The New York Times today has an article about the rigorous application process New York City’s 8th graders go through to gain admittance to one of the cities better public high schools. It sounds, in short, terrible. And really sad for the poor children that are meant to live that way.
The first thing that struck me was the focus, already, on college. Parents are worried about which school to send their child to, based in large measure on what kind of colleges children from those schools eventually matriculate to.
Well — my take? If you really want your child to get into Harvard or Brown or NYU, move to Georgia. Better yet, move to Oklahoma. If your kid is smart, they’ll thrive wherever you send them, they’ll have access to Kaplan courses for their SATs and they’ll be a much more attractice candidate for any Ivy League or other top tier school. Why send them to a high school where they compete with 150 other people who want to attend the same colleges they do?
I complained when I moved to Georgia in the 7th grade, but reading about this girl preparing for her bat mitzvah and running all over town to sell her personality (frankly there isn’t much to sell about anyone at 13, but I digress) makes what I went through look like a piece of cake. And somehow, I managed to get back to the northeast for an excellent collegiate experience and snagged myself an Ivy Leaguer. The dream of so many young women!
I wonder how long this sort of thing can go on for — when will people wake up and realize that applications for pre school and high school are a wee bit silly. I suppose you get to say you when to the Lab School or the Millenium High School, or at best Bronx Science, but does it really matter?