Monday, December 5, 2011

Believe in Craziness School, or BCS

Let me indulge you in some satire:

I am proud to welcome you to the Believe in Craziness School, or BCS, for short.  We do things a little differently here, but our primary focus is to recognize our top senior students at the end of the year in a very special ceremony.  Staff, students, and community members know how important this ceremony is; they find it so important, you can hear people debate and predict which students will get recognized all year long.  Some people claim to be "experts" at predicting which students will get recognized, but even the experts are surprised from time to time.

I should probably start by sharing how we determine which students to recognize.  There are three components to our "rankings":  The first is overall grade point average, which takes into account final grades only.  Second, our staff votes weekly on their top 25 students of the senior class.  This is no easy task!  Every so often, a top-ranked student will stumble on a test, become "upset" with themselves and possibly drop in the rankings.  I can't prove it, but I sometimes feel certain staff members votes their students higher than others simply because they know them better.  But teachers know their students better than anybody!  Third, and the most confusing part of the equation, are the "computer ratings".  These incorporate other variables, such as strength of a students' schedule, difficulty of teacher, extracurricular activities, and attendance.  Like I said, this part is confusing.  Sometimes the computer rankings rank a top-notch GPA student lower for no apparent reason!!

Whew, that was exhausting.  But we are not done yet!  At Believe in Craziness School, we honor ten students at the ceremony.  You may think that using the above three-part formula, we will honor the students ranked #1-10.  There are some extra stipulations to who gets recognized:

The #1 and #2 ranked students automatically get honored, no matter what.  Plain and simple.  Whoever is ranked in the top two spots.  That's easy enough.  Those two students get the majority of the attention at the ceremony. 

We automatically honor the top performing student in AP Calc, AP English, AP US History,  AP Government, and AP Biology.  These are what you would call the "traditional" top-level classes, so these students will all get honored.  It actually doesn't matter what they are ranked from the formula, we will honor these students.  One year, the top AP Calculus student wasn't even ranked in the top 25 and we still honored them (behind closed doors, we admitted that was just a weak Calculus class that year).

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the "neighborhood" rule.  To avoid one feeder area of the school receiving too much attention, no more than two students per neighborhood can be recognized.  For example, if students ranked #1, #2, #7, and #10 ride the same bus, then the last two students will not be honored.  This is always a tough pill for the parents to swallow, but the way I look at it, you knew how strong your neighborhood was when you moved there.

Finally, the most controversial aspect of the ceremony.  I get to select the final three students to be recognized.  Of course, I put a lot of stock into the formula mentioned previously.  In fact, I make sure that any student selected is in the "top fourteen".  What good would the formula be if I didn't?  But one extremely important factor to consider is the amount of family that student could deliver at the ceremony.  It may sound bizarre, especially when the primary purpose of the ceremony is to honor the top students, but I can't have empty seats in the auditorium!  I'll admit that I will tend to favor those students with really large alumni...I mean, families, over students with small families.  The best case is if a student will have family fly in from out of town and have to stay in hotels.  That helps with the local commerce (cha-ching)!  One year, I completely overlooked the student ranked #7 and honored the student ranked #11 instead, simply because he was much more popular within the student body.  I felt bad for the student ranked #7, but you should have seen the crowd that showed up to support the selected student!

So there you go.  You may be a little apprehensive about how we recognize our top students at Believe in Craziness School.  It does provide a little controversy in what should be a celebration of an incredible school-year.  But really, we spend so much of our time dealing with student discipline that it sometimes overshadows everything else.  Just like the student that I have to suspend for skipping.  Wait, he self-reported the skipping??  Maybe I will just give him Saturday School...

This post is not intended to mock any specific school, university, or athletic association.  It's just for fun.

Thanks for reading and please follow me via Twitter @CSmithGoBlue


The opinions shared in this blog belong to Craig Smith and do not represent the school or district in which he works.


  1. Only a greedy return-on-investment-only focused entity would run a system like thi....waiiiit a second I see what you did there. Give me Playoffs!!

  2. That is awesome. This is a fantastic way to run a school system. I think we should do everything like BCS: Political elections, who gets paid the most in a company, spelling bees, the college football bowl system. . . Oh, sorry that's how that is already done! What geniuses they are who run the BCS.

  3. Very good stuff! Favorite line: "One year, the top AP Calculus student wasn't even ranked in the top 25 and we still honored them."

    Va Tech as your opponent in the Sugar Bowl is a joke... Boise St is right to be livid. Honestly, the voters should have dropped them further than they did after getting pummeled by Clemson, as bad as Clemson was the two weeks prior.