THE "BEST" EDUCATORS MINIMIZING THE BEST STUDENTS
After exposing school districts for removing the title of "Valedictorian" from schools, we find educators awarding their own "Best Of" in a variety of categories.
Am I seeing this correctly???
The same organization minimizing the efforts of top-performing students in our local high schools just named the BEST individuals in multiple fields in its own industry.
Take a look at our last report here. The Arizona School Boards Association [ASBA] convinces member schools across the state to NOT name valedictorians and salutatorians in an effort to achieve the, (possibly impossible), goal of EQUITY.
While ASBA members are willing to lend a blind eye to over-achieving students in the classroom… they’re giving themselves a HUGE pat on the back for being recognized as the “best” in their own field.
Teachers know just as well as anyone - awards come with perks!
Take for example Willcox High School chemistry teacher Ty White. “In October, White was awarded the title of Arizona Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Education Foundation (AEF), which provided him with $15,000 from AEF, a trip to the International Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama and the opportunity to meet President Joe Biden,” reports Arizona Public Media.
This same teacher also walks away as the “2022 National Rural Teacher of the Year”, and took a trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin, notes AZEDNews.
While it’s noble to point out a group effort, only one person walks away with the distinction.
Just like the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient on the national stage. Here’s ASBA’s parent organization - the National School Boards Association, (the same group who called concerned parents ‘Domestic Terrorists’). It honors a best of the best, too!
RULES FOR THEE
I have no doubt these educators, especially Ty White, are absolutely deserving of the recognition. They SHOULD be recognized for going above and beyond. They set the bar and give motivation to those who want to compete for greatness, too.
Just like “Teacher of the Year”, valedictorians qualify for a number of scholarships and educational opportunities.
Being #1 in their class is an achievement the students earned. Shouldn’t they get to take advantage of perks, too?
NO TIEBREAKERS. THE BEST STUDENTS ARE LUMPED INTO THE “TOP 1%”
Let’s go back to our last report… Here are the percentage requirements for wearing an honorary cord at commencement. The policy, from what we can tell, is pretty standard for member ASBA high schools…
Let’s apply ASBA’s standard.
To achieve inclusion in the “Teacher of the Year” award, the top 1% of teachers in ASBA member schools should have been on the stage holding trophies, as well.
*They may have not been able to get all the perks of money and travel… but neither do top-achieving students because they’ve been stripped of the prestigious title.
Same scenario for this Award of Excellence title for a Tempe governing school board. Here is a governing board taking top honors at the ASBA conference. When they get back to work, they will not single out and honor the top-performing student at each of its schools.
WE FOUND VIDEO: Take a look. At the Tempe High School Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony in May, Superintendent Dr. Kevin J. Mendivil mentions “16 IB program graduates”, “18 AVID program graduates”, “two senior multi-sport athletes”, and 3 seniors, (the only students mentioned by name), attending prestigious universities.
Of 288 students in the graduating class, not one student at Tempe High School was recognized as “the best.”
In fact, Dr. Mendivil says this…
REACTION TO THE REMOVAL OF VALEDICTORIAN STATUS BEING QUIETLY IMPLEMENTED IN ARIZONA HIGH SCHOOLS
While our children are working hard in the classroom taking AP courses, paying hundreds of dollars for dual enrollment credits and spending their free time volunteering in the community, there's question whether the students know about these progressive policies.
We received several comments from parents who had no clue about the policy.
Here’s the most eye-opening comment to our report.
IMPORTANCE OF INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM AND ALERT COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Students who have spent countless hours studying and meeting every requirement in the classroom should be told they will never be awarded the top honor in their high school because their educators are more concerned about making an equitable playing ground to boost those around them.
Actions - like the removal of valedictorian titles - quietly make their way onto school board agendas.
As one example, the Buckeye Union High School District Governing Board voted on the policy with not a single board member asking for a discussion. In fact, replacing valedictorian and salutatorian with levels of distinction was one of THREE policies up for vote under one agenda item. (Here, the policy was re-indexed to match current practice.) All 3 policies were approved at once, without discussion.