|The United States has won more Nobel Prizes than any other country|
Last Monday the Chicago Tribune posted an editorial agreeing with a nationwide trend for high schools to eliminate class rankings and the position of valedictorian. I find this decision preposterous.
The editorial said, “The ranking system inherently promotes a culture of unnecessary competition in an environment that's already duly competitive and overly focused on test scores and grades.”
What makes this editorial so ludicrous is that it appeared the week after the closing ceremonies of the Olympics where all the articles were about competition and what athlete won what medal. I don’t understand why, if competition is encouraged for those with strong physical muscles, it is not encouraged for those with active brain muscles?
Why are children pushed to be competitive in the sports arena and not with academics? When that formerly athletic child is 40 years old with a flabby belly, won’t they wish they had exercised their brain and not their brawn?
I love standardized testing because it is a level playing field for everyone. In fact, I love tests so much, I still buy books with sample SAT questions to see if my most important muscle, my brain, is still functioning smartly.
I hate that people know the name Michael Phelps and don’t know the name Saul Perlmutter. Perlmutter is part of the team that won the Nobel Prize for physics in 2011.
Why is Perlmutter’s win so important? What his winning Laureate team discovered was probably what will be the final destiny of the Universe—the world will end in ice. According to a press release issued by the Nobel Committee announcing the win, “The team studied several dozen exploding stars, called supernovae, and discovered that the Universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. The discovery came as a complete surprise even to the Laureates themselves.”
If the world ends in ice, there will be no water for Michael Phelps to swim in.