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The other side of high achievement

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Replies to: The other side of high achievement

  • dadxdadx 2643 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It was validation for him and his mother since he was not picked for the enrichment program in his elementary school.

    Apparently Sonya Sotomayer had a similar experience when she got her scores in high school, and had a discussion with one of her instructors, who wondered why there seemed to be a difference between the classroom and her scores. She told him that the test simply asked her to produce the right answer instead of a "satisfactory" explanation of how she got it, and a list of alternative methods to do the same thing.

    I like the tests as an analytical tool, but if you let people know how much better you score than they do, some of them will begin to find ways to undermine you. Decades ago when I was in school, the stakes weren't as high, but we still had a couple of kids who didn't like that I could get more right answers faster than they could.

    In today's high stakes admissions environment, letting people know that your child can put up 800's doesn't make you a lot of friends.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29422 replies58 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Y'all don't have enough on your minds or have great brain capacities. I have no idea what my kids scores are on anything. I have to look it up. So if someone asks, I say I don't know, and if they ask my son he says the same. I think the only kid who knew his scores in this family, they didn't really matter as they were so midstream. My one son with the near perfect scores was such an outlier in doing so, that no one bothered to ask him as he wasn't one of the top kids in the school.

    Here in the NY area, there are kids that perfect or near to it even in middle school, enough of them that a 30 wouldn't get any reaction, by the way.
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  • gandalf78gandalf78 1843 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "So my question is, do you share your child's academic success?"

    My answer is, No. Keep it to yourself, and don't let it go outside the family. I know way too many people (including some in my extended family) who throw that kind of thing out there, just so they will get a metaphorical pat on the head ("Oh, what a GOOD boy/girl you are!").

    The Duke TIP is an evaluation tool, nothing more, so keep it in perspective.
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  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8928 replies334 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Someone asked me my son's SAT score recently. What she really wanted to know was if her son's score is competitive for the schools he's interested in, so I explained what the common data set is and how to find it, how to run net price calculators, and as many of the other details I've learned from CC as I could remember. She didn't need my son's score and it's not mine to give anyway.

    Parents can share scores if they want, but I sometimes wonder what effect sharing the high scores of child #1 has on younger siblings. Does it cause added stress to perform? Suppose they don't score as well; are parents going to share those scores? That could be potentially embarrassing for the student either way. That's not a position I'd want to be in.
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  • mcat2mcat2 5871 replies115 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No. Keep it to yourself, and don't let it go outside the family.
    Will any of you advise that we even do not share it on a virtual online community like College Confidential (CC).

    I could not "brag" to the child's grandparents (this topic is a totally different one.) When I occasionally "brag" it on CC, my wife advises me not to do so here on CC!

    Another CCer once posted that after he has posted like 5000+ posts, he has very little secret left. I think the only solution is not to visit CC as a poster or as a lurker only in order to keep your "secret"!

    DS did not participate Duke TIP. SAT was not on our family's radar screen until the time to take it before college application. We did pay attention to his academics closely when he was growing up - by providing him lots of learning material. His record in academics was/is very good -- I am bragging on CC again here :)
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  • missbwith2boysmissbwith2boys 582 replies22 threadsRegistered User Member
    I'm happy to share my kids' scores...



    ...in the anonymity of a message board. In real life, my kids attend a small (~250 kids?) high school. Many of their classmates came up through the district's equally small k-8 school. Their classmates know which kids are super smart.

    I do think it is important to instill a sense of modesty, if for no other reason than there will always be someone more brilliant than you in life. My kids stand out quietly, and on their own merits. It may make me quite thrilled when they get excellent scores but really that's not my achievement. It's always theirs. Unless asked specifically I do not share IRL.
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  • gandalf78gandalf78 1843 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ There is a difference in bragging face-to-face to people whom you know (and expect a reaction from) and posting something here, where anonymity among the posters maintains a level of privacy and where you may or may not get a reaction from another poster.
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  • gouf78gouf78 7787 replies23 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "He was so upset he cried..."
    Here's my two cents...there will always be someone out there better than you. In something--everyone has different talents. I was a smart kid and best in my class until I got to college with all the other smart kids who were best in their class too. Just a fact of life.
    I wouldn't "brag" (if you want to call it that) to anyone outside my immediate family. But the score was newsworthy and news travels. So congrats to your D on doing so well! I'd be bursting to tell everyone! But stay classy (which I'm sure you already are) and just say "she did very well and we're proud of her" if anyone else wants more details.

    But if she had won first prize at an art show--nobody here would be blinking an eye if you crowed it to the moon.
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  • greenbuttongreenbutton 2669 replies120 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    No, we don't share. And I have never had anyone ask so specifically that "He's happy with the results" wasn't good enough. Not only that, but for the 900 standardized state tests, we didn't let our kids see their own results. I filed them, and if they asked I said the tests tell us what we already know: they are good at x and better at Y, and on that particular day they answered some questions; this family isn't buying into the corporate edubusiness by allowing those particular tests into the self-image process. SATS/ACTs, of course, that has to be different.

    In my experience, parents overshare accomplishment details, in general, and with that goes the sense that their snowflake is more than just smart/fortunate/hardworking, they are clearly More Deserving Than Yours and it's Because We Are Great Parents. There's a line between pride and insensitive bragging, and many parents are gaily dancing across it.
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  • turtletimeturtletime 1245 replies12 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh gosh, no. We learned that lesson early. My eldest is a high-achiever. Won her first national writing contest and took us all to New York at 5. The response from "friends" and classroom parents was pretty ugly. After that, we kept mum over her achievements. People know she is smart and different but only a tiny handful want to hear anything but her faults (and even that handful doesn't want to hear it ALL.) She took the SAT at age 11 for a talent search and tested very high but we didn't tell anyone. Which was good because when she took the ACT and SAT at 16 for college... her scores were very strong but not perfect... and she was totally fine with them not being perfect. Seemed she could win anything those early years but started to find academic competition empty and by high school, avoided them at all costs... had some pretty weighty adult world accomplishments but none of those big-ticket college app "wins" for her resume. She's not even valedictorian due to an emotionally difficult Sophomore year. She didn't pursue the Ivy Leagues and is going to a respected college that is an excellent fit for her (and gave her a ton of money) but you can see the "let down" in some faces when she tells them where she is going. She's really happy though... and healthy... and remains a passionate learner.

    The very worst thing to do to your kid is help them feel like their "glory days" are behind them by making too big a deal of younger accomplishments. Your D got a really great score on the ACT but is it something she really worked for or is it something she just is? She's smart. She's good at testing. When it comes to sharing, point out the things that are hard for her and that she actually had to work to accomplish.
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  • wis75wis75 14059 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    First- congrats to your child for doing so well.

    Comments on some posts. First, the SAT and ACT ARE measures of academic success, especially when a child does not study for them. It takes extra knowledge and skills to score at the very top.

    Choosing to take the talent search tests is an excellent idea for middle schoolers who may be gifted and to identify where they are among gifted students. This matters in planning the child's academic program within the school. The Midwest Talent Search in our area (run through Northwestern) included a very good what to do/expect with scores sheet along with the 5th grade EXPLORE test results. This was useful in knowing which kids likely should be accelerated (ours fit the profile of those who should if he had been the grade behind instead of already being so) and other useful information for dealing with things that can be done by the school. Interestingly we convinced my OOS SIL to have her child take the test in the same grade (older than our son, also our school district actively encouraged this and other GT things while theirs did not) and both got the same total score, with different subtest scores. Son took the ACT and the SAT once each in different middle school grades. These qualified him for summer programs and he even went to the regional high scorers event and got to hear a Nobel laureate physicist speak (fun speech). Someone else I know had her gifted twins (only plain letter grades in the district- the boy would have had A-, the girl A+ grades instead of both A's) take the tests multiple times- a waste in my opinion.

    As to not showing off/telling others. It is hard to have a child whose abilities are far above his peer group. Even parents of the hard working bright students who may even have better grades likely won't comprehend the ability level. The kids know even without grades. They know when a peer thinks at a higher level, knows more, problem solves faster/better. When son was in third grade he was in a mixed 3/4 grade class (before that he was in a 1-2-3 class for two years, his 3rd year his public elementary school numbers had the numbers to fill a mixed 3-4 class of around 20, the usual numbers in a class). His best friend there was a 4th grader. By the end of that school year it was determined he should go to 5th, not 4th, grade the following year. We kept it secret, I only told the best friend's mother who also kept quiet. The teacher gave out report cards a day early. The next, and last, day of school parent volunteers came for the last day of school class party. A classmate came up to me and excitedly asked- "Did you know ---- was going to be a FIFTH grader next year?" Of course I knew as the school, son and parents had discussed this. I had told son NOT to tell. It turns out he didn't- the boy at the desk next to his looked over at son's bottom of the report card where the next year's grade was written and spread the news. The great thing was that his classmates were happy/excited for him.

    Another incident a bit before that. The four neighborhood boys who were within 12 months of each other in age and in two grades were in the same multigrade class. One boy was there instead of his parochial school that year because he needed more than two special educational services (the district was willing to send one or two teacher specialists to private schools). We were chatting and she told me that despite his reading difficulty he had been tested and his IQ was 120. Ordinarily that would have been an impressive number compared to the population but I knew my son's was a lot higher and that the other two boys likely had at least that high a number if they were tested. We were lucky for son to have a group of high ability boys to play with at a young age. You may not think it makes much difference but if you listened to their imaginations at work while playing you could see it.

    Very long post. OP- it is hard to want to share but know others won't understand or relate to you in this. For me it was good that at the time they had a parent GT advisory group which included gifted parents at all grades who were helping the district improve its program so I could be among those in the same boat. You can't worry about anyone else's sour grapes or inability to handle your child's abilities.

    btw- son also has perfect SAT bragging rights (that's all they're good for). There's another story there.

    edited May 2014
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  • gandalf78gandalf78 1843 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    ^ If you mean that "the SAT and ACT ARE measures of potential for academic success," then I might be more inclined to agree with you. They are not guarantors of academic success; that is a function of a number of things, including motivation and work ethic, not simply raw intellect.
    edited May 2014
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  • HoggirlHoggirl 1708 replies197 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I asked my ds what his wishes were. He did not want me to "tell" his test scores, but he did not mind if I shared when asked directly. That's the thing. Some folks will ask directly - VERY directly. Usually I try to deflect by saying, "He was pleased with his scores," or something similar, but often people will push. That's why I had asked ds what he would prefer me to do in that kind of situation. I really don't get it. As another poster pointed out, to me asking something like that is akin to asking someone's weight or how much money they make. Pretty inappropriate.

    I never posted ds's scores on FB, though I had friends who did. I did, however, post college acceptances on there.
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  • LizardlyLizardly 2506 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some really thoughtful posts. I especially like the one about not making too big a deal about this so as not to create too much anxiety and too high expectations. She should feel free to try new things, including things she isn't good at, and to fail. I also like the post about finding her peers.

    She is strong in this area and that is great. Don't neglect her development in other realms.
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  • Irishmomof2Irishmomof2 945 replies18 threadsRegistered User Member
    I don't think anyone who shares academic success stories about their children is doing so to make other kids feel bad, and I think a kid who feels bad because of someone else's success may not have found the right kind of motivation to find their own success.
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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1872 replies11 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    D definitely likes to take the under-the-radar approach, too. She's shy and stutters, so some people are surprised that she's smart, too. She's also sly enough to use that to her advantage sometimes.
    edited May 2014
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8963 replies79 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This avoidance phrase works if you don't want to share exact stellar score (and risk parents being less pleased with their own kids high score - "we were very pleased with his scores".
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  • compmomcompmom 10762 replies76 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I tried not to know too much about academic grades, test scores etc. Maybe that is a little strange, but I grew up with a lot of pressure on those accounts and didn't want my kids to have the same experience. I tried to focus on learning, and on values like hard work, honestly etc. Some really bright kids don't score well anyway. Things can change during high school and you are laying the foundation now. I would say try to avoid focusing on such things and just talk about what truly, authentically interests your daughter, regardless of how good she might be or not be at it.
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  • HImomHImom 34315 replies391 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In HS, the teachers KNEW what S's scores were (believe it was on the transcript or in the kid's school record that the teachers had access to) and the English teachers penalized him because they didn't feel his creative writing comported with his exceptional SAT scores. To me, that just showed that the teacher had no idea that just because a person could READ well and had an excellent vocabulary, doesn't mean they are CREATIVE WRITERS. (Needless to say, S hated the course).

    D had no choice about her score--it was announced at the large GED graduation ceremony--it was the only one in the state and nation that was perfect 4000 out of 4000 possible points. She refused to be interviewed or cooperate in having her story in the newspaper.

    Our kids' HS prints the names of all kids who are NMSFs and NMFs in the school newspaper and sends a press release to the local newspaper, so it's tough to hide that information. If you're NOT a NMF or NMSF, you have a better chance of escaping notice.

    There is also an award ceremony in our state for kids who do well in the talent search, and they submit a press release, so if your kid earns a top score it is in the local newspaper that circulates throughout our city as well.
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  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo 1970 replies31 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Op,
    I am a parent of kids with very high scoring standardized test scores. Most other parents will not ask what ur kid's score was because it's akin to asking someone their weight or income.

    However, it's harder for the kids because other kids usually do not feel uncomfortable asking about each other's scores. It's probably better to teach your kid to say that she scored "pretty well" and leave it at that. Score talk at school will increase the gossip and competitiveness.

    As for wanting to brag, I think that this is perfectly reasonable desire and cc is a great place to do so. I think that it is awesome that your D got a 30 on her 8th grade ACT!!
    edited May 2014
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