College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. Get your free copy of the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook and get helpful advice on how to choose a college, get in, and pay for it: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM
One high school is not allowing kids to wear college apparel before May 1st so that students' admissions success isn't rubbed in anyone's face. I suppose the theory is that after May 1st, the kids are going to feel less disappointed because they've had time to process the news and chose a school for themselves? We saw some similar stories in past years where schools tried to prohibit obvious celebration of acceptances.
I suppose that in the interest in preserving a harmonious learning environment it makes some sense. But at the same time, there is a prevalent attitude now that our schools need to engage in social engineering to try to make life "fair" for all. They give awards to kids merely to boost their self esteem and they try in various ways to stifle the smart and talented so their less intelligent and less talented peers don't feel bad.
In my opinion, this is a presumptuous form of playing God and we mere mortals can never do it right. Through this rule, the school is essentially implying that there were kids who were equally deserving who didn't get accepted and they shouldn't be reminded of this terrible injustice while at school. Well, how do the teachers know who truly IS most deserving? And what is "deserving?" The CC mantra is that unless you've examined the applications side by side, you don't necessarily know what kids may do outside of school or how creative and well-written the essays were, and thus can't make any judgments. Furthermore, no one can see into the life of student and know exactly how hard he has worked compared to someone else. Maybe the lucky ones were actually just harder-working. And beyond that, there are all the other potential inequities of natural ability, innate intelligence, family resources and luck that make one child more successful than another. No one controlled for those things for 18 years, but now in senior year the school staff wants life to be fair?
My youngest is a recently declassified special education student with a below average IQ and poor social skills. She has worked extremely hard to compensate for a lot of disabilities. She is doing pretty well academically but has no friends. Only our family knows the details of her life's struggles--like how as a 7th grader she still sometimes has toileting accidents, how she still can't do many normal things like jump rope or comb her hair. Even we don't know what it's like to be her and have her processing difficulties. But there's one thing she's pretty good at: running. She wasn't always good at it. She couldn't even walk normally when she was 5 years old, much less run. She had to learn the mechanics of running that other kids just do naturally. Long story short, she has worked very hard at her sport. It is her main EC. She runs on her own and does core exercises in the off season and on days off from school.
Well, today at her track practice the coach told her she was "too good." From now on, despite being the best distance runner on her team, she will only do one event at each meet. The slower girls will contine to do two. Why? Her teammates are trying to beat her and can't. A few are whining to the coach about it. So he has decided to take my D out of her races so the other girls can have a chance to win them. Now these girls are normal. In fact, they are above normal--cute, smart, popular, and are the second-best runners on the team. In all likelihood, they have more talent than my D and certainly more strategic ability, but she has put in more mileage. Eventually, they will beat her. In sum, they are rich in many ways, whereas my D is not. If you only see the bare bones of the story, you might agree with the coach's decision. But from my vantage point it is anything but fair. These are the sort of things which happen when people try to play God and make things "fair."