Hold on - I'm going to get preachy.
Every year at about this time, schools ply children with certificates of achievement. At a nearby entirely African American and Latino public school, they printed reams of paper. The urban school passed out dozens of certificates: for academic achievement, attendance, and every conceivable measurement. Each kid scored at least five certificates. One girl had 12.
Made the kids feel great. But is this a good thing?
A boy went to that school, then transferred to a school in overclass snoburbia. He was confident at first. Then he discovered he was two years behind in math, and also behind in English, history and science. He received no certificates. In snoburbia, you get certificates only if you win a statewide academic award, are a National Merit finalist, or are an AP Scholar.
Finally, he received a W.E.B. Du Bois Academic Excellence Award from a black students' organization - for having a 2.7 GPA. He felt good, right?