Video: 44 valedictorians

Three french hens, two turtle doves and 44 valedictorians? 

Once upon a time, a class valedictorian was the standout scholar of the senior class — the kid with the brain. 

Not anymore in the P.C. age of 2005. 

In this year's graduating class of 406 students at Garfield High in Washington State, there are 44 valedictorians, each with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.  Plus, a Fresno high school boats 58 front-runners for the top-slot.

What gives? MSNBC-TV's host Tucker Carlson quizzes ESPN Radio's Max Kellerman for answers.  Tucker and ESPN radio host discuss whether this is an issue of grade inflation, "cooking the books," or more simply, just a lot of talented students in one school.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST 'THE SITUATION': And you know what it says?


CARLSON: Grade inflation.  That's ludicrous.  A class of kids of 406 kids, 46 of them got a 4.0 for four years?  That means you are cooking the books to make it look like every kid in your school is a genius. 

But the point here is, the school is against competition.  They're against making distinctions between the best and everybody below him. 


CARLSON:  And for that reason, they are not — I'm just using the correct pronoun...

KELLERMAN: However unlikely. 

CARLSON:  They are not preparing their students for life.

KELLERMAN:  I went to Hunter High School here in New York, where everyone actually is a genius at this school.  There's actually grade deflation there.  So I sympathize with your point of view. 

CARLSON:  But that's New York.

KELLERMAN:  However, out of 400-plus kids, to say 44 kids had straight A's — that's 10 percent, give or take.  If you did a bell curve, you are expecting maybe around 10 percent on one extreme side.  That's like within one standard deviation of the norm, if you want to get technical.  I don't think it's impossible for one-tenth of the student population to be at the top. 

CARLSON:  It may not be.  The question is, though grades are to some extent a relative measure.  Bu valedictorian — a hierarchical notion — is the idea that somebody, maybe two but really one, person is the best.  That's a distinction the school refuses to make and increasingly a lot of our society refuses to make because it's deemed meaningless.  But that's how the world works. 

KELLERMAN:  But if an A is 4.0, and they are actually getting 4.0s.  You know, you could do a spinal tap, and say, “This goes to 11.”  Fine, do that.  Then give someone a 4.3.  But if you are not going to go to 4.3 — didn't you hate it when you hand in a paper, and a teacher would give you a grade, B-plus.  And you‘d say, “Best paper I ever had, ever received, B-plus.  Why is it B-plus?”  “Because I think you can do better.” 

No, don't grade me against some potential I may have.  Grade did I get everything right?  Then I get the A.  And if 44 kids did, they should get the A's.

CARLSON:  I was grateful for a B-plus, the rare times I got one. 

Watch The Situation with Tucker Carlson each weeknight at 9 p.m. ET & 1 a.m. ET

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