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Local high school considers abolishing class rank

Geneseo High School and Pleasant Valley High School have already eliminated class rankings

EAST MOLINE, ILLINOIS  --  United Township High School is considering doing away with class rank for the 2024 school year. The school board must make the decision by the December school board meeting.

"They have come to my classes and had us fill out a survey with what we would think of getting rid of it," UTHS Junior Chyna Denato said. "Most of the kids were saying it's not that big of a deal."

School officials aren't talking about getting rid of ranking system all together, but instead, just changing it.

"We would rank them similar to colleges with Cume Laude, Magna Cume Laude, and Summa Cume Laude based on certain GPAs," District superintendent Dr. Jay Morrow said.

Dr. Morrow says some students have to start preparing as early as eighth grade to be on track to be number one in their class. Morrow says they are considering abolishing the ranking system in response to college admission data.

"Less than half of the colleges nationwide use class rank as criteria to get into college," Morrow said. "It's very low on the list."

The three most popular colleges for UTHS students are Black Hawk College, Western Illinois University, and Augustana College. According to Dr. Morrow, all three colleges don't look at class rank.But, it's about more than college acceptance, its also about student's mental health.

"The pressures for students to stay in the one and two spots is tremendous," Morrow said.

"You sacrifice so much of your life in high school for very little pay off," UTHS Parent Alexis Edmounds said.

Morrow says the Latin System option is more inclusive and possibly gives more students the opportunity to achieve academic honors.

"We think more students will still be impacted positively," Morrow said.

If voted yes by the board, the change will only take place for next years incoming freshman.

Geneseo High School and Pleasant Valley High School have already eliminated class rankings