Forum for student expression since 1977

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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