Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Is naming a valedictorian 'unhealthy?'

Public-education bureaucrats these days are averse to competition ... and not just from charter or private schools.

Many of them now support doing away with the tradition of "naming only one valedictorian," reports the (Louisville) Courier-Journal, which seems all-too willing to enable our failing education system avoid making tough decisions or any semblance of controversy.

Besides, how many "valedictorians" can a school have?

In trying to "help" us understand, the Courier-Journal reports that many local school districts in Kentucky -- including Jefferson and Oldham counties -- and around the nation "have moved away from naming only one valedictorian, citing their desire to honor all high achievers and de-emphasize competition that could be seen as unhealthy."

The education bureaucrats cited in the C-J story, including Brian Shumate, "Jefferson County's high school liaison" (I bet that highly paid job really is demanding and productive, don't you?), think all high-performing students should be recognized and that the system should be "more equitable."

Hmmmm. It makes me wonder what the folks in charge of Kentucky's public schools think of our free-market system, which thrives on competition and profit. In fact, when governments try to make the marketplace more "equitable" -- "equitable" being determined by all-knowing government gods -- is when the store shelves are empty and people starve ... like when Marxism took over the former Soviet Union.

Of course, competition only happens in the real world -- a foreign environment for the decision-making corridors of Kentucky's public school districts.

Oh yeah, by the way, India and China -- America's primary competitors for future jobs -- believe strong in competition.

Interestingly enough, the kids cited in the reporter's story were worthy of more print.

"It's not always unhealthy to have competition," said Jonathan Broyles, Bullitt East High School's valedictorian.

"I understand wanting to honor more students and trying to take some of the controversy out of naming just one person, but it really pushed me," said Gentry Collins, this year's valedictorian at North Bullitt High School.

"It really pushed me?"

How, exactly, is that "unhealthy?" And how, exactly, does that keep schools from honoring those who did well without taking away the honor of being at the top?

What do you think?

No comments: