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MIT is going back to requiring scores for 2022-23


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Reading this thread makes me realize how lucky I was in some ways to attend an average high school in a state that at the time was known for good public schools. My high school had no honors, AP, or advanced classes and math only went through pre-Calc. My middle school math teacher did offer a programming class my senior year though.
 

Sports were huge and almost everyone did at least one, four or even five were not unusual. Due to the size of the school, it was easy to be involved in everything, sports, music, theatre, etc. and bussing was provided for all practices, performances, games, etc. Since the academics weren’t that challenging (I could normally get all HW done during study hall or on bus rides), it was not a problem to balance activities and classes. The school offered private music lessons (no orchestra, just band) starting in third grade and they ran through high school, including summers. One vocal music and one instrumental music teacher handled the entire k12 teaching.

The parents of my classmates generally had not attended college. There were a few mom’s with RN degrees from nursing programs and a teacher here and there. One lawyer, one doctor, and one chiropractor in town.
 

But, a significant portion of my class went to college and I know of no one who did not graduate. Now, any sort of top school was not remotely on our radar. Nearby LACs, one of the three state Us, or a very mediocre regional state U in a neighboring state were the most common choices. But three of us from my graduating class of 60 ended up at top STEM PhD programs. I have high school friends who are doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, nurses, teachers, optometrists, engineers, professors, etc. Not having advanced classes or gifted programs didn’t seem to hold us back.
 

But we were also under no illusion that we were getting a top notch education. We knew college would be different and more challenging.

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32 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

My experience was that the pointy kids got help.

My experience was that everyone acknowledged that I was a pointy kid, they just didn't have anything to offer me other than acceleration through their mediocre classes, which wasn't even an established program, but just a stop-gap work around to get me out of their hair.

In many ways, I was the "ideal" pointy kid. I was neurotypical, I was driven, I was compliant, I was gifted across all academic domains, I tested well, I had a very high tolerance for busy work and boredom, and I had ample parental support.

If a "good" school district (mine 30 years ago or my son's currently) has no way of offering a kid like me meaningful differentiation or gifted education, then maybe we are not ready to cast a wider net, and instead should be figuring out what to do with the fish that are literally throwing themselves into the boat in desperation.

Then, once we are offering something, then we can figure out how to make it also work for the non-neurotypical, asynchronous, non-compliant pointy kids who are flying under the radar.

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We had IQ tests to identify gifted kids in our district for the accelerated program. Those weren't math and/or language tests, but those weird questions that measure spacial skills or something along those lines. They got rid of it because "every kid is gifted." It was a perfect way to cast a wide net, because every kid used to be tested by the end of second grade. 

@wendyrooI was lucky to go through gifted music school as a child. I can't imagine what my childhood would have been otherwise. 

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48 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

My experience was that everyone acknowledged that I was a pointy kid, they just didn't have anything to offer me other than acceleration through their mediocre classes, which wasn't even an established program, but just a stop-gap work around to get me out of their hair.

In many ways, I was the "ideal" pointy kid. I was neurotypical, I was driven, I was compliant, I was gifted across all academic domains, I tested well, I had a very high tolerance for busy work and boredom, and I had ample parental support.

If a "good" school district (mine 30 years ago or my son's currently) has no way of offering a kid like me meaningful differentiation or gifted education, then maybe we are not ready to cast a wider net, and instead should be figuring out what to do with the fish that are literally throwing themselves into the boat in desperation.

Then, once we are offering something, then we can figure out how to make it also work for the non-neurotypical, asynchronous, non-compliant pointy kids who are flying under the radar.

Yeah, I don't buy that. You were/are on the outer end of the gifted spectrum and that's great but we're talking about public education systems as a whole and that's not where 99.99 percent of kids are. I would never expect public schools to be able to meet the needs of the pointiest kids. My experience in FIVE states tells me tracking is still a thing.  You were offered things, it just didn't meet your needs. I was offered things too, with strings and conditions, that didn't always meet my needs. What I recognized, however, is that there were a lot of OTHER kids whose needs weren't being met too.

Up until my last truly, horrific, experience, my needs were largely met. One of my classmates (and OM teammates) placed 3rd in the Scripps national spelling bee, for ex. I had an amazing cohort with engaged parents. I realize that wasn't your experience.

Tracking is STILL a thing tho, right now, in our district/area and it is *HARD* to get on/off your track. Part of why I chose to put my name into the hopper to serve on my district's DEI committee was b/c of my experiences with my own (very different) kids. DD will be able to complete BC before college and would have completed a robust, transferrable, DiffEQ class had COVID not struck her down emotionally. The barriers to entry in these tracks are high tho. We have 240 IB slots (total) for 13,000 high school students. The STEM Academy has the same 240 slots. That's less than 5% of students being accepted to either of those programs and they're competing for the exact same kids. Those that are accepted are 9/10 times students who came to the district as babes and were GT identified and tracked in elementary school. The onramps don't exist for kids who transfer in, were homeschooled, or move here.

This isn't a 'good' school district, it's a great one, and I appreciate that my son's 'back up plan', while not TJ in NoVa, far exceeds the options available at most comprehensive high schools in America. Still, BECAUSE we have all of this, it's even more important to ensure that students who CAN do the work should get the chance to do the work. This district has less than 12% poverty and an average, annual household income of nearly $80K. These kids can do the work.

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7 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

We had IQ tests to identify gifted kids in our district for the accelerated program. Those weren't math and/or language tests, but those weird questions that measure spacial skills or something along those lines. They got rid of it because "every kid is gifted." It was a perfect way to cast a wide net, because every kid used to be tested by the end of second grade.

Same for my district. Think it was CogAT or OLSAT. Parents kick a fuss and it was scrapped. DS17 would have stayed until 5th grade if the program wasn’t scrapped.

@Lilaclady We relocated to the states on H1/H4 visas. While all the people we know on H1 have a bachelors degree, some do have debts and some do have to send money home to help out elderly parents. My parents gave us money and help paid for our groceries for many years while my in-laws ask for money. So while H1s might have the education advantage, they don’t necessarily have the debt free advantage. Besides many of us are unfamiliar with the US education system which is why many are very stressed now for their second born after going through the college applications with their first born. 

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12 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

Same for my district. Think it was CogAT or OLSAT. Parents kick a fuss and it was scrapped. DS17 would have stayed until 5th grade if the program wasn’t scrapped.

@Lilaclady We relocated to the states on H1/H4 visas. While all the people we know on H1 have a bachelors degree, some do have debts and some do have to send money home to help out elderly parents. My parents gave us money and help paid for our groceries for many years while my in-laws ask for money. So while H1s might have the education advantage, they don’t necessarily have the debt free advantage. Besides many of us are unfamiliar with the US education system which is why many are very stressed now for their second born after going through the college applications with their first born. 

It's in part b/c parents started gaming CogAT and OLSAT. No joke, parents in-the-know started prepping their pre-k kids to do well. When I tested that was unheard of. It never would have occurred to my parents to prep me for an IQ or achievement test. Not so much today. It would be malpractice not to.

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2 hours ago, wendyroo said:

 

I look at my educational journey, and I despair for all public education, and especially gifted education. I was forced to waste 12 years of my life. And I know that in many ways I had it "better" than many of my peers, but OTOH, I think I felt the lose much more keenly than most of them. They truly were content with friends and movies and sports and shopping...and working just hard enough to get mostly Bs and score just well enough on the ACT to get into a local college one step up from the community college. I have a hard time finding much compassion for them when they didn't want to work any harder, and the school was providing exactly what they and their parents were asking for - mediocrity (and sports, lots and lots of sports).

I think i am a bit irked by this. Maybe a life of what you call mediocrity is what they want. Most of them im sure are working in jobs that are paying the bills now. Maybe that is good enough for them. Not everyone will go to MIT and not even everyone who do will make something notable from it. Can you say your life is richer, happier, better than those students? 

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I was just reading in Cc about a parent who started using tutors for her child in 1st grade, by the time the child was in 3rd grade, they had started tracking and the high scoring students are the ones going on to take advanced math and science through middle school and able to start honors classes and AP classes in high school. We need to realize that most parents are not even aware such things exist and so don’t do it. The parents here and on cc and other forums have a huge advantage because we can see what others have gone through and hopefully learn from that. I am always amazed at how little some of my native born and bred parents know about education. Some- even teachers thought things were mostly as they were 10 years ago and don’t realize all that have changed. There is no level playing field and everyone- parents, community, schools, colleges and government need to play their part to make things better for all kids. 

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16 minutes ago, Lilaclady said:

I think i am a bit irked by this. Maybe a life of what you call mediocrity is what they want. Most of them im sure are working in jobs that are paying the bills now. Maybe that is good enough for them. Not everyone will go to MIT and not even everyone who do will make something notable from it. Can you say your life is richer, happier, better than those students? 

I will say, when I got to USC, I fell in with a group of young women (still my friends) with similar family and academic experiences in Chester, PA, Jackson, MS, NYC, SoCal, etc. Chips on every shoulder. They are, by a country mile, the most personally and professionally successful and grounded people I know, not because they cured cancer, but because they conquered trauma and have given their children (also very talented) the gift of advocacy and security.

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18 minutes ago, Lilaclady said:

I think i am a bit irked by this. Maybe a life of what you call mediocrity is what they want. Most of them im sure are working in jobs that are paying the bills now. Maybe that is good enough for them. Not everyone will go to MIT and not even everyone who do will make something notable from it. Can you say your life is richer, happier, better than those students? 

No, I certainly cannot.

But if mediocrity is what they want, then why would we be concerned about casting the wide net and figuring out which of them may be gifted? Especially if they are apathetic about academics and they and their family are more invested in sports of some other focus?

I'm not saying they should be more invested in school or that they should be more driven to excel academically. I was the one that said that parental priorities should be honored.

I was merely questioning how to "fairly" split a very limited gifted budget between slightly "pointy" kids who are perfectly content coasting through their "mediocre" classes and the more driven gifted students who are profoundly underserved by typical offerings.

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2 hours ago, wendyroo said:

No, I certainly cannot.

But if mediocrity is what they want, then why would we be concerned about casting the wide net and figuring out which of them may be gifted? Especially if they are apathetic about academics and they and their family are more invested in sports of some other focus?

I'm not saying they should be more invested in school or that they should be more driven to excel academically. I was the one that said that parental priorities should be honored.

I was merely questioning how to "fairly" split a very limited gifted budget between slightly "pointy" kids who are perfectly content coasting through their "mediocre" classes and the more driven gifted students who are profoundly underserved by typical offerings.

How can you possibly know what they want/wanted? Did you do a survey? Get super close and mix/mingle with the hoi palloi? We should be concerned with identifying talent because it enriches the nation. The reality is, those "slightly pointy" kids are most likely the ones with the social/emotional skills necessary to build emotional bridges between people vs. building physical ones that alienate/physically separate the masses. It's that sweet spot between being so totally driven/absorbed that you lose sight of practical consequences and knowing that extra supports are required for some people.

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2 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

Yeah, I don't buy that. You were/are on the outer end of the gifted spectrum and that's great but we're talking about public education systems as a whole and that's not where 99.99 percent of kids are. I would never expect public schools to be able to meet the needs of the pointiest kids. My experience in FIVE states tells me tracking is still a thing.  You were offered things, it just didn't meet your needs. I was offered things too, with strings and conditions, that didn't always meet my needs. What I recognized, however, is that there were a lot of OTHER kids whose needs weren't being met too.

Up until my last truly, horrific, experience, my needs were largely met. One of my classmates (and OM teammates) placed 3rd in the Scripps national spelling bee, for ex. I had an amazing cohort with engaged parents. I realize that wasn't your experience.

Tracking is STILL a thing tho, right now, in our district/area and it is *HARD* to get on/off your track. Part of why I chose to put my name into the hopper to serve on my district's DEI committee was b/c of my experiences with my own (very different) kids. DD will be able to complete BC before college and would have completed a robust, transferrable, DiffEQ class had COVID not struck her down emotionally. The barriers to entry in these tracks are high tho. We have 240 IB slots (total) for 13,000 high school students. The STEM Academy has the same 240 slots. That's less than 5% of students being accepted to either of those programs and they're competing for the exact same kids. Those that are accepted are 9/10 times students who came to the district as babes and were GT identified and tracked in elementary school. The onramps don't exist for kids who transfer in, were homeschooled, or move here.

This isn't a 'good' school district, it's a great one, and I appreciate that my son's 'back up plan', while not TJ in NoVa, far exceeds the options available at most comprehensive high schools in America. Still, BECAUSE we have all of this, it's even more important to ensure that students who CAN do the work should get the chance to do the work. This district has less than 12% poverty and an average, annual household income of nearly $80K. These kids can do the work.

In some ways, this sounds like a good problem to have. Granted, they should definitely expand the IB program and STEM academy and make sure kids who are late to the game have the opportunity to get in. But it sounds like even kids who don’t get into those special programs are still getting a very solid high school education that will prepare them well for college. That’s far, far better than what most kids in the US get.

Is your concern that some kids who don’t get into the special programs then aren’t competitive for elite college admissions and therefore they might have to go to a non tippy-top college? Or that they will not be challenged enough and drop out or perform poorly and never go to college?

The owner of the business I previously worked for has an MD and a PhD. He was a practicing physician who owned a software company. He credits his later academic success to the technical high school he attended and the hands-on classes he took there, not the college prep ones. My husband has two doctorates and he’ll tell you that the most useful high school class he had was drafting. He still uses the skills he learned today, just not professionally.

Honestly, I’m far happier that my large school district has focused money and effort on expanding the great CTE offerings as opposed to putting more money into gifted or specialized programs like IB. This has been research proven to be directly linked to graduation and engagement rates. Our local LAC offers almost free classes to the truly gifted high school students and there are also programs for students to get CC credit while in high school. Plus, there is one IB program and the other high schools have lots of AP classes.

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:

How can you possibly know what they want/wanted? Did you do a survey? Get super close and mix/mingle with the hoi palloi? We should be concerned with identifying talent because it enriches the nation. The reality is, those "slightly pointy" kids are most likely the ones with the social/emotional skills necessary to build bridges between people vs. alienate the masses. It's that sweet spot between being so totally driven/absorbed that you lose sight of practical consequences and knowing that extra supports are required for some people.

I was responding to Lilaclady bring irked because maybe mediocrity is what those kids wanted. So that was her premise. 

As for how I could judge their wants, I was stuck in classes with them. They didn’t do homework, they always chose the easiest path, they spent far more of their time on movies and shopping and pep rallies than on academics, they didn’t participate in classes, etc. 

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36 minutes ago, Frances said:

In some ways, this sounds like a good problem to have. Granted, they should definitely expand the IB program and STEM academy and make sure kids who are late to the game have the opportunity to get in. But it sounds like even kids who don’t get into those special programs are still getting a very solid high school education that will prepare them well for college. That’s far, far better than what most kids in the US get.

Is your concern that some kids who don’t get into the special programs then aren’t competitive for elite college admissions and therefore they might have to go to a non tippy-top college? Or that they will not be challenged enough and drop out or perform poorly and never go to college?

The owner of the business I previously worked for has an MD and a PhD. He was a practicing physician who owned a software company. He credits his later academic success to the technical high school he attended and the hands-on classes he took there, not the college prep ones. My husband has two doctorates and he’ll tell you that the most useful high school class he had was drafting. He still uses the skills he learned today, just not professionally.

Honestly, I’m far happier that my large school district has focused money and effort on expanding the great CTE offerings as opposed to putting more money into gifted or specialized programs like IB. This has been research proven to be directly linked to graduation and engagement rates. Our local LAC offers almost free classes to the truly gifted high school students and there are also programs for students to get CC credit while in high school. Plus, there is one IB program and the other high schools have lots of AP classes.

You're right. It totally is a good problem to have, and one that I felt like I could influence so I chose to get involved. I agree with you about the value of hands on classes and DD is thriving with several of them. No regrets there. There's this dichotomy tho, like this attitude that those sorts of studies are 'lesser' when they're not or that the students who pursue them are less capable when that's not necessarily so. We, fortunately, have access to both technical/hands-on and heavy-duty academic courses. I would like to see increased crossover tho, if that makes sense, between them because it helps everybody. 

To the bolded, yes, the rest not so much. While folks in this area have resources and typically have at least one degree holder in the household, plus two parents, most are solidly middle class, not wealthy, so having access to full meet-need schools matters, especially because being in the top 10-25% of a district like this is HARD.

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39 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

I was responding to Lilaclady bring irked because maybe mediocrity is what those kids wanted. So that was her premise. 

As for how I could judge their wants, I was stuck in classes with them. They didn’t do homework, they always chose the easiest path, they spent far more of their time on movies and shopping and pep rallies than on academics, they didn’t participate in classes, etc. 

None of that indicates a lack of motivation or desire for mediocrity tho. Being interested in dances, movies, sports and pep rallies is pretty standard teen behavior. It's not a character flaw. What should ultimately matter is learning. Handing in homework everyday isn't a measure of learning, nor is showing up to class everyday (ask me how I know). It's a sign of engagement, perseverance, and compliance.

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4 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

To the bolded, yes, the rest not so much. While folks in this area have resources and typically have at least one degree holder in the household, plus two parents, most are solidly middle class, not wealthy, so having access to full meet-need schools matters, especially because being in the top 10-25% of a district like this is HARD.

Just curious, why is it hard?

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15 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

Just curious, why is it hard?

B/c the teachers pile on lots of busy work that has no added value for many students. For pre-Cal, DD has to watch two 15-30 minute videos a night (recapping content covered in class), with pauses in between each segment to answer questions. THEN do the homework. That's just not how she learns so it's a waste of time. She does the bare minimum, (have to get a 50% on the interruption questions) and then gets As/Bs on tests and quizzes, at which point the teacher converts all of the practice questions to the quiz/test grade. It's a lot of hoop-jumping that has nothing to do with content mastery. DD is a cheerleader. She's super social. She goes to all of the dances and parties. She's fairly popular and well-known. That has ZERO to do with her academic life. My DS, on the other hand, spends his lunch hour not eating in the library. He does all his homework before he comes home. It's TOO EASY. The questions/work don't challenge him. He comes home and sleeps for three hours before dinner.

The whole thing is an exercise in patience and endurance. 

And if you just so happen to be tracked into the non-honors/non-AP/DE track, there is NO way you will ever be in the top 25%. Every single slot is filled by people who have over 4.0 GPAs b/c the courses are weighted.

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2 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

None of that indicates a lack of motivation tho. Being interested in dances, movies, sports and pep rallies is pretty standard teen behavior. It's not a character flaw.

Well, not doing homework, not participating in class, and not choosing challenging classes are all indicators of lack of motivation.

And, while, no, movies and sports and pop rallies are not character flaws, when a student chooses to let them overshadow academics, then that is a sign of where their priorities lie.

I am simply saying that I personally would like gifted funds to first go to students who desperately want to excel...rather than apathetic students who are only putting in a minimum of effort in their standard classes because their focus lies in other arenas.

 

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Just now, wendyroo said:

Well, not doing homework, not participating in class, and not choosing challenging classes are all indicators of lack of motivation.

And, while, no, movies and sports and pop rallies are not character flaws, when a student chooses to let them overshadow academics, then that is a sign of where their priorities lie.

I am simply saying that I personally would like gifted funds to first go to students who desperately want to excel...rather than apathetic students who are only putting in a minimum of effort in their standard classes because their focus lies in other arenas.

 

Maybe, maybe not. Maybe it's an indication that the class is freaking boring. That's a thing. My experience with GT kids must be totally different from yours because my cohort included a whole lot of surly, contrarian, depressed, salty kids who needed/demanded JUSTIFICATION for BS work and sought to learn more independent and self-directed than prescribed content.

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32 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

To the bolded, yes, the rest not so much. While folks in this area have resources and typically have at least one degree holder in the household, plus two parents, most are solidly middle class, not wealthy, so having access to full meet-need schools matters, especially because being in the top 10-25% of a district like this is HARD.

I guess it’s just not something I’m concerned about, given what I see as far greater problems throughout our whole education system in the US. Lots of colleges, not just tippy top ones, can provide students with an excellent education. In fact, as I’ve stated in other posts, I think tippy top colleges can also close doors for some students, especially in relation to STEM fields. Plus, there are only so many slots available at these schools and they admit far more international students than back in the day. 

I’m far, far more concerned about the following:

All public schools not using research proven best practices to teach reading and math starting from the beginning. It’s completely unacceptable to me how many students don’t meet reading and math standards by graduation.

Lack of research proven best practices in our public schools for everything from school start times to recess to arts curriculum to foreign language acquisition, etc. etc.

Lack of solid, college prep curriculum for all students who desire it. Students should not graduate from high school having to take remedial college classes. It’s a waste of time and money, both theirs and taxpayers.

Lack of comprehensive CTE classes and programs for those that desire them. These are research proven to increase graduation rates and improve student engagement and even many college bound students can benefit from them.

Lack of equity both within school districts and between school districts for course offerings. While I realize an in-person class is often best, the fact that a significant portion of our public high schools don’t offer physics, for example, is a huge equity issue. States need to find solutions, such as remote learning, to remedy this problem. This could also help with the gifted issues some are concerned about.

The atrocious guidance counseling in most public schools. While I’m sure it must exist somewhere, I’ve literally never heard of a student having a good public high school guidance counselor.

Due to the poor k12 education received by so many students and the ridiculous push to college prep high school for all, many college diplomas are becoming like so many high school ones, almost meaningless. If anything, I think we send too many students to college.
 

The lack of professional training slots in the US for things like healthcare careers. There is absolutely no reason given the high number of qualified, interested students that we should have any shortage of things like doctors, nurses, etc or any need to purposely recruit from other countries. I’m not saying we shouldn’t welcome immigrants with these skills, just that there is no shortage of people in the US who want and are qualified for these careers. So many just can’t get into a training program. My state is terrible in this regard, especially compared to my home state, so it’s something I feel strongly about.

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4 minutes ago, Frances said:

I guess it’s just not something I’m concerned about, given what I see as far greater problems throughout our whole education system in the US. Lots of colleges, not just tippy top ones, can provide students with an excellent education. In fact, as I’ve stated in other posts, I think tippy top colleges can also close doors for some students, especially in relation to STEM fields. Plus, there are only so many slots available at these schools and they admit far more international students than back in the day. 

I’m far, far more concerned about the following:

All public schools not using research proven best practices to teach reading and math starting from the beginning. It’s completely unacceptable to me how many students don’t meet reading and math standards by graduation.

Lack of solid, college prep curriculum for all students who desire it. Students should not graduate from high school having to take remedial college classes. It’s a waste of time and money, both theirs and taxpayers.

Lack of comprehensive CTE classes and programs for those that desire them. These are research proven to increase graduation rates and improve student engagement and even many college bound students can benefit from them.

The atrocious guidance counseling in most public schools. While I’m sure it must exist somewhere, I’ve literally never heard of a student having a good public high school guidance counselor.

Due to the poor k12 education received by so many students and the ridiculous push to college prep high school for all, many college diplomas are becoming like so many high school ones, almost meaningless. If anything, I think we send too many students to college.
 

The lack of professional training slots in the US for things like healthcare careers. There is absolutely no reason given the high number of qualified, interested students that we should have any shortage of things like doctors, nurses, etc or any need to purposely recruit from other countries. I’m not saying we shouldn’t welcome immigrants with these skills, just that there is no shortage of people in the US who want and are qualified for these careers. So many just can’t get into a training program. My state is terrible in this regard, especially compared to my home state, so it’s something I feel strongly about.

I don't disagree with ANY of this. It's something I've worked on throughout my professional life. As much as I HATED (with a fiery passion) my experience in Arkansas I still went back and tried to make things better statewide. I just don't see that same passion or commitment among people concerned, primarily, about whether 'merit' exists/is upheld in selective college admissions. The work is at the K-12 level. Not in admissions.

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I think this is a ridiculously convoluted conversation in terms of MIT, test scores, and meritocracy. It seems deliberately obtuse.  Just bc a kid is sitting in a classroom bored bc the work is too easy does not make MIT a good fit.  Having a high IQ and being well-educated also does not mean MIT is a good fit.  Top competitive schools are not a good fit for most really good students.  Students who are highly competitive, highly motivated, and super driven and highly educated and can function under pressure....that is a pretty stereotypical kid that thrives at highly competitive schools.

And if a parent is aware that school is a waste of time for their student bc the work is too easy, the place to exert their frustrated energy is at their children's school and school district. On a homeschooling forum, most of us homeschooling precisely bc we are meeting the educational needs of our children.  Classrooms meet avg needs of avg kids.  That is how a classroom works.  The individual needs are less important than the needs of many.  So if a process is working for the majority of the students, school officials are going to be satisfied with the status quo.  I know that my ds (who essentially graduated high school with a minor in both math and physics) would have been tracked early on in school due to his severe dyslexia and would not have had access to even AP level classes.  It wouldn't have been the school systems fault.  In no way were they equipped to educate a child who doesn't fit in the norm in any direction.  Do kids like him fall through the cracks?  Yes.  But, I can absolutely equally state that in no way would MIT have all of a sudden been a good fit bc he had been let down by the public school system.  MIT and test scores for admission are absolutely NOT the issue.  

Seems like bloviating bc the real topic is that public schools don't educate meeting the needs of the individual.

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14 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I think this is a ridiculously convoluted conversation in terms of MIT, test scores, and meritocracy. It seems deliberately obtuse.  Just bc a kid is sitting in a classroom bored bc the work is too easy does not make MIT a good fit.  Having a high IQ and being well-educated also does not mean MIT is a good fit.  Top competitive schools are not a good fit for most really good students.  Students who are highly competitive, highly motivated, and super driven and highly educated and can function under pressure....that is a pretty stereotypical kid that thrives at highly competitive schools.

And if a parent is aware that school is a waste of time for their student bc the work is too easy, the place to exert their frustrated energy is at their children's school and school district. On a homeschooling forum, most of us homeschooling precisely bc we are meeting the educational needs of our children.  Classrooms meet avg needs of avg kids.  That is how a classroom works.  The individual needs are less important than the needs of many.  So if a process is working for the majority of the students, school officials are going to be satisfied with the status quo.  I know that my ds (who essentially graduated high school with a minor in both math and physics) would have been tracked early on in school due to his severe dyslexia and would not have had access to even AP level classes.  It wouldn't have been the school systems fault.  In no way were they equipped to educate a child who doesn't fit in the norm in any direction.  Do kids like him fall through the cracks?  Yes.  But, I can absolutely equally state that in no way would MIT have all of a sudden been a good fit bc he had been let down by the public school system.  MIT and test scores for admission are absolutely NOT the issue.  

Seems like bloviating bc the real topic is that public schools don't educate meeting the needs of the individual.

a) This isn't a strictly homeschooling forum.

b) Homeschoolers/No-schoolers have ZERO qualms about asserting themselves in K-12 public education policy.

c) MIT's choice is a symptom of a larger problem that exploits/uses systemic inequity to justify its choices. Does MIT have an NAI-like initiative? If not? WHY!!??

d) These processes, K-12 and into admissions, are not working. We need to fix them. I'm in...are you?

e) My district, and the principal at DD's (maybe DS's high school) is laser focused on these and other climate issues. Leadership matters.

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1 hour ago, wendyroo said:

No, I certainly cannot.

But if mediocrity is what they want, then why would we be concerned about casting the wide net and figuring out which of them may be gifted? Especially if they are apathetic about academics and they and their family are more invested in sports of some other focus?

I'm not saying they should be more invested in school or that they should be more driven to excel academically. I was the one that said that parental priorities should be honored.

I was merely questioning how to "fairly" split a very limited gifted budget between slightly "pointy" kids who are perfectly content coasting through their "mediocre" classes and the more driven gifted students who are profoundly underserved by typical offerings.

Please don't take this the wrong way but are *you* mediocre? By societal measures, those of us who chose/choose to stay home to care for, raise, and educate our kids despite (or because of) our talents are deadbeats. I do not subscribe to that view but that's what this suggests. If there's no objective/external value placed on your knowledge or achievement then it doesn't exist. I reject that.

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26 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

a) This isn't a strictly homeschooling forum.

b) Homeschoolers/No-schoolers have ZERO qualms about asserting themselves in K-12 public education policy.

c) MIT's choice is a symptom of a larger problem that exploits/uses systemic inequity to justify its choices. Does MIT have an NAI-like initiative? If not? WHY!!??

d) These processes, K-12 and into admissions, are not working. We need to fix them. I'm in...are you?

e_ My district, and the principal at DD's (maybe DS's high school) is later focused on these and other climate issues. Leadership matters.

What is NAI?

While I agree our k12 public schools have huge issues, I honestly can’t get too worked up about highly selective college admissions. There are only so many spots at these schools. Most of them bring in far more international students than they did when all of us were in college. There are lots of excellent colleges out there outside of the top 25 or 50.

You may find this hard to believe, but when I was in grad school, I actually felt sorry for the undergrads at my Ivy League university. As did my husband’s top two LAC grads who went onto Ivy League STEM PhD programs. My SIL, whose grad degrees are from Harvard, basically forbid her daughter from considering any of the Ivies for undergrad (she did go to Princeton for grad school). We all felt we had a much better college experience while still being highly prepared for top STEM PhD programs. I just don’t think tippy top schools are the be all and end all. My one year of grad school at my big public state university was in almost every respect better than my time at the tippy top school. Really, the main benefit of my highly selective grad school was that the name got me some interviews that might not have been easy to get otherwise.

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12 minutes ago, Frances said:

What is NAI?

While I agree our k12 public schools have huge issues, I honestly can’t get too worked up about highly selective college admissions. There are only so many spots at these schools. Most of them bring in far more international students than they did when all of us were in college. There are lots of excellent colleges out there outside of the top 25 or 50.

You may find this hard to believe, but when I was in grad school, I actually felt sorry for the undergrads at my Ivy League university. As did my husband’s top two LAC grads who went onto Ivy League STEM PhD programs. My SIL, whose grad degrees are from Harvard, basically forbid her daughter from considering any of the Ivies for undergrad (she did go to Princeton for grad school). We all felt we had a much better college experience while still being highly prepared for top STEM PhD programs. I just don’t think tippy top schools are the be all and end all. My one year of grad school at my big public state university was in almost every respect better than my time at the tippy top school. Really, the main benefit of my highly selective grad school was that the name easily got me some interviews that might not have been easy to get otherwise.

All 'tippy top schools' are not the same. When I chose USC, it was because it aligned with my values. I turned down several other opportunities like a full ride to Texas A&M, admission to Baylor and Georgetown. I was a PoliSc/Public Admin major from jump. I never even considered the midwest or northeast. NAI is USC's Neighborhood Academic Initiative. I linked to it. When I was an undergrad, it was in its infancy. I (and several of my friends) volunteered with designated central Los Angeles schools to do tutoring/mentoring. Sometimes ppl got extra credit (for entry-level sociology, psychology, and education classes). Other times it was a work-study job (as with me, bc I NEEDED the money) that allowed us to give back while meeting basic needs. I never felt sorry for anyone at USC (ok, one chick, my roomie from ME who had ZERO support and was catfished by an Indian guy on campus looking for a green card (his pressure was relentless). She had no social skills and was highly unlikely to succeed. She ended up homeless). That was unusual. VERY. These schools need to be an option for middle class families. I'm working my ass off, even now, to revive our passive income and increase our passive income before I go back to work. Still, college for those who get no aid is A LOT.

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I'm enjoying reading everyone's perspective.  I also had a couple of lucky tickets.  I got to take algebra in 8th grade, which wasn't a given.  I found out a friend was going to take the class, and I pushed my mom to get me in too, so I could be with the smart kids.  My junior high selected me and some others to take the SAT in 7th grade for Duke TIP.  (I don't think this was available to every student.)  

Algebra in 8th grade was key because then you can take 9th grade geometry with the smart kids and with the teacher who was nuts for the AMC and other math contests.  (Back then it was called the AHSME.)  It was my first experience with actual problem solving style math, and it wasn't until my junior year that I felt I handle on how to solve those problems and I didn't qualify for AIME until my senior year, just in time to get it onto my college apps.  Qualifying for AIME was pretty much my only accomplishment of note and back then it was enough for a girl from a flyover state to get admitted to Stanford.  

Unfortunately the only thing I was qualified for at Stanford were my math classes.  I sucked at science and liberal arts, so stuck to engineering as much as I could.  So I get people like this guy:  https://mathproblemsolvingskills.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/college-prep/

On the bright side, my math skills are rare enough that I can charge $150/hour just teaching AoPS and prepping students for AMC.  

Until parents stop being distracted by the culture wars and start demanding high academic standards, don't expect the needle to move much.  

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5 minutes ago, daijobu said:

I'm enjoying reading everyone's perspective.  I also had a couple of lucky tickets.  I got to take algebra in 8th grade, which wasn't a given.  I found out a friend was going to take the class, and I pushed my mom to get me in too, so I could be with the smart kids.  My junior high selected me and some others to take the SAT in 7th grade for Duke TIP.  (I don't think this was available to every student.)  

Algebra in 8th grade was key because then you can take 9th grade geometry with the smart kids and with the teacher who was nuts for the AMC and other math contests.  (Back then it was called the AHSME.)  It was my first experience with actual problem solving style math, and it wasn't until my junior year that I felt I handle on how to solve those problems and I didn't qualify for AIME until my senior year, just in time to get it onto my college apps.  Qualifying for AIME was pretty much my only accomplishment of note and back then it was enough for a girl from a flyover state to get admitted to Stanford.  

Unfortunately the only thing I was qualified for at Stanford were my math classes.  I sucked at science and liberal arts, so stuck to engineering as much as I could.  So I get people like this guy:  https://mathproblemsolvingskills.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/college-prep/

On the bright side, my math skills are rare enough that I can charge $150/hour just teaching AoPS and prepping students for AMC.  

Until parents stop being distracted by the culture wars and start demanding high academic standards, don't expect the needle to move much.  

You’re describing my DD. Her math skills are freakish. She VISUALIZES things but can’t always call up the words. She would be completely left behind without our advocacy b/c all people see is jovial ‘cheerleader’. She considered being a math teacher but didn’t want to be poor. Instead, she’s shifted to LE, b/c active/physical. I’m terrified.

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MIT is a private institution and doesn't have to accommodate any needs other than their own institutional mission. They reject 93% of applicant.  They don't need to change bc there are more that want what they have than can have it.

I see my personal priority ensuring that the children I am responsible for are having their needs met.  My doing that means that special ed resources haven't had to be used by my children; all of their extensive testing has been paid for by us.  I pay my taxes and contacted my representatives to not include homeschoolers in their parent choice bill which would take $$ away from schools and attach it to the child.  In my mind that is the opposite of what ps's need.  Equally, I would never leave my kids in a classroom where their educational needs were not being met and busy work was not educationally challenging.  (I'm saying taht as a mom who has a 6th grader who is finishing Foerster's alg 1 and have other equally gifted kids. )  (And the fact that there are other kids in the system who don't have that opportunity is the problem of the public school institutional mentality, not mine as a parent.  When you have schools insisting that there is no such thing as mathematically gifted kids, only deprived kids who don't have the same opportunities and that all kids need the same classroom experience.....the problem is the institution, not the parents pulling their kids out.)

But importantly, I 100% agree with what Frances wrote here 

17 hours ago, Frances said:

You may find this hard to believe, but when I was in grad school, I actually felt sorry for the undergrads at my Ivy League university. As did my husband’s top two LAC grads who went onto Ivy League STEM PhD programs. My SIL, whose grad degrees are from Harvard, basically forbid her daughter from considering any of the Ivies for undergrad (she did go to Princeton for grad school). We all felt we had a much better college experience while still being highly prepared for top STEM PhD programs. I just don’t think tippy top schools are the be all and end all. My one year of grad school at my big public state university was in almost every respect better than my time at the tippy top school. Really, the main benefit of my highly selective grad school was that the name got me some interviews that might not have been easy to get otherwise.

My ds says the exact same thing.  He felt sorry for the UG kids the U where he went to grad school.  It wasn't an Ivy League, but it was one of the top in the country and the world in physics.   He said his UG physics education at his very low ranking public U (where he DE in high school) and his 4 yr very avg public flagship far exceeded what his UGs were receiving.  The focus was on research, not UG ed.

The myth of tippy top name recognition is purely that in our world.  No one cares where my kids' UG degrees have been earned.  They have gone to very avg schools.  But, bc they are driven and highly motivated to achieve their personal goals, they have gone on to be extremely visible on their campuses as highly successful.  (Things like dept awards, multiple REUs, CLS 2 yrs in row, undergraduate honors recognized by both their own U and outside Us.)

I almost burst out laughing at the 

16 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

These schools need to be an option for middle class families.

Why?  They are highly unaffordable for the avg middle class family.  They are businesses.  The fact that they accept so many poor students is amazing.  Funding the poor students at the expense of the huge #  of 1%ers and foreigners attending is what they do.  

FWIW, sacrificing financial resources for paying for an expensive college experience is a personal decision.  It is not a necessity.   Any kid who COULD be accepted to MIT can attend a heck of a lot of schools for free or for very little.  (That is how my kids attend college.  I had to accept that there was no way to fund college for 7 kids plus fund a special needs semi-dependent adult child.  Financial aid formulas expect us to have been able to spend close a million dollars across all of our kids college expenses.  And that is on an engineer's salary......very, very far from a 1%er.   Their business model.  Their choice.  My kids have managed to exceed their dreams and have done so on their own 2 feet and for very low costs.   They have loved their UG experiences and have been surrounded by equally exceptional peers who have ridden high with them at their schools.)

Worrying about what elites do seems like an exorbitant waste of energy.  Their model isn't going to change to accept anything other than the tippy top or those that THEY identify according to their own methodologies as likely to succeed in their environment.

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13 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

MIT is a private and doesn't have to accommodate any needs other than their own institutional mission. They have way more applicants each and every yr than they can accept and reject 93% of them.  They don't need to change bc there are more that want what they have than can have it.

ITA. At the same time, it caries a cache that adds value.

13 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I see my personal priority ensuring that the children I am responsible for are having their needs met.  My doing that means that special ed resources haven't had to be used by my children; all of their extensive testing has been paid for by us.  I pay my taxes and contacted my representatives to not include homeschoolers in their parent choice bill which would take $$ away from schools and attach it to the child.  In my mind that is the opposite of what ps's need. 

I love that and yet there are A TON of home/no-schoolers (no kids in any school) showing up to local board meetings in an effort to shape what happens in public schools.

13 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Equally, I would never leave my kids in a classroom where there educational needs were not being met and busy work was not educationally challenging.  (I'm saying taht as a mom who has a 6th grader who is finishing Foerster's alg 1 and have other equally gifted kids. )

But importantly, I 100% agree with what Frances wrote here 

My ds says the exact same thing.  He felt sorry for the UG kids the U where he went to grad school.  It wasn't an Ivy League, but it was one of the top in the country and the world in physics.   He said his UG physics education at his very low ranking public U (where he DE in high school) and his 4 yr very avg public flagship far exceeded what his UGs were receiving.  The focus was on research, not UG ed.

So, yeah, not about to demonize working parents who need to provide for themselves, their families, AND OTHERS by suggesting they’re slacking or negligent by not pulling their kids from schools they pay for but you do you.

13 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

The myth of tippy top name recognition is purely that in our world.  No one cares where there UG degree has been earned.  They have gone to very avg schools.  But, bc they are driven and highly motivated to achieve their personal goals, they have gone on to be extremely visible on their campuses as highly successful.  (Things like dept awards, mutliple REUs, CLS 2 yrs in row, undergraduate honors recognized by both their own U and outside Us.)

I almost burst out laughing at the 

Why?  They are highly unaffordable for the avg middle class family.  They are businesses.  The fact that they accept so many poor students is amazing.  Funding the poor students at the expense of the huge #  of 1%ers and foreigners attending is what they do.  
 

Again, love that for YOU. Happy you had a great experience.

13 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

FWIW, sacrificing financial resources for paying for an expensive college experience is a personal decision.  It is not a necessity.   Any kid who COULD be accepted to MIT can attend a heck of a lot of schools for free or for very little.  (That is how my kids attend college.  I had to accept that there was no way to fund college for 7 kids plus fund a special needs semi-dependent adult child.  Financial aid formulas expect us to have been able to spend close a million dollars across all of our kids college expenses.  And that is on an engineer's salary......very, very far from a 1%er.   Their business model.  Their choice.  My kids have managed to exceed their dreams and have done so on their own 2 feet and for very low costs.   They have loved their UG experiences and have been surrounded by equally exceptional peers who have ridden high with them at their schools.)

Worrying about what elites do seems like an exorbitant waste of energy.  Their model isn't going to change to accept anything other than the tippy top or those that THEY identify according to their own methodologies as likely to succeed in their environment.

I’m a little less concerned about what elites do than what it portends for other students. It’s silly to think this won’t trickle down. Again, my focus is on improving k-12, top to bottom, not masking or working around the problems.

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6 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

Seems unsurprising and uncontroversial to me. MIT is choosing to use a helpful tool. Perfect, of course not, but helpful for them. Why would they not?
 

 

Because the students they’re testing had at least two years of pandemic school. It’s premature.

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Yeah. It really is NOT my problem. The system needs fixing and sacrificing my kids to it wont fix it any more than your kids are by being there not receiving an appropriate education per your words. Sending my kids to a ps would just hurt them. Nothing else.

 

And trickle down to what? What has been done for admissions in this country for decades? Test scores are whatever from my perspective, but it is what they require, and wringing your hands wont change things one iota. It simply is what it is.  Get angry. Scream it isnt fair.  10 yrs from now it is doubtful anything will be at all different. I have had kids applying to college since 2007 and all top Us have done is get more expensive and more competitive. The equally good change is same time avg Us and community colleges have become very acceptable stepping stones.

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13 hours ago, Sneezyone said:

Because the students they’re testing had at least two years of pandemic school. It’s premature.

So? MIT's choice.  As 8 said, their school, their rules. They are free to do what is helpful for them. They are the best ones to decide what is useful or not in their admissions process. 

Your argument seems to be that MIT is only truly an option for children of the elite. Those kids had far fewer academic issues in the pandemic than others. They and their parents have enormous ability to compensate. I have friends who pod-schooled gifted children when their big-deal private schools shut down or when their kids could not function in masks. Those kids missed their friends and fun activities like everyone else, but they got excellent academics, in some ways better than what their $$ prep schools offer. They actually came out farther ahead than they started because homeschooling can be targeted and efficient. Children of elites are not likely unprepared for testing.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Because the students they’re testing had at least two years of pandemic school. It’s premature.

So have all students. How is that unequal when compared to each other? It isnt regardless of your arguments. Circumstances are never exactly equal and that isnt a Us major focus. Building a class is. They accept a handful that way out of a larger fistful and everyone else is rejected.

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4 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

So? MIT's choice.  As 8 said, their school, their rules. They are free to do what is helpful for them. They are the best ones to decide what is useful or not in their admissions process. 

Your argument seems to be that MIT is only truly an option for children of the elite. Those kids had far fewer academic issues in the pandemic than others. They and their parents have enormous ability to compensate. I have friends who pod-schooled gifted children when their big-deal private schools shut down or when their kids could not function in masks. Those kids missed their friends and fun activities like everyone else, but they got excellent academics, in some ways better than what their $$ prep schools offer. They actually came out farther ahead than they started because homeschooling can be targeted and efficient. 

 

 

I agree it’s their rules. I can still say/believe it’s premature.

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4 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

So have all students. How is that unequal when compared to each other? It isnt regardless of your arguments. Circumstances are never exactly equal and that isnt a Us major focus. Building a class is. They accept a handful that way out of a larger fistful and everyone else is rejected.

Because I kept my DS home for 7th to get around our district’s gate keeping and know *everyone* was not similarly affected. Parents in my area had their kids in online and in person tutoring throughout.

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19 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Because the students they’re testing had at least two years of pandemic school. It’s premature.

If they're not prepared for the test, then it would seem to me that they're not prepared to go to MIT. 

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3 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Yeah. It really is NOT my problem. The system needs fixing and sacrificing my kids to it wont fix it any more than your kids are by being there not receiving an appropriate education per your words. Sending my kids to a ps would just hurt them. Nothing else.

 

And trickle down to what? What has been done for admissions in this country for decades? Test scores are whatever from my perspective, but it is what they require, and wringing your hands wont change things one iota. It simply is what it is.  Get angry. Scream it isnt fair.  10 yrs from now it is doubtful anything will be at all different. I have had kids applying to college since 2007 and all top Us have done is get more expensive and more competitive. The equally good change is same time avg Us and community colleges have become very acceptable stepping stones.

Amen to all this.

Yes to the bolded! This is how my Dd will go to college. Good scores will allow her to attend one of several state Us for very little $ and be in the honors college.  Maybe even attend a small private college , depending on competitive scholarships. There are many ways to get an excellent education. 

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8 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

So? MIT's choice.  As 8 said, their school, their rules. They are free to do what is helpful for them. They are the best ones to decide what is useful or not in their admissions process. 

Your argument seems to be that MIT is only truly an option for children of the elite. Those kids had far fewer academic issues in the pandemic than others. They and their parents have enormous ability to compensate. I have friends who pod-schooled gifted children when their big-deal private schools shut down or when their kids could not function in masks. Those kids missed their friends and fun activities like everyone else, but they got excellent academics, in some ways better than what their $$ prep schools offer. They actually came out farther ahead than they started because homeschooling can be targeted and efficient. 

 

 

Yes, the second part, yes. It’s not a sign of talent or skill but wealth.

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13 minutes ago, EKS said:

Wealth comes in many forms.

Absolutely. I know many homeschooling families that live very tight and are some arent even, some barely middle class who are giving their kids a wealth education. They scrap by bc they want to give their kids something better than an institutionalized education. They'd laugh at being called wealthy in anything other than their love for their kids (especially the one living in a trailer park)

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19 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

Yes, the second part, yes. It’s not a sign of talent or skill but wealth.

But the parent income stats posted earlier in the thread for MIT show they actually don’t just draw from the wealthy. I’m guessing they attract many of the same type of students gaining entrance to the elite public high schools in NYC or attending private high schools on scholarships. Gifted kids who are highly driven with parents who are highly invested in education regardless of income level. 

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Just now, Frances said:

But the parent income stats posted earlier in the thread for MIT show they actually don’t just draw from the wealthy. I’m guessing they attract many of the same type of students gaining entrance to the elite public high schools in NYC or attending private high schools on scholarships. Gifted kids who are highly driven with parents who are highly invested in education regardless of income level. 

Those students will be equally disadvantaged for lack of in/class work and test prep.

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Just now, Sneezyone said:

Those students will be equally disadvantaged for lack of in/class work and test prep.

I’m confused. I feel like we are often talking past each other in this thread.

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26 minutes ago, ScoutTN said:

Amen to all this.

Yes to the bolded! This is how my Dd will go to college. Good scores will allow her to attend one of several state Us for very little $ and be in the honors college.  Maybe even attend a small private college , depending on competitive scholarships. There are many ways to get an excellent education. 

Don’t disagree but the free/low-cost options for upper middle class families are slimmer.

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Upper middle class dont need free, but heck yeah, they have plenty of options. More than most. Free based on merit has nothing to do with income. My kids attend for free or very low cost precisely bc they earn merit $$. Rich, poor, and everything in between equally qualify.

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