A spirited valedictory speech condemning the factory-model education system.
It's easy to be critical of a system that appears to be designed to turn people into unquestioning drones who will contentedly perform some mindless task in a vast industrial machine. But what alternative is there? There is a lot of talk about how project-based learning can inspire students to be creative and develop passion for learning. In practice, group project work is usually done by one or two of the most motivated students in the group, who usually detest having to carry the dead weight of the lazier group members.
A competitive education system provides avenues for the most capable students to reach their full academic potential, and it identifies the teachers who are most skilled at motivating students to perform the hard work needed to succeed at any endeavor. Of course such a system is rewarding only for the most intelligent tier of the population. A good educational system also needs to have built into it streams that enable the less capable students to achieve their potential.
The economic masters of the world, the Chinese, have a brutally competitive education system. Compared to North American students, Chinese students have a much stronger work ethic, and they are years ahead in most subject areas. North American educators spend a lot of time talking about making learning enjoyable for the students, but the graduates of any learning system designed to be enjoyable are likely to be hopelessly unprepared to compete with Chinese students at the university level and in the real world of employment.