EditorialThe awards given out at Lansing high School graduation came in for some criticism a month or two ago when a parent told the Board of Education that that part of the ceremony is too long, taking away from the joy of the achievement of graduating from high school, especially for those graduates who did not receive awards.  That reminded me that for the first time I know of there was no valedictorian or salutatorian at this year's commencement.  I remember thinking that it was odd not to recognize the very best of the academic best, especially in a school district that values its reputation for excellence.

I have given it a lot of thought since then, and I have to come out on the side of crotchety, old fashioned, and not at all politically correct.  Not honoring the top achievers implies that there are no standards at all, and serves to discourage those who want to achieve.  By telling our students that any level of achievement is valued the same, we are telling them 'why bother to work when I can get a degree anyway?'  In making every student feel valued we strip all the value out of the achievement.  When everybody wins, everybody loses.