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The other side of high achievement

EarlVanDornEarlVanDorn 1196 replies87 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,283 Senior Member
I just thought I would share a story and invite comments. I'm not sure what the moral is.

My daughter participated in Duke TIP last year in seventh grade and made a 27. In April of this year she took the ACT again and made a 30. She decided to take the ACT in my hometown, about 30 miles away, at the little private school where I graduated and where she attended K-3 through kindergarten, just because it was a little less threatening to her. So I guess this put her slightly on the radar for these kids.

Anyway, my wife was visited with a good friend who told her that all of the kids in the school had heard about my daughter making a 30. I'm sure I told a good friend of mine who has daughters attend my hometown school. My wife's friend said her son participated in Duke TIP and made a 17, and when he heard my daughter had made a 30 (as an eighth-grader) he was so upset he cried because his score was so low.

Now 17 isn't the greatest 7th grade score in the world, but it's not awful, either. It's roughly the 35th percentile of Duke TIPsters. But that group is made up of kids in roughly the top 7.5 percent. So a 17 on the ACT in the seventh grade puts one at about the 95th percentile nationally, which is not a bad place to be.

I have to say, when my kids got their Duke TIP scores I was Mr. Cockle-Doodle-Doo. When they made a 30 in eighth grade, I just kind of kept quiet. I would guess that in the majority of high schools in my state the highest scoring senior won't have a 30 on the ACT, so I can see how having eighth graders posting these scores might bother people. But apparently news travels on its on, even without the parent making rooster calls.

So my question is, do you share your child's academic success? I told one good friend and business partner, who told his daughters, who told the world. I might as well have taken out a full-page ad in the local newspaper. So it's not like I was doing my best to publicize it. I do confess I was proud of the ol' girl, though. Obviously there are those who are glad for my daughter's success. I just wasn't aware of how upsetting it could be to some kids.

Any thoughts?
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Replies to: The other side of high achievement

  • beachlover15beachlover15 496 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 511 Member
    I say do it, but that's only because I'm tired of seeing mediocrity spread and be praised.
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  • 1214mom1214mom 4408 replies176 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,584 Senior Member
    I don't think you did anything wrong, if that's what you are asking. I tend to be pretty open about my kids with friends, but I do balance the positive with the negative. I don't always "brag," I tell the bad stuff too.
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7005 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,012 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    I share my daughter's academic success with immediate family, but that's about it. I am not comfortable discussing the details with close friends.
    edited May 2014
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  • EllieMomEllieMom 1870 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,881 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    How does she feel about it? My son congratulated his sister on her standardized test score and posted her actual score for everyone to see on his Facebook page. She was mortified! Her words: "It's when thing to put it up on the refrigerator. It's something else to put it up on FB!"
    edited May 2014
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  • intparentintparent 36272 replies644 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 36,916 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    When my D2 took the SAT in 8th grade as part of the NUMATS talent program, D1 was a senior in high school at the time. D2 ran into one of her sister's friends at the test site; D1's friend was taking yet another attempt at the SAT to raise what I think was a pretty low score. The older kid was horrified to see D2 there, and moaned that D2 would probably outscore her. The friend kept pestering D1 to find out D2's score later. D1 didn't spill the beans, it would have just made the friend feel worse, as D2 had a top 3 score for all 8th graders in NUMATS that year and probably outscored D1's friend by hundreds of points.

    Generally we did NOT talk about D2's high test scores. She also attended the Davidson THINK program in Reno in the summers -- we just said she was at a program where she could take a college class in Reno and left it at that. Low profile was our approach.
    edited May 2014
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  • TatinGTatinG 6292 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,401 Senior Member
    I have shared my daughter's odyssey through the medical school application year. Now they all ask me and want updates. (I haven't yet told them she will be valedictorian of her college. Unless someone asks it sounds like bragging ;;)
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  • SwaggyCSwaggyC 494 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 510 Member
    My parents pick and choose who they tell. Some people they know get extremely jealous and competitive and they just try to avoid that.
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  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 34785 replies1076 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    If you want her to feel like a pony that knows a cute trick, go ahead and tell.
    But it isn't your accomplishment, it's hers.
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  • bookwormbookworm 8751 replies72 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,823 Senior Member
    Only my son, his GC, & I knew his scores. Had my parents been alive, He would have shared with them. We discussed how sensitive and competitive people can be.

    Congrats to your DD, and TatinG- very nice!!! :-h
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7005 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,012 Senior Member
    edited May 2014
    Parents and kids generally know who the top students are because of award ceremonies, the classes they take, etc. The word always gets out even without saying anything. Many kids at school know my daughter's GPA even though neither one of us ever told anybody. Somebody pulled her transcript out of her hand one day and saw it ( nice).

    I think your daughter still has 4 years of HS left. If she is anything like my kid ( rising senior- yikes) there are going to be plenty of meltdowns due to stress. Many of these kids are highly intense perfectionists. My advice is to keep it humble and to let her know how proud you are of her regardless of test scores. There may be a day when you decide it's best to put her in one less AP class; not because she is not smart enough to do the work, but because the time commitment and need to keep straight A+'s becomes unhealthy.

    My daughter has been to so many award ceremonies that I stopped mentioning it to her sister because I did not want her to feel bad ( she did not appear to feel bad). If she learned about it I simply said " oh yeah I forgot to mention it to you ( she is away at college). Although sister is not jealous at all, one day she commented about all of the awards . I simply reminded her that she ( sister) is quite an amazing athlete and that everybody has their own particular strengths and weaknesses. My older daughter was getting ready to announce her sister's test scores to her group of friends and I stopped her in her tracks and told her to stop.

    edited May 2014
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  • dadx3dadx3 1486 replies73 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,559 Senior Member
    I don't consider a high score on the ACT or SAT academic success. It is just a high score, which measures whatever the test designers are able to measure in the 3 or 4 hours that the test takes, which might be something like academic potential or academic ability. I left it up to my kids to decide if they wanted to share their test scores.
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  • heartpondererheartponderer 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 New Member
    I did not have my children take SAT or ACT in middle school. I saw no good reasons to do so and many down sides: unnecessary pressure to the one who was good at tests, and insecurity in the one who wasn't etc. I would never want anything as silly as a test to come between my children, even a little bit.

    That said, my nephew recently took the ACT as a 7th grader and did very well. It was validation for him and his mother since he was not picked for the enrichment program in his elementary school.
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