Competition in Education
Overstressed, overworked, and sleep-deprived: these are the students of our education system. With schools becoming more competitive, students of the U.S. are working harder than ever to stand out in a crowd of standardized education. And now, the competition has expanded from across the country to across the world. There is an unspoken hostility between top students, as we begin to look around our classes and realize that these are our future career opponents. The best colleges will only accept the best students, and therefore, every student aspires to be “the best.” Nearly all high school students’ exhausting struggles revolve around Advanced Placement courses, credits, GPA scores, valedictorians, and honor roll. Margaret Talbot, in her article titled “Best in Class” discusses students’ uprisings over the title of valedictorian in their graduating classes and rivalries for the highest GPAs. Talbot’s article mentions that “Students at the top of their class… are often separated by one thousandth of a decimal point.” The level of difficulty in school has increased substantially, with many high schoolers now taking college courses before they graduate. This change in difficulty has made it harder to distinguish exactly who is deserving of the title of valedictorian. Talbot states that the overall mean of GPA has increased from 2.68 to 2.94, due to a combination of grade inflation and the fact that students are working harder. Competition arises between students as they strive to get straight A’s, join as many clubs as possible, aim for the highest SAT scores. To top it off, many students sue their schools and other possible candidates over the title of valedictorian. Though most forget about carrying the title when they leave high school, it is still an impressive component that will make one student stand out above the rest. And this is the appeal of it; if a student can say they are at the top of their class, they have more of a...
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