Competition is being withdrawn from elementary schools all over Tennessee. It has become apparent to school lawyers that competition amongst students places some students below others. Many Nashville schools have placed bans on the honor roll, spelling bees, and publicly praising good work. Could this be the big solution that creates equality that so many of us have been seeking? Absolutely not!
Nashville seems more concerned with appeasement than education. Would they give up the concept of grades to avoid parental confrontation? Students need something to work for; a motivation.
The Lawyers of the Tennessee schools call for a Harrison Bergeron style equalization. Such an act would purposely disable those considered above average. The people of Tennessee should look at legislation protecting their children from the lawyers of Tennessee.
My experience in school was greatly affected when the lawyers won over the students, prohibiting students' from knowing their grades between official progress reports.
Frivolous civil disputes should have never been allowed to change the way so many students achieved, based on progress and competition.
Shelby Steele makes an infallible statement saying "good intentions can blind us to the effects they generate when implemented." It may be years from now until the students look back feeling cheated for not being given the praises of honor roll or the awards for a job well done.
Competition is an essential element in education. In reality, few adults can avoid confrontation and competition. We live in a free enterprise nation; businesses competing against businesses. Steven Baum of Julia Green Elementary states: "I discourage competitive games at school. They just don't fit my world view of what a school should be." I challenge Mr. Baum's concept of democracy and how he plans students would fair in our world without a sense of competitiveness.
In an alternative world of peace, love, happiness, and no physical being, the Tennessee school system would be preparing their students for a great success. However, the structural elements that have proven their worth can not be threatened by lawyers who do not belong in the school system. The prestigious University of Cincinnati places art on display by name and price. The honor's college concept is alive and well on most universities' campuses. Preparing students for life begins with the children.
After college, the students will have to compete for jobs, possibly having to post their rÃÂ©sumÃÂ©s publicly on the internet. The issue of privacy in school relating to honor roll and the publishing of good work is nothing more than the unsurprising lawyer's outcry, backed by parents who are too ashamed to take more responsibility. There should be no ban on the honor roll, student spelling bees should remain enjoyable competitions, and every great student work should receive its proper praise.