Congratulations to all the high school students who are about to graduate, especially those of you who have worked hard to excel and score high on your SAT test. Getting a high score on this test, along with personal satisfaction, will open a lot of doors for you as far as being admitted to the college of your choice.

I see where there is a movement to change the scoring for the SAT by giving disadvantaged students extra points. If you were raised by a single parent, come from a poor family, are a member of an ethnic minority, etc., you would be awarded extra points. In my opinion this degrades the credibility of the score. Adding points doesn’t make a student smarter. It seems to me this artificial score will now qualify unqualified students to enter colleges they are not equipped to succeed in. Adding arbitrary points to someone’s SAT score doesn’t raise their IQ or expand their knowledge to a point where they will be successful. To handle this problem they will probably lower the standards of the colleges thereby diminishing the value of a degree and the value of the graduate to employers.

There was a time when only the winners got the trophy and the winners were the ones who put in the time and effort to win. Other than personal satisfaction, what reason is there for a kid to try hard and work on skills to excel when the laziest and most useless kids get the same participation trophy. I know what it is like to not win and it isn’t good but that is the reason to practice or study and get better at what you are doing. Why work at something if there is no greater reward than what every other entry is going to receive. There should be some incentive to try. Somehow participation trophies seem pretty socialistic and don’t prepare a kid for real life. In fact it is going to make their adult lives tougher.

There is a high school in central Oregon where things appear to be decaying. In most sports they don’t choose an MVP for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. This year the football coaches weakened and allowed it but chose three MVPs thereby diluting the value of the award. The administration also decided to have the teachers pick the class presidents and select the student council. That should teach the kids something about the election process. Rather than reward the valedictorian with the privilege of giving the graduation speech the administration chose a student they deemed more closely represented the class. A valedictorian shouldn’t represent the class average, a valedictorian has tried and excelled and should be rewarded for the time and effort that was necessary to achieve that title. The school mission statement might as well be “Striving for Mediocrity.”

Here’s a bulletin for any students who are satisfied with a participation trophy or having points added to their SAT. When school is over and you are out in the old cold world, the ones who tried and excelled are the ones who make the big money and have a good life. They are the ones employers really want because they are the ones that make companies succeed. Because they don’t struggle financially at a job they hate they have cause to be happier and more content.

Any way, I am proud of the students in this county and all the organizations that provide much needed scholarships for them. On a different note, have any of you noticed the happy flagger where the road work is being done on the Minam grade? She waves and smiles at every car that passes. It kind of makes your day a little better seeing someone that happy and nice. Her name is Lisa.

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