Honor student world: Where all the students are above average

Maureen Downey:

Here is an interesting op-ed piece by a tenured professor of biology at Piedmont College, Robert H. Wainberg. He is alarmed because he has been told by former students who are now teachers that some schools no longer hold Honors Day to recognize the accomplishments of above average and exemplary students so they don’t hurt the feelings of kids who don’t earn awards.
This piece will appear in the paper on the education page Monday. Enjoy.
By Robert H.Wainberg:

I have been a professor of Biology and Biochemistry at a regional college for over two decades. Sadly, I have noticed a continual deterioration in the performance of my students during this time. In part I have attributed it to the poor study habits of the last few generations (X, XX and now XXX) who have relied too heavily on technology in lieu of thinking for themselves.
In fact, the basics are no longer taught in our schools because they are considered to be “too hard,” not because they are archaic or antiquated. For example, students are no longer required to learn the multiplication or division tables since they direct access to calculators in their phones.
Handwriting script and calligraphy are now in danger of extinction since computers use printed letters. A report I recently read disturbingly admitted that many of our standardized tests used for college admission or various professional schools (MCAT, LSAT and GRE) have to manipulate their normal bell-shaped curves to obtain the higher averages of decadtudenes ago.
What we fail to realize is that the concept of “survival of the fittest” still applies even within the realm of technology. There will always be those who are more “adapted” to the full potential of its use while others will be stalled at the level of downloading music or playing games.

Ah, yes. One size fits all education uber alles.

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