Sunday, January 7, 2007

High school

In the New York Times this morning:

In past eras, good high schools provided the educational foundation for an intellectual awakening in college. But for the mostly affluent students in private and competitive public schools -- from T.J. (as Thomas Jefferson is known) to urban intellectual cocoons like Bronx Science and Stuyvesant -- high school has become the defining academic experience. The much-touted leap to higher education has become more of a lateral step, or even a letdown.

"Our students find college not as challenging," says Temba Maqubela, dean of faculty and assistant head for academics at Phillips Academy, the boarding school in Andover, Mass. Former students have written to him expressing frustration with college courses that are too basic. (Consider this collegiate-sounding offering from Andover’s English department: "Feasts and Fools: The Topos of the Festive Social Gathering.") Andover alumni tell John Rogers, dean of studies, that college "is not as difficult as their experience here," he says.

"The Incredibles" (New York Times, registration required)

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