Sunday, February 24, 2008

SLT Reaches Consensus on Ranking Issue

At our last School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting, which includes students, parents, teachers, administrators and representatives of our partner organizations (Asia Society and College of Staten Island), the team heard the voices of each constituency regarding the issue of publicly ranking our senior students and indicating each student's rank on his/her transcript. To ensure that we had an accurate assessment of each constituency's opinion on the matter, prior to the meeting many team members spoke with members of the group they represent to become more informed about their opinions on ranking. In fact, junior student SLT members Ama and Elizabeth visited to junior advisories to discuss the issue with their class mates; our soon to be first seniors! Additionally, the entire team reviewed previous blog posts by students, parents, teachers and administrators.

Although the SLT does realize that public ranking may benefit a few students, the consensus was that those benefits are greatly outweighed by the risks this creates for our entire school community. Since we are such a small school, with an even smaller graduating class, very few students would be in the top 10% of the graduating class. Also, with this information being public, many of our students who work very hard every day to do their best, but who still might not be in the top of the class, will feel like their hard work has not paid off. Further, we have worked very hard to create a learning environment and a school community that is nurturing and supportive. The SLT strongly felt that public ranking would undermine that culture and create competition between our students and has thus decided that we will not publicly rank students.

However, the SLT does realize that certain colleges and universities do ask about student's standing in relation to their class (although most colleges rank applicants on their own scale). As such, on senior transcripts that are sent to colleges we will note that if the school is interested in knowing a student's rank, they can contact our school and we will share that information with them. All members of SLT felt that this policy does not discriminate against students who are applying to schools that want to be informed of their relative ranking, yet does not undermine the culture of community, caring, support and nurturing we have worked so hard to establish at College of Staten Island High School of International Studies.


legofurby said...

That sounds decent. For the students who'd rather not know their number, it will be invisible. Yet, for the students that need ranking for colleges, those numbers will be available for them privately. It's in-between:those who need it get it, and those who don't need it never have to see it.

Aimee Horowitz said...

Just so you know, with each transcript we send to colleges, we will also send a narrative describing our school and our grading system as well as the types of learning experiences students at CSIHSIS have experienced during their high school years.

By the way - love the hearts!

nsnova said...

I was just wondering, how will the student know what their rank is? I would like to see it on the report card.

Aimee Horowitz said...

The SLT considered how posting rankings on students' senior report cards or transcripts affects each student and how it would affect the culture of our school community. They carefully weighed the benefits of making this information public versus sending it to colleges on an as needed basis and, after careful consideration, have decided that senior ranking will not be posted on report cards or transcripts. They felt that each student feeling as successful as they can and knowing that for themselves they have tried their best is more important than students knowing how they are doing in relation to their classmates.

So I guess that was the long answer; the short answer is that students will not know what their ranks is.

nsnova said...

What if a student wants to know? If a student asks you for that information, I don't think that they should be denied. Especially since college applications ask for that information. And if you fill out the application on line you can't leave any questions empty. Are they suppose to guess?

nsnova said...

I see that legofurby says that the info will be available to students that ask. That is fine with me :)