5 Things Our Kids Won't Have In School

#2. Valedictorians and Other Honors


The best part of having a valedictorian was that, like the Highlander and that one kid who insisted on wearing a fedora and a cape every day, every school could only have one. For most kids, the whole valedictorian thing was a non-issue. You knew by second period of your freshman year who would be in the running, and you didn't give it another thought. For an elite few, however, competing for that top spot was everything.

"I've had four breakdowns, but it's worth it because for 10 whole minutes I'm better than all of you."

Going Away Because ...

It's that fierce competition that's the problem. Some people just can't get over the fact that we can't all be valedictorians, so they'd rather eliminate the title altogether than let the rest of the class suffer the indignity of not being special for once.

Material for graduation gowns.

Better yet, why not just name anyone with an A+ average valedictorian? Then instead of letting each kid give a speech full of inspirational malarkey, let them do a skit! But maybe that won't work when you've got 10, 30 or 94 valedictorians valedictorianing it up like some kind of super genius army of number ones. In those cases you can do what schools in Colorado, New Jersey and Houston did: pick the speech giver by lottery.

"Better get used to it, 'cause this is how they're deciding job applicants now."

In other words, you could mentally just strike this one from the list. It's not so much that nobody will win, but that lots and lots of people will win, like how almost everybody makes the playoffs in hockey.

So what's next, getting rid of failing grades?

#1. Failing Grades

Everyone remembers their first F. Maybe you tried to hide it from your folks, or maybe you were so mad that you wiped your butt with it the next time you had the corn diarrheas. In any case, screwing up enough to get the red evidence of your teacher's disappointment was a rite of passage for all of us. But if some parents/educators/whiny babies get their way, failure really won't be an option.

Whole generations will grow to adulthood unable to forge their parents' signatures.

Going Away Because ...

Failure makes students feel bad. And nobody wants that, do they?

Which is why programs like Zeros Aren't Permitted (ZAP!) are getting implemented everywhere from California to Michigan. In a no-fail zone, students can get an A, B, C, D or H, which presumably stands for "Ha ha ha! You didn't think we would give you an F, did you??? Give us a hug, apple dumpling!"

"You kids write whatever the hell you want on these essays. Mr. Scotch and I don't judge."

Upon getting their H's, students have multiple opportunities to complete their work to the teacher's satisfaction; during study hall, after school or, in extreme cases, during Saturday school. We can mock the idea, but in some ways, it makes sense. After all, in the real world, you work until you get the task done. Quitting every time you failed at something would just get you fired.

"I totally messed up that appendectomy. Next time I'll make sure they don't want a sex change."

Plus, the goal of school isn't to sort the stupid from the smart, but to teach everybody as much as possible. For struggling students, zero after zero builds up into one great house of fail, and with no hope of recovery in sight. It should be about getting them caught up, not continuously reminding them of how stupid they are.

But as soon as we defend it, it gets ridiculous again: There are places where red ink has been banned when writing grades because it's too "confrontational" and "threatening." We don't want to embarrass anyone, so let's just say that the country in question rhymes with "England."

No pressure.

For more things we're in danger of losing, check out 6 Iconic Jobs That Are Going Away Forever and The 5 Most Likely Ways Humans Will Become Obsolete.

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