"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

What is going on in our schools?

>> Friday, October 15, 2004

I received the November Reader's Digest in the mail today. If I admit that am I old? I have to hide it from Doug until I finish or he steals it. But I digress from my point.

One of the articles is titled "A" is for Average. It details how some schools are declining to name honor roll students, spelling bee winners and even high scorers in sporting events because some people "were very concerned that (children) would feel ashamed or discouraged or left out because they weren't honored."

What?!?!

But it gets better. Some elementary schools have begun using commentary about students based on their achievements "in relation to their own effort and ability." Ummm, so if Susie can't read at the 4th grade level but is doing what she can in the teacher's estimation of her effort and ability she'll move on to the 5th grade?

If we are blocking any type of competition in our public schools how will our children be prepared for the "real world"? Competition is vital in our world. It gets you in to college, it gets you the job you want- and helps you keep it. Almost every aspect of your life is a competition, even if it is just trying to outdo yourself.

No wonder we are becoming a nation of whining, spoiled people. No wonder half our country believes we need to be liked by the global community. What are we going to do to stop this ludicrous behavior before it is too late?

7 comments:

Debra 5:41 PM  

Excellent post, and so true. How are our children suppoosed to better themselves, and in turn better the world if they're never taught to challenge themselves or to reach their maximum potential?

Anita 5:34 PM  

Great post - - I am unclear why we wouldn't reward strong academic performances in AT LEAST the same way that we reward everything else. You don't hear anyone suggesting that we refrain from handing out sports trophies because some kids might feel bad. Unbelievable.

aka_Meritt 9:18 PM  

Oh Jody I can't EVEN get started on this one.
Deep breath.
(remember about two weeks ago they also said teachers need to stop using RED pens for correcting and use purple because it isn't as damaging to the child and they can't use bad marks, they have to use smiley faces?)

OK... I will NOT get on this soap box. I only stopped in to see if you were in labor today or not. LOL.

CCHuff 9:52 AM  

How unrealistic this is in our world! How does one gauge their success/expectations when there is nothing to which to compare? I believe that in not allowing children to compete, that we are setting up generations who expect life to give them whatever they feel they deserve (can anyone say "WELFARE"?)

Healthy competition is vital. And not everyone is going to excel in math or English, but they may be a mechanical wizard who care tear apart and repair anything, or a master craftsman who can build beautiful furniture. Everyone has talents; we need to nurture the difference and give credit for those achievements instead of expecting everyone to fit the same mold.

Not only that, but it is our responsibility as parents (and grandparents) to help our kids succeed. Read to them, let them cook with you, if they show an interest in what you are doing, get them their own tool (appropriate for the task and age) and let them help. We don't do our kids any favors by not being teachers ourselves.

Jen H 7:21 PM  

I was a proud recipient of MANY academic honors in high school and college. Yes, I was driven by the recognition I earned. Everyone else had the same opportunity to work hard and study as I did. I am not sure I would have worked so hard for NOTHING (besides the education). If you take away the reason to excel, we will definitely become a country of slackers. Just like the liberals and the ACLU would prefer.

brandy 8:58 PM  

hey, i saw the post about the rd article about schools. i found it because i was searching for a copy of the article. i read it today at my doctor's office and wanted to send it to my niece and my husband (so he could read it at work). i can't find a copy. would you be able to email me a copy? i would greatly appreciate it. i don't want to buy an issue for just one article. thanks :)

brandy 8:58 PM  
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