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Competition is part of life

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

I have read with interest the recent article about local schools not posting the grade point rankings of the students and then the letter to the editor about the unfairness of “awarding perfect attendance.” Frankly, I am concerned.

Our culture in America seems to be going the way of rewarding mediocrity and shunning competition.

First, let me say that I am sorry that the daughter of the letter writer has a condition that prevents her from getting perfect attendance. But I don’t think that her misfortune should keep the rest of the students from having a small motivation to attend school regularly.

I really doubt that many kids are so motivated by this small gesture that their parents will send them to school with anything more serious than a cold. Shouldn’t there be motivation to eat well, get plenty of sleep, and do what we can to try to stay healthy and get to school?

Along those lines, shouldn’t there be motivation to do well in school and do better than your peers? For years, the college prep courses were weighted more heavily at Sterling High School to represent the higher difficulty of those classes.

I remember specifically competing to do better than my peers to have a shot at being valedictorian at graduation.

Was the system perfect or even perfectly fair? Probably not. Welcome to life.

If it is now becoming taboo to compete in school, and we aren’t going to keep score at our kids’ baseball games, then how do we expect these kids to know how to compete when they hit working age?

Not everyone can win. Not everyone will get a trophy. But competition helps us all do better at what we do. Let’s not stop competing.

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