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Viewpoint: Class rank: A parent's perspective

Over the past two weeks there have been varying viewpoints on why class ranking at East Ridge is an important component of competition among students. While I appreciate the unique perspectives that have been provided, I am compelled to write a significantly different viewpoint as a parent and former college graduate arguing that student rank is a meaningless statistic and has little to do with success or failure in the real world.

As a real world example, my daughter is a straight A student, an all-conference athlete, a National Honor Society member and according to her third trimester transcript, is currently ranked 18th academically at East Ridge High School.

Statistically speaking, unless a student receives straight A's for their entire four years of high school and takes no less than two advanced placement courses each trimester, a student will not be ranked in the top 10 period. My daughter was ranked 14th in trimester 1, 16th in trimester 2, and now 18th. Does that mean my daughter is not prepared for the real world? Does that mean my daughter is not a hard working student? No, not at all. As freshmen at MIT, the first semester is a "pass-no pass" where no grades are given to the students. It is more about working together and ... collaboration.

Many of the colleges understand what the South Washington County School District now recognizes, there are dozens of students at East Ridge with the passion and desire for success because each of them take the subjects that challenge them, and more importantly, the subjects they have the passion and desire to build on as future majors in college. Many areas of study in college are more about collaboration than competition. Several schools we have visited have commented that collaboration in medical research is more important than competition because it fosters partnership and teamwork to cure the next degenerative disorder and far outweighs the hard work of one person working individually.

My daughter will be a senior in the fall. She has found her passion. She is mature and ready for whatever comes her way in college. Rank is only a number. Passion, desire and collaboration are what will set my daughter and other East Ridge students apart in the real world. Thank you for preparing our students without the need to rank them with a number.

Carpe Diem!

Johnson is a Woodbury resident

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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