Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Rise of the Testing Culture

The Rise of the Testing Culture - Washington Post

It is irrelevant whether we like testing or not. The real discussion is around the advancing nature of competition and when this competition actually begins, as compared to when some of us think competition ought to begin.

Babies and toddlers begin competing as soon as they are put into a group. This is natural. Little boys and girls compete for positions on their little league teams. They compete in piano recitals, school plays and ballet. They compete for parental attention, and the budding affections of friends. The truth is that life is about competition for scarce resources at any age; however those resources are defined by the beholder.

Competition, inasmuch as it reflects scarcity, and rigged though it may sometimes be, is still the only self-correcting manner by which societies distribute limited opportunity. All other means have failed and will continue to fail.

The reality is that competition, like capitalism, is a naturally occurring and spontaneous phenomena that we no more can control, through ideology, than we can control who our parents are, what maladies we will inherit, how tall or short we will be, or whether our individual talents will blossom to their fullest and be recognized.

Likes and dislikes aside, we should recognize that when competition is polluted by reservation ideology, in the case of race-based preferences or America's brand of IQ misapplication, it ceases to be advancing, and humanity, in effect, takes a big step in reverse.

James C. Collier


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