Prep Schools In The News & Media

I have respectfully opened this new thread if allowed… :innocent:

Please do not post negativity or divisive comments on here. This is simply a thread upon or within which we can post links with a non-biased & non-opinionated brief description of what the story is about. For example, there was a nice story a few months ago about how different boarding schools created a “Bubble” for COVID safety.

Please stick to topic of prep schools…not college admissions or other topics that belong on the other side.

A little while back, I read the book “Privileged Poor”. It’s an accessible book about the experience disadvantaged students have at elite universities. The ones that generally do well are the ones that have learned how to work the system, academically, socially etc at prep schools. Iow, these students may still be poor, but they are Privileged by virtue of their elite pre-college experience and compared to theirpeers withoutthat background, far better able to thrive and extract value from their colleges… In that regard, BS are providing a rather valuable service toward creating equity in higher education. Arguably, not for enough students, but as noted, BS are not filled with the kinds of students they were decades ago.


I think it is missed on non BS people that this is the very reason so many of us look toward this type of school in the first place.

We chose this path understanding that we may need to make some college compromise down the line according to FA options, but I fully believe that they will be better off for it. I have seen my kids learn to work hard, truly collaborate with others, dig deep, and take advantage of the mentorship opportunities available to them. They will make the most of their academic college experience no matter where they end up. IMO the end outcome will be there than if all they are prepared to do is “going through the motions” at an elite school.


Interesting article from a reporter who has tracked & ranked top (Public)high schools in the USA and what he has learned from it.

KIPP is a larger charter school organization that has very aggressively moved into funneling some of its kids towards ABC, Cooke, CDB to give them the best outcomes. It is an interesting dynamic and I respect them. Most schools aggressively try and keep their stars but they are acknowledging the opportunity and helping their kids access it.


I’m one who probably wouldn’t be permitted to enroll in an AP class as a student nowadays but was able to do so nearly 40 years ago. I was a terrible student in my sophomore and early junior years. Bright and capable but lazy and uninterested. Realizing I had to kick my own ass into gear to get into college I enrolled in 4 AP classes my senior year along with multivariate Calc concurrent with AP Calc.

Being able to do so saved my academic career. All of a sudden I was in classes with people who took things seriously. Expectations were high and people rose to meet them. Colleges saw that I was working hard and I had the first term grades to prove it. If I were to be in school now I think I would just sink into mediocrity.

I’m a big believer in giving every kid who has the basic skills and the motivation a chance to step up. Not everyone is going to make it but they will all benefit from it.

Article posted today on Yahoo news - In defense of private schools.

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This was a great reply to the Atlantic article and mirrors what I think and wrote in my deleted comment. I also submit that BS is not the same as private day school and lumping them all together serves no purpose in a discussion about “private schools and their value.”

Our BS is far more diverse in every way than our LPS and that is one of the reasons my kids like it (well their two BSs).

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True of ours as well (even though our day school was pretty diverse)

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Agree with the above posts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The author of the Atlantic article wrote an opinion piece IMO that was so provocative that it was given the cover page. Further example of fueling divisions. The author obviously has not been to boarding schools in the past few years. I can’t speak for the CA schools, because I have never been there. From what I saw (pre-COVID) at various sporting events on several New England school campuses, there is more diversity than implied by the article. It seems as though there is a more positive story or many positive stories that don’t fit a certain narrative the media seeks to compound about boarding schools.

BTW - do you like the new Avatar?


Yes! :rofl:

As far as the diversity in sports… I don’t think we have quite overcome that. That is more cultural than a private school problem. The FH and Lax teams always surprise me when the season starts each year - they do not “look” like the school as a whole AT ALL.

Which sport looks like the school to you? IME, not basketball or football, not ice hockey, not squash or tennis, not swimming either. Maybe track or cross country would come closest? Different kids gravitate toward different sports for a variety of reasons, and other activities as well. This is not a bad thing as long as the access is there if you want it.

Just to clarify… I wrote about when I was on different campuses for sporting events. This was the reason I was on campus . The observation was about the campus populations I observed whilst on campus - not the teams I watched!!!

Perhaps it’s the games I have attended on different campuses - basketball, squash, track meets, football… I was referring to the diversity of students on campus NOT specific teams.

True. I would agree that track and XC are closest. But at our school, swimming and even crew are surprisingly reflective of the schools diversity.

Like I said, the problem is on many levels cultural. The issue with access 100% exists. It’s just not at the school level.

Then again, we are not a sports powerhouse. I am sure that helps in this instance.

@Golfgr8 I totally get what you said. It just “sparked” the thought of diversity of school vs diversity of school.

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Soccer is pretty diverse because of the international students. Cate isn’t a sports powerhouse either, though.

The diversity is huge for us, and lack of it a major reason for fleeing our lps. I think Cate is around 52% POC. Thacher is probably similar. I am not sure how that breaks down, no doubt a good number are Asian, but AA and Latinx are far better represented than our lps. Same with people from the Middle East.

Here is an article on recently published research on the topic of diversity perception. Do we perceive diversity differently?

Los Angeles is probably not a good example of anything. It is a big place with very few good schools. Buying a house at $1m, $2m or even five million more likely than not still brings a substandard school. There also not a lot of rigorous private schools, most are in the “comfort” zone. There are not a lot of different price points either, tuition is generally in the $40k range. All the major schools offer about 20% finically aid to only URM. So if a school claims a 40% diversity rate you generally have a very poor group of POC, full pay Asians, and then white white white people who pay full price. The population of black students will be representative of the city. But Latinos make up 70% of schoolchildren in LA and maybe 5% in private schools. There is no way we could send our kid to that type of school.

That’s an interesting article. It jibes with the sentiment I heard this past summer around how much work still needs to be done at Cate to truly be supportive of BIPOC students. I might see the school as diverse, because compared to where we live it definitely has more people of color. But a student who looks around and sees only 10%-ish of students look like them (and fewer faculty), they experience it differently.

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What’s interesting about this is that I have noticed that because people tend (and I do mean TEND) to live in places where the people look like them - they often see diversity in a school one way or the other - it’s either diverse or not diverse. BUT if you use the stats from America then most of the BS schools I have seen are pretty much representative of the mix in America or less white. If you look up stats the estimate is that in America “white alone” ranges from 60-70+% but none of the BS I am around a lot are that white. (which makes sense because of where I live, but I also live near the most well known schools so…)

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We are excited that our kid will be transferring to boarding school this fall (repeat Junior), she is thrilled to have a more diverse group of classmates as our lps has maybe 1 -5 POC per grade- of any race! Her new school will be much more diverse than her current one. Lack of diversity and not clicking with the local HS kids factored big time into applying. (This was important to her as a white student)