominated will be honored as 'Oscar finalists,' and we will show two-minute clips from all nominated work. At the end of the show, Oprah will give each nominee a set of car keys and scream, 'Everyone gets a Prius!' "

Miss America: "Welcome to the 2014 Miss America pageant. We all know these ladies are gorgeous, talented and smart. And we all know they look great in swimsuits and evening wear. But what you viewers don't know is how the stress of this competition gets to contestants: the fainting, the pill-popping, the self-induced vomiting! There's just no need to cause so many self-esteem issues. So there will be no more single Miss America. Instead, every contestant will get to wear the crown for one week."

College football: "Dear AP poll voter: Due to chronic scandals at big-time football schools, the time has come to change our poll. Instead of ranking your top teams from No. 1 to No. 25, please list them in alphabetical order. At year's end, the NCAA will hold a lottery from our final alphabetical list to pick four teams for the new playoff system. But they won't actually play any postseason games. Wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings."

The Nobel Prizes: "In the interests of fairness, equality and mediocrity, we hereby announce the suspension of the Nobel Prizes. But we are pleased to announce that those who have done decent work in medicine, physics, chemistry, economics, literature and peace will be invited to Stockholm or Oslo for an all-you-can-eat smoked-fish smorgasbord."

mmayo@tribune.com; 954-356-4508.

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