Ranks or GPA should not replace students’ names, identities


Graphic by Josh Martin

By Pranathi Chitta
Staff Writer

Instead of a simple hello, my class is greeted with a “What’s your rank? Nice knowing you too.” Usually, one asks another their name, but not too long ago, it feels like it changed.

Within eight hours of ranks and grade point averages being released last year, many students in my grade found out the ranks of other students. Someone even took the initiative to list number 1-20. It was then that I realized how over competitive and ambitious my grade is.

And it does not stop there. In order to get their competitive GPA, people cheated on tests, tried to persuade classmates they are smart and when the GPAs were released, a student changed their appearance of grades through Photoshop, screenshotted it and showed it to many of their friends, so they would believe that he was smart. Apparently, what came first in most students’ mind was what rank the rest of class was.

Of course I’ve come across how many students have gone through great lengths in order to achieve the grade they wanted, but I have never witnessed so many in my grade be as obnoxious. Some in my class has proven to show personalities that I have never expected. I’m lucky that I’m just a witness, but it has gone too far.

I found it irritating that when I was talking to peers about stuff going on in our lives, somehow, the conversation would move to ranks, and they would begin freaking out since they were “not maxing” a certain subject. It scares me they’re worrying about maxing, while I’m worried about

Graphic by Josh Martin
Graphic by Josh Martin

just maintaining an A. In addition, it made me feel bad; such students should be more considerate and less panicked when it comes to grades.

It is only getting worse. As each class of students comes up, the level of intensity increases.

I have spoken to a sophomore, who claims that students at Coppell High School feel pressured to succeed and to live up to the expectations and achievements of their peers. The went on to explain how the tasks set before them– the students– are too much to handle, and while some choose to use hard work as a means to an end, others prefer to take the easy way out, and use methods such as word of mouth, photos of tests and even blackmail to get an upper hand over honest students.

This number is not some kind of tattoo that is written across one’s face but, rather, a number that merely signifies how well one has applied their knowledge of a subject in a varied situation. Therefore, such a number does not identify one’s smartness or popularity.

Although there maybe some flaws regarding ranks as a topic, I’m grateful that CHS students acknowledge ranks and GPA. I feel fortunate that my class cares enough about education, which motivates me as well to work hard and smart.

Eventually, high school GPA will not matter. When a high schooler grows up and begins to work, it is not probable that they will remember their GPA. When taking in account the future, students have to be aware that where they stand now, in their class, does not determine where they will stand in the future.