Phi Beta Cons

National Honor Society Has Quaffed the Kool-Aid

I don’t know when National Honor Society started down the politically correct path, but back in my high school days, academic qualifications alone mattered. No longer; it’s only 25 percent. Just like admissions standards for many colleges, NHS now considers a host of touchy-feely criteria. A reader brings that to my attention:

I’ve been an avid follower of Phi Beta Cons for some time and a recent inquiry led me to discover what I think is a rather dubious policy of the National Honor Society: Upon e-mailing my daughter’s school’s NHS advisor, I was informed that a student’s GPA is only one of four considerations for membership — and an equal one at that. This means that 25 percent of each student’s application is allocated to 1) GPA, 2) Character, 3) Leadership, and 4) Service. 

 

Only 25 percent of the consideration is given to GPA?? But . . . isn’t that what an “honor” society is supposed to be about?? The official website of the National Honor Society confirms this.

 

I am a graduate of the same high school, and back then membership into the honor society was only based on the requisite GPA. So were the memberships into my college honor societies.

 

When did the NHS get “dumbed down” like this — where students with virtually perfect GPAs (and even perfect 4.0 GPAs) can be rejected for an “honor” society . . . because they might not have performed a “service” of the “right type” — or “enough” of it? Or because some faculty members believe that their character and leadership qualities aren’t “adequate?” Given this, how would extremely introverted, yet very bright and extremely academic students (for example) ever be granted membership?

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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