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Does Margaret Talbot from The New Yorker believe that naming a single valedictorian is...

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magnotta | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 13, 2011 at 5:44 AM via web

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Does Margaret Talbot from The New Yorker believe that naming a single valedictorian is right or wrong?

Margaret Talbot writes about the cultural politics of the United States in the twenty-first century. In "Best in Class," which appeared in 2005 in the New Yorker, Talbot examines the impact of naming a single valedictorian, multiple valedictorians, or none at all.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM (Answer #1)

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Margaret Talbot's article "Best in Class" begins with her speaking about Daniel Kennedy (a principal in Sarasota, Florida) and a time when he "still thought valedictorians were a good thing." Tablot goes on to illustrate the highs and lows of the "gruelling trajectory" of becoming a valedictorian.

While Talbot offers many different stories, from different ares of the nation, she does not seem to offer a view of her own. What it seems that she is doing, instead, is allowing people to see the problems which arise from the race to the top.

True to journalistic nature, Talbot stays objective in her offering of different view regarding single, multiple, or no valedictorian at the high school level throughout the article.

At the end of her article, Talbot offers her opinion on both sides:

In some ways, it seems that the valedictorian is a status designed for a simpler time, when fewer people aspired to college.

and

Still, perhaps something is lost if schools eliminate valedictorians.

Basically, in the end, Talbot simply does not have the best answer. Similarly, neither does the country.





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