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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 06:52 PM

Naomi Wolf: This pampered private school elite can only lead to US decline


... This school is not at all unusual in Manhattan's elite private school environment. If anything, it is restrained. A trend in Manhattan's wealthy private schools, as in major cities across the United States, reproduces this set of delights and more, as each competes to offer affluent parents, who can afford the $40,000 annually that such schools cost, the most fabulous experience for the child. Part of this trend is the excision of any part of the school experience for kids that is, in any way, unpleasant, taxing, scary or boring. I believe that these kids are being put at serious risk by this trend to smooth away any of life's rough spots, once kids are within private school doors; and that US competitiveness and innovation even are being put at risk by it.

Educators complain that wealthy US parents are increasingly demanding in seeking a massively vibrant, pleasurable and supportive school experience for their kids one that will get them into Harvard, certainly, but with no negative experiences along the way. Many educators in these schools complain that parents' and, increasingly, students' attitude to educators is that they are consuming a costly luxury product, and that the teachers work for them; rather than serving as authority figures to the kids, educators at such schools complain that wealthy US parents increasingly expect "service" and "deliverables" from teachers, so won't brook a poor grade or evaluation, or a difficult experience for their child. This attitude then carries over into colleges that serve wealthy populations. And it does not stop there: the consumerist ethos has trickled down, destructively, into the public school system, too.

... Another trend is for there to be no final grades: if you don't like the grade you got, in these $40k-plus schools, you resubmit a revised version of your essay for reconsideration. In life, though, how many times will your boss (or your spouse) let you have a no-foul "do-over" for bad judgement or lousy execution?

... The trouble is that these parents are ill-equipping their kids for global competition. These cosseted US kids will graduate to compete not only with other hothouse-flower American children of wealth; they will be competing, rather, against a foreign student population in the US that has grown 32% in a decade, that contributes $20bn to the US economy and sends almost 750,000 students to US colleges every year. Then, these US kids will try to compete in a global economy with the same population: children of the emerging middle classes of China and India, South Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia and Brazil young people intellectually toughened by educational years overseen by demanding teachers, a tradition of educational authority undiluted by consumerism, rigorous standards, and the hardships of economic stringency.

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Reply Naomi Wolf: This pampered private school elite can only lead to US decline (Original post)
Newsjock Mar 2012 OP
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snagglepuss Mar 2012 #1
bvar22 Mar 2012 #2

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 09:10 AM

2. Most of these pampered children of our Plutocracy...

...will NEVER have to compete for a job,
so Naomi's concern about their lack of toughness in the job market won't be a problem for them.

However, running away from hungry mobs carrying Torches & Pitchforks could be a problem in the (hopefully) near future.

You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their Social Pedigrees.

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