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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Needham High rolls up the honor roll

NEEDHAM

Needham High students no longer will get to see their names in the newspaper when they are placed on the Honor Roll for academic achievement.

High School principal Paul Richards has ended the practice of sending the list to the local media.

In an e-mail to students and parents, Richards said that Needham’s high achievement levels have a dark side, creating a competitive culture among students where grades are compared within groups and argued over with teachers.

He said he received 60 e-mails from supporters and critics of his decision.

Critics said publishing the honor roll in the local paper counters the media’s emphasis on athletics and tragedies.

Richards responds: ‘‘By having an honor roll in the first place, the school participates in a sorting of students.

‘‘We have no intention of making the honor roll the scapegoat for a larger issue and apologize if this tradition is near and dear to your heart.’’

— Lauren K. Meade

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