Quote: Originally Posted by White_Unifier
I would totally support allowing a school to reintroduce the Lord's prayer as it chooses as long as it doesn't force a student to recite it. Any student who doesn't want to recite it would be free to remain respectfully silent as someone else recites it:
Why not allow a prayer for every religion that has a member in the classroom? You do know this is part of the agenda to fuk over family values for anybody that is not part of the elite.On this case that means 'school'is 'finishing schools that only take in the kids from the most powerful families. Just in case you had and delusions about 'public school' vs 'finishing school'
Explaining Differences in Academic Behavior Between Public-School and Catholic-School Students: A Quantitative Case Study
Bullshit already, the RCC is not a private school, it works hand in hand with the 'public school system'.
Did public school kids ever have a chance?
Photo: Educational and career success should be determined by ability and hard work, not wealth and family background. (Jonathan Beal, file photo: ABC)
Pity the public school graduates who overcome a cocktail of disadvantage and reduced opportunities, only to have their resumes thrown into the discard pile, writes Rebecca Douglas.
My western suburbs high school proudly displayed its motto on a metal sign out the front. "PATHWAY TO SUCCESS," it proclaimed, or would have if a few strategic letters had not been scratched off by some joker. Instead, the sign proclaimed: "PATHWAY TO CES" (or "Commonwealth Employment Service", Centrelink's old moniker).
The dole was apparently all we could aspire to with such an inauspicious educational launch pad.
The school had such illustrious alumni as footballer Malcolm Blight and, uh, some guy who played soccer for Australia once. The teachers were split between the earnest ones battling the system and the ones who wished they were working somewhere better.
Resources were modest, at best. Despite touting ourselves as a technology-focused school, our computers appeared to be hand-me-downs from Fred Flintstone. Yessiree, it was quite the bastion of educational excellence. Yabba-dabba-do.
I may joke at my school's expense, but I've always been proud that I came from a public school and that I've succeeded (well, in the sense that I'm not dependent on the good ol' CES, at least) both despite and because of doing it tough back then. Public school can foster a hunger and self-reliance private school kids have likely not had to strive for to get ahead.
As for how it's affected my career, I'd hoped and imagined that if having a public school on my CV ever cost me a job interview, there would be other recruiters (probably old scholars of the public system themselves) giving me mad props for my achievements and placing my resume at the top of the pile. In short, I'd hoped that bias worked both ways.
That is, until a recent conversation shook this belief to its core.
While out on an innocent dinner with a pair of fellow law school graduates, both products of elite private schools, conversation turned to the recruitment of final-year law students as clerks at my friend's firm. This is an important process, as a clerkship can mean the difference between scoring a plum job at a big-name firm and indefinite time lost in the wilderness of unemployment after graduation. As you'd expect, competition between candidates is fierce.
My friend's firm had been inundated by applications and had chosen to filter them by insisting on grades of at least a distinction average (fair enough) and by eliminating all the public school applicants, regardless of merit (very much not
). Apparently the reasoning was that private school kids would likely have connections that could benefit the firm. My other friend chimed in to say that her employer had taken the same approach. Both ladies, being good sorts, were suitably offended by this injustice, but didn't quite reach the levels of blind rage I managed to conjure.
Now, I'm certainly not naïve enough to believe the legal profession is immune to classism in recruiting, but I'd always chosen to believe this was the exception, not the rule. My friend's revelation had me wondering how widespread this discrimination is across not just the legal profession, but recruitment as a whole.
The reality is, public school students start behind the eight ball before they even enter the job market. Unsurprisingly, their private school counterparts are more likely to finish year 12 and attend university. If they manage to reach university, however, the tables start to turn. Research has shown students from public schools actually perform better, relying on the self-motivation that got them there in the first place.
But this comeback of the educational underdogs could be all for nought if potential employers won't even give their resumes a look-in. Surely students who somehow manage to overcome a cocktail of socioeconomic disadvantage, reduced opportunities and limited school resources, and transcend their public school beginnings won't, after all that, be auto-filtered out the door when they apply for jobs?
That's the question. Employers would hardly be falling over themselves to admit to private school bias, but if the Coalition's shadow cabinet is anything to go by, the old school tie is still alive and well in Australia.
In May, Paul Malone reported for The Canberra Times that if Abbott keeps his current line-up, it would be the most "unrepresentative, elite-school ministry ever
". Educational equality be damned.
But I'm old school, not old school tie. I believe that educational and career success should be determined by ability and hard work, not wealth and family background. If the rest of Australia believes that as well, perhaps an example needs to be set at the top that recruitment should be fair and balanced.
Public school kids thought they'd studied and strived to set themselves on a pathway to success, not the CES. But perhaps in real life and recruitment, it's all about how you're labelled and heaven help you if there's a rusty sign out the front.
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy LeagueThe nation's top colleges are turning our kids into zombiesIn the spring of 2008, I did a daylong stint on the Yale admissions committee. We—that is, three admissions staff, a member of the college dean’s office, and me, the faculty representative—were going through submissions from eastern Pennsylvania. The applicants had been assigned a score from one to four, calculated from a string of figures and codes—SATs, GPA, class rank, numerical scores to which the letters of recommendation had been converted, special notations for legacies and diversity cases. The ones had already been admitted, and the threes and fours could get in only under special conditions—if they were a nationally ranked athlete, for instance, or a “DevA,” (an applicant in the highest category of “development” cases, which means a child of very rich donors). Our task for the day was to adjudicate among the twos. Huge bowls of junk food were stationed at the side of the room to keep our energy up.The junior officer in charge, a young man who looked to be about 30, presented each case, rat-a-tat-tat, in a blizzard of admissions jargon that I had to pick up on the fly. “Good rig”: the transcript exhibits a good degree of academic rigor. “Ed level 1”: parents have an educational level no higher than high school, indicating a genuine hardship case. “MUSD”: a musician in the highest category of promise. Kids who had five or six items on their list of extracurriculars—the “brag”—were already in trouble, because that wasn’t nearly enough. We listened, asked questions, dove into a letter or two, then voted up or down.With so many accomplished applicants to choose from, we were looking for kids with something special, “PQs”—personal qualities—that were often revealed by the letters or essays. Kids who only had the numbers and the résumé were usually rejected: “no spark,” “not a team-builder,” “this is pretty much in the middle of the fairway for us.” One young person, who had piled up a truly insane quantity of extracurriculars and who submitted nine letters of recommendation, was felt to be “too intense.” On the other hand, the numbers and the résumé were clearly indispensable. I’d been told that successful applicants could either be “well-rounded” or “pointy”—outstanding in one particular way—but if they were pointy, they had to be really pointy: a musician whose audition tape had impressed the music department, a scientist who had won a national award.“Super People,” the writer James Atlas has called them—the stereotypical ultra-high-achieving elite college students of today. A double major, a sport, a musical instrument, a couple of foreign languages, service work in distant corners of the globe, a few hobbies thrown in for good measure: They have mastered them all, and with a serene self-assurance that leaves adults and peers alike in awe. A friend who teaches at a top university once asked her class to memorize 30 lines of the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope. Nearly every single kid got every single line correct. It was a thing of wonder, she said, like watching thoroughbreds circle a track.These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood. But the reality is very different, as I have witnessed in many of my own students and heard from the hundreds of young people whom I have spoken with on campuses or who have written to me over the last few years. Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.When I speak of elite education, I mean prestigious institutions like Harvard or Stanford or Williams as well as the larger universe of second-tier selective schools, but I also mean everything that leads up to and away from them—the private and affluent public high schools; the ever-growing industry of tutors and consultants and test-prep courses; the admissions process itself, squatting like a dragon at the entrance to adulthood; the brand-name graduate schools and employment opportunities that come after the B.A.; and the parents and communities, largely upper-middle class, who push their children into the maw of this machine. In short, our entire system of elite education.