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Experience with Prep Schools?? - Page 5

post #61 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post

p.s. I went to Worcester Academy, while we certainly don't rank as high as any of the school listed, I would still rate it excellent. In fact if I got the money, I would rather donate to my high school first than to my undergrad. the experience I had in that school was live changing. Though my case was definitely special since I was international student all by myself and didn't really speak English to start with. There was a lot cultural shock element in it. College was more like continuation of high school to me in some degree.

I feel the same way. I got much more out of the prep schools I attended than I did university. If I came in to money, that's where I'd donate it. Forumites will joke but I would not be nearly as well-rounded today were it not for prep school; neither of my siblings are because they hung out with the losers from the local town instead. We have very different outlooks. My sister is actually in a union *YUCK*. I strayed off the golden path and didn't make the most of the opportunities I had coming out of HS - and I won't bother laying blame - but when you attend long enough a certain mentality sets in. It feels unacceptable to fail. At least in my case, I got back on track.

Iammatt/his wife are knowledgeable in this area. The comment above about not having to send your kids at 12 is an interesting one. All kids are different, but is there an optimal time in terms of resource allocation for those people that can't easily swing anywhere from 15k-50k/yr? I'm sure there's been some research about what age range provides the best "ROI" for forming the character/personality of your kid into something that will result in a successful adult.

I'm a big fan of Richard Feynman, as some no doubt know. Feynman talks over and over again about how his father taught him to think as a young child, their nature trips, how his father explained inertia to him, etc. Certainly, it's a model i'd want to follow if i ever have kids. He had the following to say in an essay he wrote. He's specifically talking about making scientists, but I think the fundamental insight that you have to get kids into learning/wanting to know how things work while they're young is important:

Quote:
When we read about this in the newspaper, it says, "The scientist says that this discovery may have importance in the cure of cancer." The paper is only interested in the use of the idea, not the idea itself. Hardly anyone can understand the importance of the idea, it is so remarkable. Except that, possibly, some children catch on. And when a child catches on to an idea like that, we have a scientist. These ideas do filter down (in spite of all the conversation about TV replacing thinking), and lots of kids get the spirit -- and when they have the spirit you have a scientist. It's too late for them to get the spirit when they are in our universities, so we must attempt to explain these ideas to children.

It's something to think about. Regardless of public/private, TEACH your kids something and get involved with them.
post #62 of 147
Thread Starter 
Just excellent. As a parent, very motivating to hear this. Turning off the TV - now that's a concept we like to hear.
post #63 of 147
People have mentioned Stuyvesant as the hallmark of what a public school ought to be, but as a former student there (and someone who boarded 5 days through middle school), Stuyvesant suffered from many of the problems of a public school--especially a New York one. The students essentially defined the school, and many teachers were mediocre at best protected only by their unionage. The administration is heavy handed, and the drug scene is incredibly dominant in the social life. A large number of the students are incredibly book smart, but compared with my friends at Dalton, Horace Mann, and Poly Prep, they seem less socially adept or ambitious beyond their narrow goals of being another 80k a year scientist. Furthermore, with the recession and New York's economic problems, Stuy's been forced to take on many more kids each year while cutting back on standards such as security and textbooks. Clubs no longer receive the funding they used to, and more and more bad press has crippled the school's ranking. In my grade, out of under 800 grads, over 20 go into Columbia RD. This past grade sent less than 10 RD. We haven't sent a student to wharton in forever, and Harvard admissions dropped a similar rate. In my time at Stuyvesant I saw over a dozen cases of arson, which the school dealt with by punishing the entire student body.

That being said, I loved my time, but only for the friends I made--out of a school of 3200 I found a few dozen great people.

My younger brother is bound for Andover or Choate because my parents do not believe it is worth trading the latter for the former. Few of the New England schools have the problems mentioned in the first paragraph (although I guess some may stereotype those schools [falsely I believe] negatively for other reasons). Any socially adept and confident kid will function in the boarding environment, but I guess a large public school, regardless of "prestige" would be more suitable for those that truly need what I consider an unnecessary level of diversity. Prep schools are not filled with exclusively Bushes and Kerrys, their student body vary more than enough for my tastes based on my experiences with their students.
post #64 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post
People have mentioned Stuyvesant as the hallmark of what a public school ought to be, but as a former student there (and someone who boarded 5 days through middle school), Stuyvesant suffered from many of the problems of a public school--especially a New York one. The students essentially defined the school, and many teachers were mediocre at best protected only by their unionage. The administration is heavy handed, and the drug scene is incredibly dominant in the social life. A large number of the students are incredibly book smart, but compared with my friends at Dalton, Horace Mann, and Poly Prep, they seem less socially adept or ambitious beyond their narrow goals of being another 80k a year scientist. Furthermore, with the recession and New York's economic problems, Stuy's been forced to take on many more kids each year while cutting back on standards such as security and textbooks. Clubs no longer receive the funding they used to, and more and more bad press has crippled the school's ranking. In my grade, out of under 800 grads, over 20 go into Columbia RD. This past grade sent less than 10 RD. We haven't sent a student to wharton in forever, and Harvard admissions dropped a similar rate. In my time at Stuyvesant I saw over a dozen cases of arson, which the school dealt with by punishing the entire student body.

That being said, I loved my time, but only for the friends I made--out of a school of 3200 I found a few dozen great people.

My younger brother is bound for Andover or Choate because my parents do not believe it is worth trading the latter for the former. Few of the New England schools have the problems mentioned in the first paragraph (although I guess some may stereotype those schools [falsely I believe] negatively for other reasons). Any socially adept and confident kid will function in the boarding environment, but I guess a large public school, regardless of "prestige" would be more suitable for those that truly need what I consider an unnecessary level of diversity. Prep schools are not filled with exclusively Bushes and Kerrys, their student body vary more than enough for my tastes based on my experiences with their students.


That's why Hunter High School is just better =P
post #65 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post
Prep schools are not filled with exclusively Bushes and Kerrys, their student body vary more than enough for my tastes based on my experiences with their students.

Well said.
post #66 of 147
Or send him to Collegiate. I never really liked magnet schools/Stuy/Hunter...
post #67 of 147
Interesting thread. I am a product of Newark NJ public high school. I moved there in 9th grade from Anderson, South Carolina. The schooling system in Newark is worse than anything you have read, seen, and heard.

It is sad looking back. Many of the kids I went to school with simply did not have much of a chance at life and will continue the cycle of drugs, welfare, prison, projects, and oppression.

I wouldn't change a thing looking back though as I gained some knowledge that no prep school could ever teach me. However, I sure as hell wouldn't let my kids go to school there.

It is not because I do not think they would turn out okay and become successful. It is because all of the things that could go wrong just statistically speaking.
post #68 of 147
Thread Starter 
OMG - South Carolina to Newark. Talk about a culture shock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyfingers View Post
Interesting thread. I am a product of Newark NJ public high school. I moved there in 9th grade from Anderson, South Carolina. The schooling system in Newark is worse than anything you have read, seen, and heard.

It is sad looking back. Many of the kids I went to school with simply did not have much of a chance at life and will continue the cycle of drugs, welfare, prison, projects, and oppression.

I wouldn't change a thing looking back though as I gained some knowledge that no prep school could ever teach me. However, I sure as hell wouldn't let my kids go to school there.

It is not because I do not think they would turn out okay and become successful. It is because all of the things that could go wrong just statistically speaking.
post #69 of 147
Being a white guy with a southern accent in a city that felt like it was 100% black wasn't easy.

Newark has a great deal of racial tension. Most of the white people you see in the actual blocks, projects, and neighborhoods are making the daily commute to score some heroin and go back to the suburbs. Newark is well known all over the tri state area for having potent cheap heroin and people drive long distances everyday to score.
post #70 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEARTLESS-531 View Post
Fellas,
Anyone here sent their kids to an East Coast prep school? We're thinking about sending our 12 year old to a New England prep school. Like drinking from a fire hose! Anyone?? Any advice? Guidance? THANKS IN ADVANCE GUYS.
If you can afford it, it will give your child a tremendious advantage ... at college and in life ... for reasons aready noted above.

Moreover, I'm in agreement with those who advise against the day school option. Boarding is essential to the experience and the desired result.
post #71 of 147
worth it iff (if and only if)only if your child is mature enough...take off your rose glasses, as applicable.

between work, college, living in new england my entire life, and growing up in a NH town that houses a well known school I have many friends and acquaintances who came out of the name drop new england preps...some had truly enriching experiences; some learned how to blow coke and act like entitled bitches.

if your child sees the big picture, it is worth the investment, otherwise no. admittedly some public options are so bad that private is the only choice, but I leave that circumstance outside the scope of my generalization, especially since i know nothing of the public education options in europe, where it seems the op is based.

also, day schooling is not really an option, and SPS is the shit.
post #72 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
Most schools put a cap on how many students they'll take from individual high schools. Also, your GPA probably suffers at extremely competitive schools.



For a local example, there's a (public) magnet school in Northern VA that's extremely highly ranked nationally. The top state universities (UVA and William and Mary) could accept close to every graduate based on admission criteria, but they cap it off. Some kids were getting into schools like Columbia and not into UVA because of it.

that's somewhat believable. haters gon hate.

i have a bit of a unique perspective to add to this. growing up from pre-k to 8th i went to private schools, and almost did for HS too, but instead went to the school mentioned above. my peers went to private schools where even the best (ha) stagnated and failed to achieve anything.

my observation is that being in an environment where spoiled rich kids have nothing better to do than compare what cars their dads bought for them and experiment with drugs is not conducive to achievement. the people i have met from the big name places like Andover/Exeter don't suffer from this as much, probably because their parents are more likely to be high achievers. however, i'd guess most of them are spoiled degenerates as well.

on my side, like the Philips guy posted, my choice definitely did tremendous damage to my college prospects, and subsequently my career. (i don't believe those prep schools inflict this damage though, instead they probably greatly increase the odds for mediocre students.) however, like him, I would not trade it. nothing was exceptional about the school itself, except for my classmates.

most importantly, when I have kids I would want them to go to public HS because I don't think you can be a real American without doing so. private schools don't even have football teams. (wtf.) on the other hand, most public schools are not like the one i went to, so it would be a dilemma. i might send my kids to a private school but i would want to know exactly how it was academically superior.

fwiw all the genius-level people I've met have been home-schooled more or less.

ps. sounds like stuy really blows
post #73 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by scientific View Post
private schools don't even have football teams. (wtf.)

There goes your credibility. I'm not aware of any prep school without a football team (except for the all girls schools). And it's pretty competitive - a few students a year go from the NE prep league(s) into BCS programs.
post #74 of 147
Thread Starter 
He may have been mistaken or mis-spoke. Yeah, the schools I am aware of are very competitive and push to build their sports teams. On one of the preinterview questionaires, they want specifics - how fast do you run the 50 yards, how fast do you swim the 100M, etc.
post #75 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by scientific View Post
most importantly, when I have kids I would want them to go to public HS because I don't think you can be a real American without doing so. private schools don't even have football teams. (wtf.).
I really needed a laugh this morning, and your post -- particularly the above portion -- helped fulfull that need.

Your post was meant to amuse, no?
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