Excellence. It’s a thing. And to sort out who is excellent requires competition in various tests with measurable outcomes.
Competition sadly exposes failure. But it also steers everyone to the most fitting role for them. I competed and failed at being a baseball player, soccer player and tennis player before I finally found a useful skill that I could master well enough to derive a living from it. (Polka dancing.)
If we didn’t allow competition to determine who gets the plums in life, and simply randomly assigned everyone a place in society, Steph Curry might be a guy who makes sandwiches at Pret a Manger, and Mark Zuckerberg might be driving your Uber.
The distribution of ability may be unfair, but competition is merely how we learn the truth about those abilities. We manage to live pretty comfortably with the result, which is everyone doing what the market will best reward them for doing.
The New York City Department of Education hates competition for two reasons: One, the teacher mafia is a gang of ultra-woke progressives who bemoan the visible inequality that results from the invisible inequality that is the distribution of intelligence and skill. Two: competition exposes how bad the schools are at their jobs. This year especially, the teachers are terrified of any mechanism that might quantify just how badly they flunked in the last year and a half.
Solution: do away with honor rolls and other competition-based stamps of excellence.
Related: English 10
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.