Saturday, January 8, 2011

Are we so ungenerous that we can't congratulate success?

Congratulations to 2 Olympia High School seniors who achieved perfect scores on their SATs. The comments following the news article at this link reflect the 'messy spot schools are in' that I wrote about a few times back.

Note how quickly the 'debate' degenerates into critiques of the 'SAT industry,' to questions about whether the 2 may have cheated, and the time-worn claim about how badly the US fares by international comparison.

Even if you sing with the choir of the critics of schools, or of the current institutional arrangements, let's give these 2 their due. Any flaws in the educational system are not their fault. They just succeeded mightily within the parameters given to them. Does anybody doubt they would do well in an education environment reformed by the most recent study and implementation of the latest and greatest best practice?

I also find the 'similar articles' options interesting. Following a story about perfect academic accomplishment, you can read a story about the number of students who lack the basic skills for 2-year college.

Yes, it's both. There is remarkable achievement and glaring weakness; fantastic accomplishment and stunning underachievement (and much, much more) in schools.

When has it been otherwise?

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