competing our way to change?

Good catch over at the PURE blog with his refutation of the language used by Department of Education and its chief Arne Duncan:

“If Dr. King were here today, he would call on a new generation of leaders to build upon his work by doing the most important thing each of you can do: get an education, learn to think, learn to compete, and learn to win.”
Compete? and win?
Which of Dr. King's letters, sermons, or speeches do you think Duncan got that quote from?
None, of course. 
Dr. King preached non-violence, which is an antithesis of competition. 
Holley Hewitt Ulbrich put it well
"Nonviolence is more than the absence of violence. It’s not passive. It’s a way of life, a conscious refusal to rise to the bait, an attitude toward the other person, the other party, the other country. It’s hard work. It’s going the second mile, not seeking revenge, not an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. Nonviolence begins in attitude. ... Nonviolence calls for an attitude of collaboration, of partnership, of acknowledgement of our shared humanity, shared interests, shared desires, rather than competition, right/wrong, win/lose, conquest/defeat.
The competition language used in our nation's capital is out of sync with the goal of a public social service like the schools, supported by all parents and for all children.  Does anyone really think that if every single child got straight A's and perfect SATs, there would be jobs for all of them?  "The founder of Peasant Economics, Teodor Shandin, points out that 'the modern formal economy needs only about a quarter of the global workforce." (Quote from  Depletion and Abundance by Sharon Astyk.)



Is that really the answer? Do you really want to just try harder?  Are we really going to out compete China where the top 25% of the population with high IQs is greater than the total population of North America?  








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