A big problem with America these days is the move away from competition for our children. Competition is what makes a nation strong. However, competition is almost non-existent for young kids growing up. Kids today have more pass / fail type classes; awards for participating and losing; less recess time and government regulations that restrict the type of competition games kids can play; and games where the score is not kept. This makes no sense, just like political correctness, we are so afraid of hurting a child’s feelings if they lose. This is nonsense. Life is a competition and there is nothing easy about life and learning to deal with adversity is a key component to shaping a good personality. And learning how to lose is one way we must learn how to deal with adversity. If you do not like losing then you need to work harder. That is the goal of competition – to force everyone to be better.
The government thinks they are improving education by setting a minimum set of standards for kids to pass. And the government pours billions into programs to help underachieving students meet these standards. Unfortunately, this form of education neglects other important aspects such as subjects other than reading, writing, science, and math. And most importantly, the educational system neglects advanced and or gifted students. The government spends no money to maximize the educational experience for advanced students. Hence, we have a bunch of average students who pass the minimum set of requirements and still a large percentage who still fail to meet these guidelines.
It is a harsh statement, but in my theory of the universe and the economy I believe that symmetry is the key to equilibrium. I believe this is the same for education – there are about the same number of advanced children as there are underachieving students. Unfortunately, our educational system fails to bring underachieving students up to passing levels and it fails to enhance the educational experience for advanced kids leaving them in mediocrity. The effect of this is that it skews our educational system Gaussian curve towards underachieving. One way to alleviate this is to spend more money on advanced kids and to increase competition within the school system. Competition is what forces children to excel. And educators will learn that gains in knowledge will be much easier in advanced children than with underachieving children.
Until we make some drastic changes in our educational system it will continue to fail not only underachieving students, but gifted ones as well. I am willing to bet that over half of all gifted students go through K-12 without ever being challenged or identified as gifted. This is why America is almost completely unable to produce anymore scientists or engineers and we have to rely on foreign born students to fill these voids. If we continue to let government bureaucrats run our school systems, the downward spiral will continue.