Thursday, March 21

Principal Cancels “Honors Night” punishes high achievement to preserve “equality”

Ipswich Middle School, in Massachusetts , has decided to get rid of Honors night”. Their reasoning? Because it “excludes” average kids. In a disturbing trend that appears to be sweeping the nation, more and more schools are doing away with any type of serious competition and rewarding mediocrity. The “Honors Night”  has always been held in the evening and only the kids who have excelled and their parents were invited. However, this year principal David Fabrizio, decided that it would be “devastating” to the kids with average grades. So instead he decided to cancel honor night, which has been a source of pride for many, and instead have an awards ceremony that includes the whole school.
celebrate mediocrity
He feels that since not every student gets the same level of academic and emotional support at home that the awards system is inherently unequal. Do you see how this logic is flawed. Instead of rewarding hard word and dedication, we instead punish those that have achieved academic superiority by cancelling their “night” that they worked for all school year. Instead we will have a feel good ceremony that celebrates mediocrity. People are inherently unequal in intelligence. It is a fact. Some are able to overcome the inequality by hard work, others are not. How about we ADD a celebration for people who are achieving their personal best, but without taking away the rewards for those who truly excel? How does this promote hard work?  How is this in any way preparing our children for the realities that face them upon graduation from high school and college? Do you think a potential employer or college will let them in because they want to be fair? Hell no, they are looking for the best that they can get. Discouraging competition is not only unrealistic but dangerous.
Many parent in the school district are furious, and some are just perplexed. Dave Morin, a parent of one of the students had this to say:” It’s been a tradition in Ipswich, and you’re very proud as a parent to go into that night and see your child, as well as some of the other children who made, really, some great efforts.”  Some of the parents even took  their frustration to the local news station. They gave copies of the email that was sent out and gave interviews to WFXT-TV. The principal tried to gloss over it by saying that it wasn’t canceled it was “changed” to be more inclusive.
This is the root problem with making everyone “equal”. It is unfair to those who work hard to be at the top. If the current system is unfair to those who are unable to achieve then the new system is unfair to those who are.  No one in school will work hard and study to be “equal”. They want to be the best, and to be recognized as such. This crushes individuality and achievement and teaches people to strive to be average. This is the root evil of a socialized school system.
True equality is a Utopian myth. We should celebrate our kids achievements yes. That is the parents job. If your child is not an A student celebrate what they CAN achieve. Don’t punish the gifted kids by taking away their ceremonies and awards. Should we do away with athletics as well? The Olympics is “unfair”. It makes people who are not world class athletes feel “left out”. When they do the selections have you seen those kids cry?  Of course they do. They fell short of a dream. It is “cruel”. Without lofty goals there is no reason to achieve. Competition drives success. If there was no competition there would be no innovation, no new products. Everyone wants to be the best. If the best is no longer recognized we are settling for less than we deserve.  We are creating a nation of idiots. The nation’s education system is becoming an object of ridicule.  We are failing on an international level. Countries that don’t reward excellence deserve the quiet oblivion they will eventually slide into.

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