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Are High School Valedictorians Becoming Passé?

Citing an overly competitive school environment, some Kentucky districts are scrapping the time honored tradition.

Naming a high school valedictorian used to be simple: The school looked at student grades and chose the senior with the highest GPA in the graduating class. But nowadays, picking a valedictorian has become a whole lot more complicated, and, critics say, overly competitive. To address the problem, some school districts in Kentucky are even going so far as to completely scrap naming valedictorians.

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Your Favorite Public Education Reformer Probably Went to Private School

Many of today's prominent education reformers attended private school. Their policies for public schools are a far cry from that experience.

What do some of the nation's most prominent public education reform advocates—Michelle Rhee, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, President Obama, and Davis Guggenheim—all have in common? They received their K-12 education at private schools. "In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private Education" from this Sunday's New York Times spotlights this phenomenon and raises important questions about the discrepancy between the well rounded education these reformers received at elite private schools like Exeter and Sidwell Friends, and what they recommend for other people's children.

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