Is the NHS Selection Process Biased?

NHS, otherwise known as the National Honor Society, inducted 24 new members on Nov. 23. This is an exciting accomplishment for these individuals, but does anyone really think about how the selection process works? I certainly do.

Ledyard High School is full of intelligent, talented and thoughtful students who I have the pleasure of talking to each day. When the cold winter air begins to make its way to Connecticut, so do the NHS letters that are found in several students’ mailboxes. In order to receive the letter, students must have a GPA average that meets the standard. This is the first step of the selection process. However, good grades are not the only factor. Students must show leadership within the walls of our school and consistent community involvement.

After forms are sent in, a panel of five teachers sit down to look over them and decide who will be inducted. This is where my opinion comes in. Having the student’s name present completely defeats the purpose of a fair decision. The name is not necessary, nor should it be a factor for the teacher’s selection. If the name was removed, then all the deserving students will have an equal shot at becoming a member.

Let’s take a look at George Washington Carver High School in New York. Under application information, it states, “ All applications are read anonymously. Your name will be removed and replaced with a number. Please avoid indicating your name anywhere in the application. Anonymity ensures impartiality and makes the selection process much easier for the committee.” This statement says it all — no biased decisions. High schools all across the nation follow this statement, so why should Ledyard be any different?

I am not writing this opinion in spite of not being selected; I am writing this because I am a supporter of opportunity and the fairness that comes with it. To avoid even the appearance of bias, the name should be removed. That way a teacher’s selection cannot influenced by a student’s name and the relationship they have formed over the years. The name should not be on the forms. The equation is simple: No name = an unbiased decision.

Megan Brawner, Editor-in-Chief 

Senior Megan Brawner is the Editor-in-Chief of the 2015-2016 Colonel. She is the captain of the cross country team and runs Indoor and Outdoor Track. She participates in Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA) Club and is the secretary of the Senior Class. She is the Editor of Key Club.

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