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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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On Sunday, June 13, the people of Lexington, Kentucky, gathered at the Blue Grass Airport to bike, walk, and run on the new 4,000 foot runway. The event was just one in an increasingly successful series of Second Sundays—monthly affairs aimed to get Kentuckians out and about on livable streets. Jay McChord, the architect of the initiative, got the idea from Bogota, Columbia's tradition of holding ciclovías, a monthly event where streets become car-free and bicyclists and pedestrians take over. Second Sunday kicked off in Kentucky in October 2008 with a goal of spreading to 12 counties. In a year, 101 counties had caught on, and McChord hopes that the event will spread statewide by the end of this year.

As Mike Lydon explains on Plantizen,

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