Excellence, by today's standards, is the standard. Look around at society; people push themselves to the highest level. The standards rise, which in turn makes the level of excellence rise. What would happen if today's society happened to be place in the same situations as twenty year ago? Because excellence's measures are compared to what we consider standard, how can one possibly compare the two? Knowledgeable excellence might go up while excellence in a family's moral and value takes a plummet.
Schools today offer more classes to help students excel in any job or task that they want. Students are now able to push themselves or slide by with no real attention given to the student at all. A student twenty years ago takes a normal physics test and receives a 92%; this would be the case standard. Now a student two days ago takes the same normal physics test and receives an 84%, today's standard. Does this indicate that the excellence in the school and teaching went down, or does it mean that the same 92%