Excellence is now a word that turns many people off. We imagine the over-striving classmate sitting next to us, frantically redoing her entire paper before it's due because she misspelled a word and fears it's not perfect. We picture the student who gets upset with the 98% he just received, despite the rest of the class scoring 70% and below.
The idea of excellence has been shunned, and replaced with the more palatable sense of "satisfactory." You've witnessed the pushback against standards, and it reeks of something more dangerous than we admit.
By not upholding high standards, we give ourselves an easy excuse to take it easy and do just enough to get by. In fact, the idea of standards has become racist, sexist, homophobic, and whatever slam you want to lay on it. We've lowered… read more