Getting young ones launched in life is a noble mission and my life’s work and I’m happy to report that I’ve been more successful than ever as I hone my skills and take on even greater challenges. The trick is keeping up with the accelerating chaos created by well-intentioned college admissions folk who are utterly clueless about their applicants’ reality, and either don’t know that or are not willing to go there.
Is that ignorance or arrogance? Hmmm…probably a shade of each.
The recent Coalition commotion has caused a minor stir in the everyday world but a major one in the world of guidance counselors. No one describes this better than my esteemed colleague, Will Dix, who has kept up a steady stream of superb pieces aimed at reaching the hearts and minds of our former colleagues in college admissions. Will understands the needs of both cohorts well and is doing his best to stop the generational meltdown that will surely come as a result of the silly Coalition expectations. GCs everywhere are near apoplectic over these expectations since they can easily anticipate the unintended consequences that will ensue. Yet, oddly, they have never been included in the Coalition’s planning, which is where the ignorance and arrogance come in.
Admissions officers and guidance counselors have long seen themselves as partners in the launching of young adults, but this decision to change the college admissions process without consulting their GC partners and then dissing their protests over same has revealed just how broken the process is.
Anyone who every worked as a college admissions officer will feel their Bravo Sierra barometer engage as they read the Coalition’s plans since this proposal doesn’t pass the smell test, meaning that even the most experienced among us can’t imagine how creating an online ‘locker’ for 9th graders to post their work for review by college admissions officers years later could possibly lead to more underprivileged Black and Hispanic kids being admitted to top tier schools, which is supposedly the point of the whole exercise. It doesn’t take an MIT PhD to see that this scenario will just spawn a new cottage industry of consultants eager to help advantaged 9th graders produce admissions worthy documents from the get go, thereby throwing the advantage to the wealthy once again while increasing the stress levels of young teenagers who are already medicated in unprecedented numbers to get through their days, courtesy of our helpful medical community in bed with the pharmaceutical industry. No matter that data shows these meds are counter-indicated for teenagers. No matter they actually trigger suicidal behaviors in growing brains.
Who cares? At least those advantaged teenagers will have a better shot at getting into an Ivy school. And isn’t that what life is all about?
Let’s face it. Underprivileged minority students are not in the Ivy + schools’ applicant pools, but not because they just need to plan earlier by putting 9th grade assignments in a Time Capsule Locker. They aren’t there for a million different reasons and here’s where the cognitive dissonance comes in. These schools know that, but at the same time they are looking for that one diamond-in-the-rough kid who pulled himself up by his boot straps and earned all As and at least a 2100 on the SATs. In the real world, this is an urban legend, but that myth has kept those admissions officers hooked in its illusion.
For the past 30 years these schools could have taken minority students with mixed grades and/or low scores and leveled the playing field but they haven’t. Know why? Do you think for one minute that Harvard will let its SAT mean score drop and lose the coveted top place in the USNWR ranking system, just to bring social justice in the admissions process that is stacked against certain populations of kids? Nah. It won’t happen, folks. We’re talking Big Business, Big Egos here, not education.
Look at what these schools DO, not at what they SAY.
Bottom line: the Coalition’s big ambition will only widen the access gap by creating a system that the wealthy know how to play very well and, count on it, they will win the day, leaving another generation of disadvantaged kids locked out of the American dream. And over time, the difference between the haves and the have nots will wreck all that’s good about America.
So here’s a big shout out to Will Dix, a champion for children and a true hero to the rest of us in this fight to rescue education from the corrupt clutches of Big Business. You aren’t alone, Will.
There are many of us out here calling Bravo Sierra on this idea because nothing short of the future of our Republic is at stake.
Yeah, it’s that important.