Competition vs Excellence in Schools

One of my favourite commentators is back on his hobby horse again this morning. I am referring to Dr Kevin Donnelly’s piece Give academic excellence in state schools a sporting chance in The Age this morning.
Dr Donnelly opines that

“Competition and excellence in sport is acceptable; unfortunately, the same incentive for academically able students is sadly lacking [in Victoria].”

One of the consistent fallacies in Donelly’s diatribes is the equation of competition and excellence. (He also likes to measure excellence on a single measure – graded assessment – and deny the opportunity for excellence to all but a small percentage of students who fit the academic mould.)
Rather than promoting absolute excellence, competition in academic endeavour almost always discourages it.

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The Last Woman on Earth

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Thanks to Scribblingwoman for the link to this 1960 classic I had never heard of. You can even download the movie!
I’m looking forward to it.