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The Marathon

June 12, 2008

People get very uncomfortable with the idea of students getting ahead of others through the use of acceleration. It is seen as an unfair advantage for gifted students. As if the whole process of education is in some way a race, with only winners being the ones across the finish line first.

Look at it in terms of a marathon. How many people run in the Boston Marathon? Thousands. How many of those thousands believe that they have the slightest chance of winning? Eight? Fifteen at the most? What on earth are those other thousands even doing there then? What do they gain by being part of such a hopeless venture?

The value for them is in the process, being a part of the event, as each individual challenges him- or herself to a high standard, gaining in confidence and ability through training and improvement.

The speed and success of the winners IN NO WAY diminish the accomplishments of the other runners, or the value of what they gain by participating. Is it valid to recognize the success of the winners? Absolutely! They deserve our admiration and applause. Seldom does high achievement come without hard work and dedication coupled with talent. By valuing excellence, society as a whole benefits.

Source: Hoagies Gifted Education

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