Excellence in Education

Publication, Education, David Seymour

Executive Summary

• Educational excellence is something virtually every educator and school claim to aspire to.

• In Canada, there are many signs of this focus on educational excellence.

• At a time when the importance of spelling and grammar appears to be minimized in Canadian public schools, spelling bees have become increasingly popular.

• The recent CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee received a significant amount of media publicity.

• Science fairs are a long-standing tradition that gives students with a scientific bent the opportunity to explore a topic at a deeper level and present their findings to others.

• The Canadian Mathematical Society and the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing sponsor several challenging mathematics competitions for junior high
and high school students.

• Debate associations across the country hold provincial tournaments, and the top debaters
have the opportunity to compete at the National Debate Seminar.

• Because these types of competitions encourage educational excellence, it is surprising public schools do not place a greater emphasis on the merits of competition in education.

• Our province’s apparent acceptance of mediocrity needs to change and to be replaced by a willingness to take risks and to challenge students to perform to the very best
of their abilities.

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