Average grades have increased at America’s high schools every year since 1991 despite the fact that ACT scores have remained flat, reports economist Mark Perry.

Maybe this is good. Maybe we will all feel better about ourselves now that we think we are smarter than we really are. Self-esteem, after all, is one of the more important goals of our public education system. The only problem is that it is hard to tell the difference between self esteem and self delusion.

What I want all of you to do now is to write a comparison/contrast paper between these two things: self esteem and self delusion. You will all automatically get an “A”, of course, since we don’t want to damage anyone’s self worth.

originally published July 2011

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