On the College Admissions Scandal
You are most likely well aware of the college admission scandal that has dominated the headlines for the past two days. It is a stark reminder of the stress, unfairness, and complexity that defines the college admission process. What troubles me most is what message it sends to our children, especially the all to pervasive notion that attending an “elite” college is the only measure of success.
This scandal got me to thinking about what messages our students are taking from the college scandal, and from the secondary school admission process. While I am extremely proud of the honesty and integrity of our secondary school process and those of the receiving schools in the Bay Area, I know that undue pressure is often felt by families to get their kids into certain secondary schools. Why? I’ve never been quite sure, but I believe the obsession—and misunderstanding—so many parents have about “elite” colleges trickles down to the secondary schools admission process. Don’t get me wrong, these elite schools are great, but it is often lost on people how many other great options and paths to success exist out there.
A fellow Head of School shared an interesting article with me that I encourage you to read and reflect on (click here). It emphasizes what I think is often overlooked in the world of high stakes admission processes (both college and high school), which is the health and well-being of our children. When we mold the child to fit the school rather than seek the best fit for the child, the consequences can be devastating for the student and scandals become all too common.