Do rankings create competition?

March 22, 2020

In high school, students are under an immense amount of pressure. We have pressure from our parents, teachers, and even peers to succeed. Having a numerical ranking system puts students against one another, creating competition to see who can have a higher rank. Suddenly, students start comparing themselves to each other, creating a very toxic environment which can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. A ranking system can also be a route for parents to place more pressure on their kids, as there is suddenly a measure of their child’s academic ability. As a society, we should not encourage harmful competition, but rather stop it.

However, many point out that rankings do not create competition; rather, it stems from the natural rivalry of high school. Rankings might make competition worse, but eliminating rankings will not eliminate competition, as shown by Liberty’s history. Even though Liberty long-ago abolished rankings, competition between students is still very-much alive. Additionally, many people point out that there is such a thing as healthy competition: the battle for higher grades can push students to achieve their full potential and learn more from a class.

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