Our current educational initiatives, NCLB and Race to the Top, are competitive models that reward victory and punish defeat. In order to win the Race to the Top we have to hope or plan that our fellow students and teachers as well as our neighboring states and schools, will fail. Race to the Top therefore insures that we will be a nation of losers and that we will be pitted against our fellow citizens.
We must engender a more cooperative spirit, one that does not endorse an 'us vs. them' mentality in which it is believed that the 'them' are taking away from the 'us'. We need to reframe our educational philosophy into a model that values each student for his or her individuality and uniqueness, that prepares the student with confidence and pride for the worlds of social and civic work, and for the personal and professional relationships they will enter upon graduation. We need to value the whole child and address key issues that influence our ability to find happiness in accordance with the essence of what it means to be human: satisfying interpersonal relationships, satisfaction in work commensurate with our interests and skills, and satisfying participation in our civic and political spheres, in other words, to achieve the highest standards of intellectual, social, emotional, physical and spiritual health.
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