“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
~ Henry Ford
ACCEPTING MEDIOCRACY IN ACADEMIA
Why has society lowered the ceiling of academic success? Why have our standards been lowered to ensure the graduation rate of our children? Are we not dumbing down our society if we lower our academic standards? Are we not developing a society of mediocracy? It is mediocracy that encourages a moderate and poor quality of performance. Are we not creating a society that just gets by with good enough. Good enough is unacceptable.
In many aspects of our society, we no longer encourage children to dream, to thrive, and to achieve; rather we have become a society of mediocracy and complacency. Furthermore, we rarely seek to inspire, to encourage, to positively influence, or to spark an internal flame. We have become a society that has given up; accepting the notion that “mediocracy” is acceptable. I have yet to meet a high achiever who has allowed mediocracy to be an acceptable standard for his/her life.
THE POLITICAL LOWERING OF ACADEMIC STANDARDS
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
~ Napoleon Hill
In the past, having served as a political strategist in Canada, and as a political aide to a representative in the United States; allowed me to peek my eyes through the window of politics. It was through this window that I began to recognize how very interconnected the political machine was on the academic world. It has been through my work in politics, that I have had an unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of political evolution of academia. I would never have dreamt that the political climate of our day, would make acceptable any standard short of being our best. Many years ago, the United States Army ran an ad that emphasized an ideological approach to “be all that you can be.” Are we encouraging children of this generation to be all that they can be? Or, are we encouraging children of this upcoming generation to simply be comfortable with a passing grade?
Rarely, do we consider the significance of our political system on the academic environment; but remember it is the political machine that funds the academic environment. If our funding is derived from the political machine, then is not the political beast responsible for our academic endeavors? Sadly, we give more thought to the latest stadium being erected than we do our children’s academic futures. Likewise, as a society, we seek to avoid pointing fingers in the direction of our politicians, because this would make those in charge of our taxes and funding responsible for the decay of the minds of our children. Now understand, I am not saying that the political beast is solely responsible for the demise of the academic environment, but I am saying that it is one cog in the wheel of decay. Nevertheless, if you are going to bring light to a dark environment, you must choose to shine the light on the environment you are in. Yet, we cannot forget that parents, teachers and the community at large are equally responsible for ensuring the success of our students. Raising a child is not a solo act; rather it does take a village to raise a child.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA