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December 03, 2007

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And exactly how is it surprising that very expensive private schools with highly selective admissions send so many of their graduates to top colleges?

"What other point of high school is there besides getting your kid into a top college, so he can then get into a top career track?"

Especially if you're paying $30,000 in tuition per year. Jesus. It seems like essentially the fee for spending four years training children to get into "select" schools.

I of course consider all all these lists a big joke (they're all arbitrary and bogus). Of course I consider the entire education system in America a big joke, so there goes my context. :)

Hmmm why do I want my kid to go to Pomona!? Or Williams or Swarthmore?

The presumption is that we value all these schools.

Did anyone notice that the cheapest private school in the U.S. that is on the list costs at least $18,000. So much for all of those advocates who keep claiming that money has nothing to do with it.

The Washington Post had an article that Thomas Jefferson had more Harvard, Princeton, Yale Admissions than any of the DC private schools.

The reason that the public schools on that list never show up in the "best schools" lists like WaPo's is that they're also very selective.

I went to a school like IMSA (on the list), and it was harder to get into than Chapel Hill or Duke. NCSSM (my school) doesn't show up on those lists because pretty much everybody there goes to an NC school on lots & lots of scholarships. It used to be that if you went to NCSSM, you could go to one of the UNC schools tuition-free. I ended up on 2 full scholarships, and being paid to go to NCSU. Pretty sweet deal, and I doubt I missed much from not going to an Ivy.

The WSJ ranking does *nothing* to control for the abilities of the students *entering* the high schools or for parental attitudes, in particular how willing the parents are to pay the costs of an Ivy League school. If you are a parent of a bright kid and you want him to go to Harvard, it is not clear to me that sending him to one of these schools will increase his chances if the alternative is to send him to a good public high school.

Hmmm why do I want my kid to go to Pomona!? Or Williams or Swarthmore?

The WSJ people seem to have selected eight highly regarded colleges, some large and some small. My main quibble is that six of the eight are from the East Coast. There's only one from the Midwest (Chicago) and one from the West (Pomona).

If success is the criteria (versus knowledge), shouldn't we actually be measuring the salaries of graduates? (From a governmental perspective, a better measurement would be tax receipts generated by an individual, regardless of actual salary.)

I am happy to find that the crappy public high school

Dude, that was not a crappy public high school, but a school that churns out Intel Science winners like its water. Some of us wish we could go to schools as good as that "crappy" school, or the liberal arts version of that school.

All of HSs posts imply that he has a giant chip on his shoulder.

He's even attacked "optimism".

I think that HS, however, has some tremendous insights. I challenge him to find an insight which reveals an opportunity as opposed to a lament. I think everyone would be better for it.

I am happy to find that the crappy public high school

I am an alum of Evergreen Park Community High School on Chicago's southside, and I was not surprised to see my school not on the list.

Our most famous alum?

Ted Kaczynski: The Unabomber.

My main quibble is that six of the eight are from the East Coast. There's only one from the Midwest (Chicago) and one from the West (Pomona).
It's the NYT, man.

Pretty sweet deal, and I doubt I missed much from not going to an Ivy.
For where you grew up and where you likely wanted to be, you're right. You might have had a hard time getting a job with a Wall Street firm, though.

You do have to consider the alternatives open to the individual family, though. If you compare Stuy to Phillips Exeter, no duh. But for most parents, the alternative to Stuy is the NYC public school system, and that is no contest. Given the lack of wealthy, connected parents at Stuy, I think they do pretty well.

They leave out six of the Ivies, so those 'success rates' are actually even higher. I would drop Pomona though.

My HS didn't have any famous alumnus. Just some unknown guy who coached a team in the upper midwest and has a championship named after him, and some retard who won four world series as the manager of a local baseball club. Allegedly, also, the local non-gay, non-Jew, weatherman of a local ABC affiliate and some Asian female reporter at a national morning news show and reality TV show are allegedly graduates of my HS as well.

I think that HS, however, has some tremendous insights. I challenge him to find an insight which reveals an opportunity as opposed to a lament. I think everyone would be better for it.

WTH? Is this the russ who normally comments here, or is it some self-righteous poser going through marriage counseling?

I dumped more than one useless sap for saying stuff like that.

This is the same Russ that posts now and then.

Spungen, as I recall you're a fellow attorney so I'm not surprised by your cynicism.

I am concerned about HS. He's constantly fleeing from one career to another. If I had HS's income, insight, skill set, and freedom from responsibility I would be taking advantage of my insights.

I think HS should do something like take advantage of his recognition that "No Child Left Behind" is hopeless. Maybe build a computer program that is "ethnically targeted" to teach math and sell it to school districts, explaining legally how they must comply with arcane federal code.

Instead, HS is, in my opinion, always a day late and a dollar short. Getting into professions just before their precipitous drop.

HS can do better.

Nine out of ten of the top ten high schools on the list are in the south. I guess high schools in the north all suck.

David Alexander says:
"Dude, that was not a crappy public high school, but a school that churns out Intel Science winners like its water. "

I need to introduce you to the concept of false humility. :)

What other point of high school is there besides getting your kid into a top college, so he can then get into a top career track?

Yes, what could possibly be gained by introducing a young mind to the joy of knowledge and its discovery?

"Nine out of ten of the top ten high schools on the list are in the south. I guess high schools in the north all suck."

I went to the top school on the 2005 WaPo list, in Birmingham, Alabama. It used to be a straight up high IQ magnet school, cutoff around 130. I imagine it was a crypto-racist thing at one point, because it was pretty much the only way to be borderline lower middle class in Birmingham and go to a white and East/South Asian school in the '70s and '80s (although we could do extracurriculars with a nearby 50/50 white-black high school). They've gone diversity commissar now, though, and they've gone downhill by most non-fakeable metrics so they're playing around with this propaganda from the AP and IB marketing people.

They're also probably in an informal competition with a rival Alabama public magnet school that's also in the WaPo top 10 to see who can juke their IB/AP stats more.

Top schools are trying hard to get smart kids from minorities interested in them. That's exactly what you need to do: get the smartest African-American in your school, so that you don't lower the education level and you can also brag about how diverse your school is. :) At university level, it works well for Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc.

I am also proud to note that the public school which I attended (Baltimore Polytechnic) also made the list, albeit at the low end, and actually outperformed some fancy private schools with tuition in the mid-upper $20's. Not bad for free.

Well, unlike the USN&WR College ranking, at least in this case the outcome measure is reasonable. I'm just sceptical of not having any input measure. Who is the target audience of this ranking? Presumably future HS kid parents - who are stuck with a kid with certain ethnic makeup, IQ and diligence and pretty much also with a certain income. What would the list look like if these parameters had been taken into account? If you are a white kid with IQ 110 and willing to work hard, where do you head of to maximize future income? Who knows, maybe it is easier to earn better grades and gain better confidence in a school with kids at or slightly below your intelligence and social level? To the extent the SAT is an IQ test, it is hard to see what else the school could really do for you - offer resume-building extracurricular activities or maybe plastic surgery to make your appearance more appealing to admissions officers?

Yeah, sure, Stuyvesant is crappy. That's why my top college was filled with their graduates. My high school had an average SAT 300 points lower, and I don't even consider THAT crappy. My guess is that Stuyvesant and other urban magnet schools are filled with Asians and Jews, whereas the expensive private schools are more WASPy.

Spungen, I think what Russ said was right on. What's the problem with what he said?

Who knows, maybe it is easier to earn better grades and gain better confidence in a school with kids at or slightly below your intelligence and social level?

Nothing wrong with being a big fish is a smaller pond. Not only do you have better grades but a higher class standing. Thank God I'm out of HS and college. I can't imagine what the arms race must be like these days. What a pressure cooker. If I were these kids, I'd probably go run off and join the army or French Foreign Legion.

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