Does any town have a city limits sign that Says “Home of 7 National Merit Scholars?”


I find it strange that the Des Moines Iowa Schools would organize and hold an awards banquet and award prizes and give accolades at that banquet in every activity area but academics. Certainly there was a Scholar-Athlete Award listed as one of the awards given but I must wonder does one have to be an athlete to receive an award for scholarship. Aren’t all students supposed to be scholars not just athletes? Isn’t this Scholar/athlete award more than a little demeaning to athletes in general, inferring that scholarly athletes are so rare that when one is found they must receive a special award? Where were the National Merit Scholars/Finalists, the kids with a perfect score on the ACTs, Academic decathlon medalists, History Day Winners, as well as the champions of numerous science and math competitions at this banquet?

The failure to reward their skills at this ceremony is an indictment of where our real priorities lie and illustrates the differences between academic action and chin music. I would guess that if our academic activity winners/leaders had been invited to this celebration they would most probably have been found sitting on folding chairs around an old card table at the back of the hall and on the last page of the program.

Perhaps if we took the time to remember what the purpose of our schools is, our efforts to improve them might produce some sweeter fruit.

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
This entry was posted in Academic Competition, education, Education Reform, teaching, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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