OK, when I first read this story in today's Washington Post, I was pretty sure it was a sign of our civilization's slow but steady decline. Forty-one valedictorians? More than 5% of the class? But then I saw this paragraph near the end:
"I say if you're running a race, then certainly there's competition," Croghan said. "But we never set up our educational process that way. We don't say, 'Your goal is to get a higher GPA.' Your goal is to learn as much as you can."
I do agree that de-emphasizing grades is a good idea, especially among the brightest kids who are most likely to miss out on real education if they focus too much on the grades. Maybe the faculty should pick a valedictorian from among the top ten or something.