If you are one of those good Americans who is concerned that the educational standards of today are lower than those of yesteryear, let me present Exhibit A to the contrary.
Yes. That is my name, along with the words “Outstanding Academic Achievement” (and the signatures of William Bennett and Ronald Reagan so you know this is tots legit). The fact that yours truly received an award for academic achievement at some point in the 1980s, is as good an argument for some sort of parallel universe as any. It’s possible that the words “outstanding” or “academic” or “achievement” meant something different in the 1980’s than they do now, but I don’t remember any sort of definitional shift in the past decades. The most logical explanation is that kids are smarter now than they were back in the day. Occam’s Razor and all that. So feel better America. If this trend continues, today’s academic achievers will be tomorrow’s knot heads. Hmmm. I wonder if the corollary is that today’s knot heads will be tomorrow’s raving idiots. I can’t wait. (Yes friends and family, it could be argued that tomorrow may already be here.)