Is it true that they decided not to have a Valedictorian MHS this year because it is not fair to others ?
You are absolutely correct! No valedictorian - another major change by our school super Ms. Taymore - and again without any discussion with the school committee during open meetings, parents, students, or any stakeholders!
What a shame that our school is going so far backwards - in not acknowledging the top 1 and 2 students who have worked so hard during their 4 years. Students being designated as valedictorian or salutatorian of their school have real meaning and significance. It's a shame that our administrators do not recognize this.
The decision to have no valedictorian was made over a year ago (may have been two years) and was discussed and agreed upon by the SC. Another ridiculous decision.
The issue is certainly as you stated. Another issue, however, is your statement that the decision was made without discussion. You sometimes make statements that are patently untrue, which is another issue entirely.
I am sure SC , Mayor, and CT were still able to speak! Were any students allowed to make a speech? I hope that they still recognized the top students by having them stand to be recognized or is this not fair either. I had not heard about this decision. While I have nobody graduating this is still very bothersome to me.
I know about public comment changes. I have been watching school committee meetings for more than 6 years. The committee ( as a whole- there is an exception) is- and has been- horrendous in all of that time. But- I believe that posters lose credibility when their posts are not factual. Maybe I am cynical, but if I know a poster throws out critical comments that are false, it makes me suspect of all of their posts. As a long time SC follower, I can say I am suspect of all SC decisions. So we probably agree on most issues!
Educational excellence is no longer something to be achieved, strived for, or acknowledged in our school district - it's all about equality of thought, word, and deed. That is the direction of the educational system in the US!
"Common Core" for the "common student" - every student at the same place and at the same point in their learning - even though some students can achieve more in less time, and some students need more time - this doesn't matter in Common Core. This program will destroy the education process in this country which was developed by bureaucrats in Washington DC. Meanwhile the Chinese, Japanese, and Asians reward their top learners and push them ahead at lightening speed.
From the sounds of these comments, I don't think anyone who actually went to the graduation is writing here.
First, there was a speech about academics by one of the top, or perhaps the top student, in the class. The program lists the top 10 GPA students in the class. The GPAs differ by very small amounts at the top. For example, someone has 4.74 and someone else has 4.72. Not every person who ends up at the top by a 100th of a point is necessarily going to be a great speaker or someone the class wants to hear from. I don't know how they chose the person to give the academics speech this year, but in the future, I think picking someone from the top ten students who has something of interest to say is not a bad thing. Plenty of years where the Valedictorian speech was all about how great the Valedictorian student themselves were. Roll of the eyes from everyone there. If one of the ten has the something of interest to say about academics in general, many would rather listen to that.
To say none of those kids strives for educational excellence is crazy. If anything, these kids are under more pressure than we were. This is not the world we grew up in. The competition for grades and college acceptances are light years beyond the way things used to be. These kids are pressured to have academic excellence and a full schedule of activities that would exhaust anyone in addition to prepping for standardized tests that can make or break their applications.
There is recognition for other academic achievement as well at the graduation. Kids who got all A's are recognized, Kids who got all A's and a B are recognized and the kids who got all B's are recognized separately. (I think that was the breakdown, could be wrong). Working hard for academics was definitely part of the ceremony. They get different color tassels based on their GPA as well.
The ideal is to find a balance between recognition of academic excellence and not encouraging kids to be cut-throat competitive with each other.
There was also an awards ceremony earlier in the week which gave awards for such things as community service hours, an award in memory of Mr. Moss who passed away, and awards given by department to high achieving students in that particular academic department.
There were also speeches by the Student President, A METCO student (which speech was phenomenal), a student who gave the goodbye address at the end, and a student MC.
For those who posted and attended the graduation exercises - thanks for the feedback. Sounds similar to when my children graduated from Melrose back 15 years ago except that no valedictorian was acknowledged this year. Back then there was also a special awards ceremony before graduation acknowledging special achievements and outstanding achievements by students.
But just to clarify - the original thread only dealt with the issue of eliminating the designation of a valedictorian. I raised the additional issue of acknowledging high performing students and it appears this was done at the graduation ceremony- and that's a good thing. I'm glad to get the feedback from those who attended the graduation ceremonies.
That's all well and good but if there was all this recognition for other students then the top student should ABSOLUTELY be recognized also. It's not about who gives what speech and I don't care if GPA's are separated by .001. The top student is the top student and should not be lumped in with the other top 10%. What is so wrong with saying someone was the best?? Yes, let's make everyone special. Because when everyone is special then NO ONE is.
I agree. What I'm wondering is how you justify to the person who deserved to be valedictorian how he or she can now not list that on a college application, a resume, or in a job application. This "everybody gets a trophy" crap is nonsense. The real world doesn't work like that. What ever happened to recognizing and rewarding excellence? It might hurt someone's feelings? Tough $hit.
Nothing better than an eyewitness to the event. Sounds like a reasonable approach.
"You should have heard CT's speech. and I do mean that literally."
When CT gave her speech, she slurred/stumbled over many words again. It could not have been heat stroke this year because it was not that hot. Not a lot of clapping for her or the head of the SC. In fact, some booed CT.
The worst part was when she mispronounced the last name of the student who passed away. Kind of sad.
Heat stroke? More like Crown Royal stroke.
She mispronounced his name? How did I miss that? I must have already tuned her out by then.
Cyndy ignorant Taymore gives a speech? Good grief. I'd rather hear the least eloquent 12th grader talk.
Interesting, a MHS graduate was the Valedictorian for Holy Cross this week but, the High School she graduated from won't recognize the same.
Short sited MHS, SC and Administration now can't use this great accomplishment to their advantage. Karma!
I agree with "Agreed". The student that should of been Valedictorian has been robbed of something special. They cannot say that they were Valedictorian, because they were not. They cannot write that on job applications.
However, I notice that Melrose DOES rank its athletes. They elect MVPs, some teams win over others, and they have Captains of these teams. What about everybody else? Some students don't even make the teams. Should they feel "left out"?
Melrose claims it is interested in academics, but they DO NOT. All they care about are the athletes. High academic achievement means NOTHING to CT. If you went into the old MHS library, what did you find on the walls? Athletic achievers. Where were the academic achievers? Nowhere to be seen. That says it all.......
Excellent point about designating Captain and MVP in high school sports.
Perhaps the high school should establish a "Hall of Academic Excellence" where the top students are recognized each year for their individual pursuit of educational excellence during their 4 years in high school- by displaying their photograph and listed achievements.
Of course this might take attention away from annual sport banquets recognizing athletes or the occasional honors ceremonies held at Memorial Hall to recognize past athletes!
Who will let the students know that when they enter college they will have competition and emotional strain. No more coddling. Everyday I am thankful that my children experienced MHS without all this "crap"! They were happy for their friends who succeeded. Total nonsense. I agree that MVP should also disappear .
I find it completely ironic that the liberal party claims they celebrate diversity yet it seems they want everyone to be the same. They don't want to distinguish between male/female, smart/dumb, black/white. They want everyone equal. How is that diverse?
I was not at the graduation Friday night, but I was told that the Metco students all wore a letter on their hat (although it is prohibited) that spelled out Black Lives Matter. Is this true? If so, why has this not been mentioned or addressed at the time? The current administration are actually the cause of all this unrest. By stirring the pot as they do, problems fester and become a bigger problem. WTH!
Does Taymore drink? Or is she just a terrible public speaker?
Taymore's slurred speech "problem" has disrupted two commencement ceremonies already with EMTs having to appear during the commencement ceremonies to evaluate and administer first aid. First time around it was claimed to be a dehydration problem. Whatever the issue, meaning no lack of appropriate concern for a human being's health issue, this person should have been fired. Her continued presence is a disgrace for our entire community, and most certainly for the students graduating. Similarly the chair who has overseen CT's hiring and been either chair or vice-chair over the entire time of the OCR and OML findings by federal and state authorities against the district should have been forced to resign, instead of being applauded for delivering embarrassing speeches at commencement. Same deal with RD, who is THE DISGRACE pulling the strings of all this insanity.
Listen, they had a chance to hire a top-tier candidate. Instead they hired her. Even if she leaves tomorrow, what top-tier candidate would even consider taking the job here now? It would be professional suicide. We have sunk so low now in the education community that for the next ten years all we are going to get is second and third tier administrators and inexperienced teachers who for the most part don't get hired anywhere else.
This is on the Mayor. No one else, unless you count a disengaged and apathetic public who sat on their fat butts and did nothing to stop it. Still think you're an "education expert" Mr. Mayor? If they gave out awards for turning a decent school system into a pile of steaming crap, you'd be the #1 contender.
What else did you expect from him? His need to feel like the top dog and his proclivity to feeling threatened by anyone who demonstrates that they might be smarter than him leads to a lot of bad decisions. Add to that his tendency to act like a spoiled child - which he is, by the way - any time he doesn't get his way or he thinks someone has crossed him, and the resulting foot stomping temper tantrums look more like Romper Room than city government, and this is what you get.
Kudos to Adolph and Melrose Resident for calling out the effort in our city, state, country to sanitize all that is good about our differences. "They" speak of diversity and inclusiveness through the veil of cleansing logos, refraining praise for accomplishments, and bleaching the school walls of anything that could remotely be encouraging or motivating. In order to be diverse and inclusive, you MUST embrace and acknowledge ALL, including those who are subpar/trying/good/better/best.
The end of school rank and valedictorian should have at least been made effective in 2012, when the class of 2016 entered the school. "FYI, over the next four years, your grades/efforts will be assessed as follows...In the end, when you graduate in 4yrs, 2016, it will be documented as follows...If you don't like this process and fear it may be detrimental to your future goals, you may consider seeking your education elsewhere." To vote last year, 2015, and make it effective school year 2015/2016 moving forward was reactive, unnecessary and unprofessional.
Reactive, unnecessary and unprofessional sums up our whole school system...
Mature young professionals do not include such things as valedictorian on their CVs. They do not stay stuck in high school (if they are mature and successful in the bigger world, that is). Maybe high school status matters more in Melrose, which is pretty pathetic, actually and shows a general lack of maturity or connection with the bigger world. Maybe that's why such things get such a big reaction here, when other communities manage to make reasonable changes to things like class rank or logos with more dignified responses.
All those yammering about "scholarship opportunities" and "college acceptances" are either uninformed or lying because college acceptances, especially into the top-tier colleges that the valedictorians (acknowledged or not) apply to, send their acceptance packages (that include scholarships) months before MHS ever has decided on who has the highest GPA, since that only happens just before graduation.
All those in a tizzy over this have apparently overlooked the real harms taking place that should actually warrant some drama. Sure, SC and Taymore trampled on people once again with their imperious and ill-thought manuevers. Sure, they could have transitioned in a respectful way from class rank to a less harmful system, and of course they had to do it in the least respectful or transparent way, damaging the kids and the city's reputation yet again with their contempt and thoughtlessness. Sure they could have had an open and respectful dialogue about changing the name/logo and instead opted to trample on tradition and symbols that many hold dear (whether reasonable, fair and culturally defensible or not). It's now a guarantee that if this administration can do it the absolute Wrong Way, it absolutely will. That being said, the public that allowed all these charlatans to have the power it now so wantonly abuses has demonstrated its own lack of responsible and mature conduct, over and over again.
Does anyone yet care that the officials trampling on the public are the same ones who allowed the firing of a beloved arts teacher for refusing "to separate the students of color"? Does anyone yet care that these officials gave an exalted award to the one who allowed a teacher to tell a black student to "go back to the plantation"? Does anyone care that maybe more of those students of color might have even worse horror stories that have not even surfaced yet? Does anyone care that there are pages upon pages of documentation about abuses of special needs students in this district or many thousands of dollars pouring out of the city coffers in hidden "settlements" about these abuses of power and outright negligence? Does anyone care that there are flagrant abuses of the law happening right under everyone's noses that are draining the tax dollars and hurting every citizen (to say nothing of those citizens whose basic rights have been trampled!)???? Bad enough that traditions are being trampled, but basic civil rights are wantonly trampled in the very real Here and Now in Melrose. Does anyone actually care?
While valedictorians can no longer be individually recognized at MHS graduations, it is perfectly acceptable to recognize all of the METCO graduates. Apparently METCO graduates matter more than all other graduates at MHS.
No Way and Craziness have obviously missed the point. It isn't about having Valedictorian list on a resume in 20 years. It's about recognizing the achievement, and it is an achievement, of having the highest GPA in the class. It took 4 years of work to achieve that and it should be recognized.
It's also about the unilateral decision(s) that was made and continue to be made, and it dovetails with the decisions being made right now about things like moving the 5th and 8th grades.
Here come the bozos commenting on a graduation they didn't attend, an issue they have no idea about, and kids they have never met. Had the pack of red nosed rubber footed fools actually attended the graduation they would have seen a first class event celebrating the achievements of the most successful academic and athletic class Melrose has had in the last 20 years...and they achieved all of this success without a class rank or a valedictorian. The clowns of Melrose will never get it because you just can't get through that much ignorance. 4 Ivies baby. Woo! How did that happen with no class ranking? Do yourselves a favor, worry about your own dullard kids, your crappy houses and overgrown lawns and where the next private school loan is going to come from. MHS is doing just fine without you. Honk, Honk.
Were you born a vicious small-minded a$$hole, or do you have to work at it? You are the poster child for everything that's wrong with Melrose. Do us all - and by all I mean both school critics and supporters - a favor and slither back under what ever rock you emerged from. You speak for no one.
Of 290 kids enrolled in 8th grade, over 25% flee the crappy MPS schools by Senior year for better alternatives. Awesome! Woo![:|]
But Dolan and Driscoll must be proud. The district saves millions when these poor kids leave the district for private schools and the Charter school. Good job guys!
Yet Dolan and Driscoll continue to cry poor, complaining of the charter school funding formula, which is actually a fantastic deal for Melrose given it is ranked the 8th best high school and provides a great education. Meanwhile Melrose under Taymore didn't even rank in the top 100 and was rated as level three district last year. (Thanks HM principal.)[:-|]
I assume you are eluding to the US news mag report.
The "Farrell" poster is the typical uneducated response from an individual who drank the cool aid offered by the Bozo Brigade on Melrose Messages. It's actually a priceless post that should be immortalized in the Clown College hall of fame. For starters, Farrell is a certified business manager...and the job amounts to paying bills. Whats incredible is the business manager position was the final straw that pushed this poor misinformed soul to mortgage their house to pay for a parochial school education for the express ticket to State U. "Farrell" go see if you can bum a copy of the Melrose High School Imprint off someone before you start burning through your home equity to pay for high school. You will probably need that money for college. MHS kids went to great colleges, got scholarships and had a fantastic 4 years...and I'm pretty sure they couldn't name the business manager at MHS. You gotta love the mentality that these clowns think "their kids are worth it" and somehow if you send your kid to MHS you don't care about your kids as much as the bozos do. I'd love to know how much money families have wasted sending their kids to second rate parochial schools only to be underwater on their home by the time college is complete.