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Response to Thespian2 (Original post)

Mon Oct 13, 2014, 10:58 AM

2. in terms of financial return, I'd agree, but high school is much more rigorous overall today

I'm in a region with lots of uber-competitive native and immigrant parents, yes, but the "reforms" and testing, as well as the increased competition for dwindling slots at the top 100 IHEs, has led to brutal competition in the high schools around here. I skipped two grades 30 years ago but today would struggle with some of the classes at my daughters' high school (it's a nationally ranked politically progressive public charter--but other public high schools around here are equally difficult, as in, 10 APs upon graduation difficult, and AP classes offered in 9th grade. Ugh!).

Interestingly, my eldest, now at an Ivy (on full scholarship) has to constantly struggle with career-related matters and classes that feel much less intimate. Her true liberal arts experience was at that high school, which was the last carefree time (with immense homework yes) she could actually discuss literature and philosophy with any abandon. Now it's all constant pressure to interview for internships, go to conferences, and keep up. I kind of wanted her to sit on the quad and argue politics for a few years, but she says she only does that with her high school alum. At her Ivy everyone's so friggin' competitive and busy, since they're the only ones with any chance to jump out of the dying middle class into a salary that actually pays the bills.

But I agree with you--in terms of what it means in the job market, however, the average B.A. is the marker the high school diploma once was, and requires lifelong debt servitude. Pretty feudal.

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