Friendswood ISD eliminates reporting class rank after finding it does more harm than good

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- We all know grades and test scores matter for college admission, but what about class rank?

Texas state law requires districts to report the top 10% of every class.

However, this year, Friendswood ISD students outside the top 10% will not know where they stand and universities will not know either.

The district formed a committee of parents, students, teachers, and administrators to look at the issue.

The GPA difference between a student ranked 30th in the class and ranked 100th in the class is 0.07.

The committee concluded reporting class rank was doing more harm than good.

"When you have all A's and a B here or there and you're still not in the top 50%, you're not in the top 25%, it's eye opening, right?" said Friendswood ISD mom Niki Rhodes.

Rhodes was one of 24 people who served on the committee and recommended the school system stop ranking students.

She believes eliminating class rank will let students focus on learning and taking classes of interest to them, instead of gaming the class rank system.

"I think it's just going to be great to have our students reviewed on their full picture," said Rhodes. "What classes they took, what extracurricular activities they were in."

District leaders say now, colleges won't just see a number.

"Right over 50% of high-performing school districts across the nation have done away with class rank," said Diane Myers, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for Friendswood ISD. "The colleges and universities will now be forced to look at our kids holistically."

Parents were on board with the change.

"Right at 92% of our community supported the idea of not reporting class rank outside the top 10%, so we feel like the community has backed this decision," said Myers.

Rhodes says the only pushback was from people outside the district.

"They were saying 'Everybody gets a trophy.' Well in my opinion, everybody gets a diploma not a trophy," said Rhodes. "They get a diploma and the right to be compared to students outside our school district equally, and so I don't think that's a participation trophy. I just think that's how it should be."

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