The Faustian Bargain

The trade-off is sickening. The tax bill, if you can call it that is one of the biggest scams to ever be pulled on the disadvantaged in our society. The lowest income earners may get a small decrease in taxes this year, and possibly for the next few years. But, in return, everything around them that makes their lives better will be changing for the worse. There will be less money to pay for your child’s college, or their teachers, or to fix up their homes and their schools and their roads and their parks. There will be fewer police officers protecting their communities. Their health insurance rates will sky-rocket. Those with physical and developmental disabilities will have their lives become harder. And next they’ll be going after every one of society’s safety nets, from providing formula for infants, to caring for the elderly who are sick to giving the elderly protection from hunger and homelessness. Yes, that bus that brings the disabled to a meaningful job will not be running anymore. Something needs to give to get those wealthy people their tax breaks. And they may pull it off. Haven’t they screwed the poor enough? Do they really need to squeeze more blood out of them? That is a rhetorical question for this is what you get when you elect leaders who care more about campaign contributions than to protect and serve the people who chose them.



Colleges Doing Right- Will Testing Agencies Follow?

It is really a great service to kids for colleges to allow them to self-report scores.  Kudo’s for a simple solution to solve a number of issues.  For one, there is all this angst with score choice and the idiotic policy of only being allowed to send one sitting.  What, it’s too complicated for an organization making hundreds of millions of dollars to write a simple algorithm to report the highest subtests from any of the tests, ie, to superscore?  Also, I can see the fee being in place from the days they had to mail out scores.  There were actual physical costs:  paper envelopes, stamps, even possibly some human labor.  But as everything became electronic and their costs went down, did they reduce the fee?  No, they actually have increased it!

Continue reading “Colleges Doing Right- Will Testing Agencies Follow?”

Don’t Give a S**t Index

So I so this list of the 500 colleges with the highest yield rates (above 23%) at Lendedu
Well, I did a bit of data manipulations and came up with a list of where I divided the yield rate by the accept rate, getting a figure I called the DGS factor (Don’t Give a S**T)..
In particular, it is a list of colleges by how much they care whether you really want to go there.
I’ll use a personal example.  My two older kids were very strong college applicants- straight A’s, strong scores, mostly AP’s.  Son a National Merit Scholar, Daughter a National AP Scholar.
Son went to visit number 14 on the list and went to sign in.  He asked where he should sign in and they said they don’t have such a list!
Daughter applied to number 200 as a safety school (she was admitted to places like Middlebury and Swarthmore).  She got stuck in traffic so visited the college after admissions was closed.  She was waitlisted.
So when students ask you whether it is important for them to let the colleges know how much they want to go there, check out the DGS index.  If colleges are not on the list, I suspect that they have yield rates under 23%.
Check it out at the link below:

Counselors Providing Expertise

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Bulldozer Parental Impacts

My Sister-in-Law directed a play called “The Pain in the Itch” by Bruce Norris.  In it, the main character, an upper middle class American, Clay, describes to an African cab driver, Mr Hadid, how he wants to give his daughter “every advantage”.  Mr. Hadid notes that an advantage for one necessitates a disadvantage to another.  Clay vehemently denies this motivation, but Mr. Hadid stands by his words.  Clay, it seems, is the literary embodiment of the helicopter parent, who through blindness of amoral familism, cannot see the implications of his behavior.

The term “helicopter parent” was coined in 1990 by Jim Fay, parenting and educational consultant, and Foster W. Cline, MD, a psychiatrist, in the book  Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility..  It referred to a parent who hovers over a child in a way that runs counter to the parent’s responsibility to raise a child to independence.

Julie Lythcott- Haims: lists 4 cultural events or shifts which contributed and led to this: Continue reading “Bulldozer Parental Impacts”

How the Economically Disadvantaged are Being Conned

Our education policies have been designed, particularly over the past few years, to manipulate the disenfranchised and the disadvantaged into supporting policies that are based on fantasy and result in generation of students ill prepared for success in life.

These include the abandonment of vocational education, the standards movement and the romantic embrace of STEM education. Each is based on what may be good for a small number of students into policy for all students. Each is also presented as a rejection of abuses of the past in a way that reduces opportunity for meeting the needs of a large swath of our population.

Continue reading “How the Economically Disadvantaged are Being Conned”

The Damage is Done

It made me think of a student I had, as sincere as any I have worked with, who would spend hours working at an animal shelter each week, walking the dogs, cleaning their cages, feeding them.  She told me she had loved animals since she was a little girl.  I asked if she did the volunteer work because she loved doing it or because she felt it was important for college applications.  There was a moment of silence, a sad look and a mournful “I really don’t know”.  It was one of the saddest moments in my 35 year career. This poor kid was robbed of the pleasure and pride of doing what she loved because of the nagging insincerity of “College”.  Our college admissions process is breeding a generation of self-involved and self-aggrandizing children for whom ennui becomes the defining characteristic of their adulthood.