Unfair Honor Ranking System?!

The new grading system the Department of Education has caused a lot of controversies to honor students and their families who are patronizing Public Schools.  The grade computation of  7-3, seven for Academics and three for the co-curricular activities.

Before, the grade is computed just by getting the average of the exams, project and quizzes and the points of extra-curricular activities. Now, there is this "ranking" happening in two aspects namely: academic and extra-curricular.  DepEd says, as I read in the Circular, that there can also be a ranking per subject, but not required (DepEd Order No. 74 Enclosure No.1.) The most common practice is - teachers chose to award the best students in every subject by giving them "Best in Subject" ribbon aside from their over-all ranking medal. 

The academic grades average of the top 10 students (who do not have a grade of below 85) are ranked. Here is how the grades are computed in ranking (just a sample in Academics/names are just for example purposes):

Candidate for Honors
Average
Rank
x 7
Capisonda, Jewel May
89.750
8
56
Cruz, Zandra Angel
91.607
5
35
Espedillon, Sabdiel
92.568
2
14
Mauricio, Angel May
88.348
9
63
Macadangdang, Carlo
90.203
7
49
Sarne, Zyril Louise
91.610
6
42
Sotero, Carla
94.320
1
7
Tolentino, Charmee France
92.158
4
28
Vergara, Maymay
92.465
3
21
Zaide, Clyde
86.782
10
70

The ranks are multiplied to the fixed/invariable factor 7 = the weight given to academics out of 10 as total base.  As it is seen, the higher the equivalent, the lower its rank.  The lowest equivalent is ranked to be the 1st honor in academics.

Same procedure is done with the extra-curricular activities.  The only difference lies on the points-accumulation per student.  This is where the inconsistencies happen. 


Candidates
Total Points
Rank
x 3
Capisonda, Jewel May
28
8
24
Cruz, Zandra Angel
23
10
30
Espedillon, Sabdiel
34
5
15
Mauricio, Angel May
35
4
12
Macadangdang, Carlo
27
9
27
Sarne, Zyril Louise
45
1
3
Sotero, Carla
43
2
6
Tolentino, Charmee France
32
6
18
Vergara, Maymay
37
3
9
Zaide, Clyde
31
7
21

To get the honors' list, the rank equivalent value from the two aspects above (Academic =7, Co-curricular = 3). The lower the total, the higher the rank.



Candidate for Honors

Academic Rank Equivalent


Co-curricular Rank Equivalent

Total

Final Rank

Capisonda
56
24
80
9th
Cruz
35
30
65
6th
Espedillon
14
15
29
2nd honor
Mauricio
63
12
75
7th
Macadangdang
49
27
76
8th
Sarne
42
3
45
4th
Sotero
7
6
13
1st Honor
Tolentino
28
18
46
5th
Vergara
21
9
30
3rd honor
Zaide
70
21
91
10th


Side Story: 


Like in my child’s case, her grade III teacher preferred NOT TO include all the extra-curricular activities of her classmate who supposed-to-be ranked 3rd alone but having the same points with the academic second honor (a boy who has more activities in boy scout than my daughter in girl scout) as I remember my child only ranked 6th in extra-curricular activities. 

My daughter ranked 6th (counting from the top she's the 7th student -Madera), the 6th student (who is the 2nd honor in academics) is TIED with the 4th student who is just 11th place on Academics. A photo I took during the deliberation, just re-captured it today.

My child is student #7 (as on the first picture above, names are withheld here because the explanation for the stats on each aspect is not yet discussed). Student #6 ranked 2nd on Academics, student # 4 ranked 11th - they shared the 3.5 spot in the co-curricular ranking because the adviser refused to put all of student #4's points. If she did, my child would have earned a total of  25 = acad (1 x 7) +  co-curricular (6 x 3), 7 and 3 are the weight given on each aspect. The 1st honor (2 x 7) + (4 x 3) should have been 26, if he was ranked 4th on curricular, my daughter could have been the first.  That is a flagrant ANNOUNCED cheating.

The adviser negligently stated while on a PTA meeting/Deliberation of Honors to her co-teacher who is the mother of the student who tied in rank with the academic 2nd honor; “I did not include all your daughter’s points, remember we have talked about it..(hindi ko sinama yung lahat ng sa anak mo, ‘di ba nag-usap na tayo?!”) while discussing the total of each students total curricular scores - in front of all the parents including me - not yet familiar with the new method of computing grades.  After analyzing when I went home, I realize that a single point added to that teacher’s daughter – the 2nd placer in academic will remain in his spot as 2nd in over-all ranking of academics and currirular, ranking 4th (but the teacher ranked him tie on the 3.5th  spot having equal total points with teacher’s daughter, student #4's rank) and my daughter although 6th in curricular will still be the 1st. Sad that she landed 2nd

We are all broken-hearted especially my child. She is really expecting because of her performance and knowing the irregularities, we could have protested but I chose not to. We still attended recognition, all I feel with the mother of 2nd honor is pity, she has nothing to do with it, just the adviser.  They can hear rumors (not spread by us) that her son does not deserved it.

Those kind of teachers, the adviser with her cohort (who happens to be a teacher too, who had allowed this to happen) did not know the psychological effect of what they have done to my child and to that controversial 1st honor.  Her classmates were expecting too that Angel Reign will stay 1st  knowing her stand in school, as she is in grade one and two until now she is grade four she is till ranking first.

I just informed the teacher that I knew it, I told her privately when we are left alone a few days after deliberation that if she had only added a single (1) point (which she said she avoided to add) to the teacher’s daughter who I think ranked 8th in over-all, my daughter could have had the  first honor rank in over-all. I remember her whispering to the 2nd honor’s (in academic) mother that only .5 difference in average.  She even told me that the first in curricular could have a hundred points but she chose not to include not just the teacher’s daughter, I told her it does not matter at all because he remains on the 1st spot in curricular but still ranked third in over-all.  

So, next time, I request her to be careful, not to have slip of the tongue and do not underestimate the parents!  I could have reported it but let her suffer for her guilt on what she did. She knew what she did.  I will not ask my aunt’s help about it (who works in DepEd Manila) but it is just a click away on the net e-mailing DepEd.  I am not against teachers, I love them. There are just few who are doing such anomalies depriving the deserving students of what they should be granted. This is just an example of flagrant cheating, my daughter has been victimized. But the Principal is under the President of all Principals in the District –the adviser’s better-half. So what is the point of reaching the nearest branch of DepEd to protest?! I remember the adviser even requested the principal to have a word with the grade III-SPED parents before the deliberation telling that the children’s performance is not at all the same on their previous grade levels. We know that already and it is not our base of expectations.  Does that visit just meant that they hold the principal’s neck? And only then it happened that I was asked to sign a list of co-curricular activities my daughter had - to avoid protests in case?! A lot of puzzles...anyway, we did not cheat. It is better maybe to be cheated than the one to do the cheating, would you agree?

I clearly remember signing my child's report card three times on the third grading, I wonder because every grading period the card is shown to parents and we are asked to sign before we left. That is why I can't help saying loudly, three signatures?! I thought I was the only one. Another parent noticed it too (the one who supposed to be the 3rd honor but dropped to 4th by another teacher's child who ranked 1st in academics), she was asked to sign thrice too from first to third grading. What is that for? Does it meant the card was altered? This is really extreme! 

Being a transfer student is no bearing at all, DepEd stipulates that they may be included in the rankings as long as they have enrolled not later than the 2nd week of classes (DepEd Order No. 74, Enclosure No. 1, third paragraph). Parents, do not worry fair chance is given to all even to transferee students.  Object if you hear that alibi on ranking. 

Additional Important Info:
The FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT of honor students shall be made 15 days before the Recognition date. Protests shall be filed 5 days after Final Announcement, DepEd Order 74 Enclosure No. 1, nos. 9 and 10 - applicable to Philippine Public elementary and secondary schools.

I think it is alright gauging the academic and social/interpersonal skills or intelligence of  a student.  One can be academically intelligent but is poor on interpersonal skills may not be that commendable.  Schooling is done for the purpose of being employed after graduation.  Encouraging social engagement of students in co-curricular activities (participating in school programs, quiz tilts or some good cause activity endorsed by the school) is somewhat helpful in achieving a good interpersonal skill, or may be better not just good. But better be sure it is done and implemented in a JUST way.

Although I hope for some exemption to the pointing rules like:

1. Educational Tours

Let us be true to ourselves, educational tours nowadays had become excursions - very few visited historical and real educational places like museums and the like. Maybe just a few students maybe interested to visit what they picture in mind as a boring destination, I had to admit that this is ordinary.  If the excursions are like Baguio and Tagaytay - students make their way on convincing their mom and dads to allow them joining the tour - that became an excursion.  The trouble is, coming from a far place like Bicol, fees do not fall below around three thousand pesos just for the transportation, more expensive if food is included.

Enrolled in a public school, most parents are less-privileged, they could not afford the tour fees.  It does not really matter for average students who are not running for honors, BUT a disadvantage to those who are, especially as I noticed it has a corresponding high number of equivalentpoints.

2. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Activities

Why? Because both have different scheduled or set of activities, if one have more then it would be a disadvantage to the other candidate vying for the same rank. It is a lot FAIRER not to include it, would you agree?

3. Religious-based extra-curricular activities

It would be unfair to others who are not in the same religion to be forced to attend an activity just because of the points offered for it. And again, a disadvantage for competing students belonging to different sects. And also out of respect to each other's beliefs and the accompanying practices, human rights practice.

I hope DepEd will consider these suggestions. The issue had caused a lot of parents and especially students to be traumatized after hearing the results of their studies that were all blown-away by the unequal opportunities of participating in co-curricular activities. It will lessen bad insights about the existing honor students ranking system if justice prevails.There are still a lot of sources to get the points from like student leadership/school organizations, memberships, school programs, arts, journalism, contests and quiz bees attendance and participation.

Feel free to add your opinion and suggestions, two heads are always better than one,  your comments are welcome too.

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Thanks for reading, have a blessed day ahead, everyone.

 Reference Link:
See below to know more about DepEd Order No. 74, 2012
Guidelines to Ranking of Honor Students K-12 Curriculum






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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.