Event for Straight-A Students Sparks Controversy Over Kids’ Hurt Feelings


Feb. 6, 2014 10:00pm

A pizza and dance party for straight-A students at a Maryland middle school has sparked controversy among parents and students alike. Kids at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., Tuesday were rewarded with an “Academic Achievement Celebration” for having good grades. The party, which started during the final period of the school day, featured pizza, soda, games and a DJ. While some saw it as an appropriate reward for a job well done, others dismissed it as exclusionary. And here’s why: Kids who received lower grades were reportedly not allowed to enjoy free pizza at the party — and were only invited to attend after classes ended.

While some parents and students felt it wasn’t fair to only hold portions of the party for kids who had high marks, others said that the event actually serves as an incentive to encourage harder work among pupils. Karen Hanlon, a parent with a child who has special needs and who was not invited to the party, said that the parameters simply weren’t fair. “The students that don’t get to go end up feeling bad”. The Washington Post, claiming that the party divides students into groups. There’s also the fear that undue pressure is being put on high-performing students to continue getting straight As. While excelling is important, some fear offering the event could put unhealthy stress on kids.

But Chris Rutledge, president of the school’s PTSA, sees the “Academic Achievement Celebration” differently. “I think it’s a twofold process: The school has to, and does, help all children to strive to excel”. “And when they do, it’s important to recognize them.” And the school’s principal, Casey Crouse, said that the event is meant to be an incentive and a congratulations for those kids who have performed very well. “The intention is not to make those who didn’t achieve feel badly” the Post, adding that lower-performing students are honored at the school in different ways. “This is to recognize those who did do well.”

What do you think? Is a celebration for straight A students a good thing — or does it create undue pressure and unfairly cut students out of all the fun?


My Comments:  “others dismissed it as exclusionary”, as I have discussed before education is not exclusionary, exclusion is the result of individual and their parents.  Now there are those that will say I don’t care for those that have special needs, the truth is that we owe special people as much as we can, quality of life, there is no limit.  My comments are directed at those that have nothing but excuses. Everyone gets a trophy, that is not how the real world works. Maybe that is why there are so many blaming others for their failures. Accept the responsibility, look in the mirror. As I have discussed the world needs those that excel, the others expect. I would like to know how much D22 spends trying to bring students up to the standard? Then compare that to the money D22 spends on those that has the desire to learn and to impact this world. How many scientists, mathematician, doctors and special teacher, do we let slip through while we TRY to reach a state established bottom line. Why has America set our standards at the lower level, why aren’t we measuring from the top down. We award schools for the number of individuals that graduate. Why not for the number of scholarships or advance programs. How many businesses would stay in business with the same standards.

Integrity in Leadership


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