Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Those Boston Latin School Blues

The Boston Latin School (website here) is the oldest public school in the United States. This school's long list of illustrious alumni include Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Leonard Bernstein. Competition for entry is fierce, with many graduates being assured places in the country's most prestigious colleges and universities. And yes, all students must complete four years of Latin.

But.... it seems as though
the pressure to succeed might be a little much:
Jenney Szeto, a Boston Latin School senior, boasts a 4.33 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and has a transcript stuffed with advanced placement classes in calculus, chemistry, and computer science.

She planned to take four advanced placement classes this year, two more than last year, but Boston Latin drew the line. The school restricted her to three of the college-level classes.

''We are concerned with students who take on too much," said Jim Montague, the school's director of counseling. ''We're saying there's a limit."

The 17-year-old did exceedingly well in her advanced classes, but more high school counselors and college admissions officials -- even parents and students -- are beginning to wonder whether the pursuit for admission to the nation's elite colleges and universities is worth the overextension of students.
I thought the whole point of enduring this type of demanding academic regimen was to get into those prestigious top-tier universities that our most powerful and influential citizens have come to expect for their offspring while The Rest of Us have to work damned hard to get through the door.

For some reason, when I hear folks in these elite schools utter their laments about the overly-heavy academic workload, I'm reminded of those "old money" types who run amok and tell everyone within earshot that, "money doesn't matter."
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