It is an annual St. Louis tradition to ask people where they went to high school, because we all have HUGE judgments about each school and what it means about the people who went there. As if that is not bad enough, we are still putting our kids through the wringer this time every fall with the whole application process of trying to get our beloveds into the exact right school.
I think it is, for the most part, POPPYCOCK!
Richard Setterstein in his recent book Not Quite Adults cites research that shows that going to a top-tier college does not significantly improve your life chances over those who attend less elite but good schools. And after controlling for family background, SAT scores and family income, studies show that lifetime earnings rarely reflect where students went to college. As soon as you go on to college, no one will ever care about where you went to high school or your grades there….because it really is not that important and does not define a young person’s future.
So as you visit high schools on open house days, watch the pressure you put on your kids. Find the best fit for their personalities and needs. Don’t make a decision based on fear or old myths about high school. For way too many kids the high school application process is way more intense and stressful than the college process…and that is misguided and ridiculous!
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