NINTCHDBPICT000416791681The function of schools is to educate and the function of education is to ensure that each pupil achieves full potential and not just academically.

Lists that short circuit or ignore that, and celebrate academic performance to the exclusion of all else, are not simply inaccurate. They are misleading. The education system of a democracy must aim to produce citizens with the qualities that a functioning, successful community needs.

Those young people who demonstrate leadership, judgment, courage, empathy, and tolerance and exercise them strategically, rationally and reasonably will be the beacons of their generation.

These qualities do not arrive wrapped in a degree scroll.

But the schools that seek to cultivate them in their pupils are building the community.

Whereas schools that reduce themselves to the denominator of degree fodder are doing themselves and society a disservice.

Joe O’Toole

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