April 27, 2016

We consider ourselves fortunate when we come across a written piece that exhibits both perceptive reasoning and insightful conclusions.

Such was the case for me this week when I came upon the Valerie Strauss’ Op-ed “Answer Sheet” published in The Washington Post,

College counselor: I’m sick of reading about golden kids getting into Harvard. Here’s the story I want to see.”

This one’s worth your time and I hope you are able to read it.  Here are a few excerpts:

“Last month, Brennan Barnard, a college counselor at a private school in New Hampshire, wrote a piece on how the college admissions process for many students had become something akin to The Hunger Games.

 He wrote:

 In an ideal world, college preparatory education would encourage students who crave knowledge, seek community engagement, desire connection and live their values.  We say we want our children to feel secure, be inspired and take risks with their curiosity.  The reality of “The Hunger Games” comes closer to the truth, where students battle to survive in application pools seeming to demand perfection.  .  .  .

 .  .  . This “trophy” mentality to college admission fueled by such articles seems more appropriate for tabloid fodder than thoughtful reporting on the transformative value of higher education.  If we want to honor distinction, how about applauding the fact that the New College of Florida (a CTCL school) has more Fulbright Scholars per capita than any Ivy League institution?  If the headlines each spring continue to support this limited fixation on 5 percent of the most selective colleges and universities, we are just perpetuating an unhealthy culture of competition and elitism.  .  .  .

 .  .  . We must also celebrate the stories of the majority who are leading thoughtful, intentional lives and are applying to — and enrolling in — colleges and universities that are less celebrated.  Despite our initial unfamiliarity with these colleges, they are indeed changing young people’s lives and meeting their aspirations for a top-flight education.  .  .  . I applaud pieces like the recent Forbes article about companies such as Google who are unconcerned with the Ivy League pedigree.”

Barnard has so much more to say.  Reading his observations are worth your time —- especially if you have “college decisions to make” in your family’s future.

More on Monday –  –  –

     — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning  (Mondays & Wednesdays)

 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)