In a stint as a field day volunteer at my children’s elementary school, I was assigned parachute play in which children held the edges of a giant colorful canvas and then ran under the chute.
A little boy who had already conquered the potato sack races, relays and hurdles eyed the parachute game with skepticism before asking, “How do you win?”
When I explained that the goal wasn’t to win but to have fun, he complained, “It’s not fun if there’s no winner.”
That seems to be a prevailing attitude in public education where we have always ranked students, and now, in the new age of accountability, rank teachers and schools. Teachers in Georgia are about to earn effective or ineffective rankings, as part of the state’s Race to the Top grant.
Colleges have a long history of public rankings and, concomitantly, of inflating their credentials to rise higher in those rankings.
But there is probably no ranking more controversial than class rankings, which is why many