tl;dr → Because they can; because they need more “data.” The English system is better, they’ve got this figured out already. Europe, look to Europe for the answers.
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
Academic Culpability Test (ACT)
Universe (who cares?)
Counterpoint (who doesn’t care?)
The English “public” school scheme, writ large.
contributor, participant → bad (a C-)
leader, tangible merit → good (A, A+)
Attributes (of a successful supplicant)
warmth of personality
sense of humor
concern for others
grace under pressure.
Definition of Leadership, as a <quote>a broad church of qualities</quote>
concern for others
natural team player
natural lone wolf
The categorical Leadership is culture-specific.
<quote>[leaders] will—implicitly—manage those others who are not [leaders].The implicit message behind the rhetoric of leadership is that learning for learning’s sake is not enough.[Leaders are] People who make it to the top. People who can climb the greasy pole of whatever hierarchy they decide to attach themselves to.</quote> attributed to Robert J. Sternberg, College Admissions for the 21st Century
What We Look For; In The Application Process; materials; Harvard University; WHEN?
William Deresiewicz (Columbia); Solitude and Leadership; In The American Scholar; 2010-03-01.
Teaser: If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts
Recited at the plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2009-10.
The Organization Kid; David Brooks; In The Atlantic; 2001-04.
Teaser: The young men and women of America’s future elite work their laptops to the bone, rarely question authority, and happily accept their positions at the top of the heap as part of the natural order of life.
l Buy Buy Baby, the infant-oriented megastore, offers at least half a dozen selections, including Mozart for Babies’ Minds (featuring the Violin Concerto no. 3), Mozart Playtime (with the Minuet in F Major), the Parents Magazine Classical Music for Baby Mozart collection (Serenade no. 13 in G Major), and Mozart for Toddlers (Symphony no. 35). P
A Nation at Risk, commissined by Terrel Bell, 1983-04-26
Terrell Bell was Secretary of Education, Ronald Reagan Administration.
<quote> Some physicians believe that 10 percent of all children have the sort of conduct disorder—attention-deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder—that could be eased with Ritalin or some other drug. </quote>
<quote>Princeton has just completed a new student facility in the Frist Campus Center, formerly Palmer Hall, an old science building. <snip/> Prospect House, formerly the president’s residence and now the faculty club <snip/></quote>
(upper-)middle class culture
stable ranks of the upper-middle class
culture of unbounded striving
Stanford duck syndrome
(calm on the surface, furiously paddling unseen below)
<quote>Depression is effectively “glorified,” because it attracts attention.</quote>, attributed to an anonymous Gunn senior.
Palo Alto Weekly
various reportage, 2011; uncited
Ken Dauber’s campaign
We Can Do Better, Palo Alto
Project Safety Net (PSN), 2009.
Titan 101; (reuqired) course, Gunn High School.
<quote>The bulk of school counseling is still carried out by unpaid interns—master’s students, mostly—who typically stay just one to two years, undermining the larger goal of tight relationships between providers and kids. </quote>
Changes, at Gunn; are recited
more difficult than planned
undercut by students
desire for stronger classes; AP-level courses; students, parents, etc.
cell phone use
Save the 2008
Oracle, student newspaper, Gunn
attributed to Madeline Levine.
<quote>The schools blame the parents. And when they are together, they blame the universities,</quote>,
<quote>Communities like Palo Alto may tout their Hallmark-ready battle cry of “We’re all in this together,” but all too often, there is little coming together on anything. “Where are the parents? How do they tolerate four hours of homework? Since when are kids making multiple trips to the ER? It starts to be a mass delusion. That’s what this feels like to me. What’s that book where all the girls become hysterical—The Crucible? That is what this feels like to me.</quote>
<quote>[fears for this generation of kids] who don’t come out and say ‘Screw you.’ Where’s the rebellion? These kids have no sense that they could change something.</quote>
Stanford Psychiatry Department, commenced a study, a “psychological autopsy” of the suicide cluster; WHEN?
Did not conclude, no work product was produced.
<quote>The problem is that Palo Alto, in my experience, is a community with something of a tin ear, many denizens seemingly hearing only what confirms their preexisting worldview. Some of that tone deafness is understandable, given the complexity of the issues besetting the town. But some of it may be due to a general muzzling of suicide-related speech.</quote>, attributed to Diana Kapp.
“Listening to Youth Voices”, a panel, 2015-03(?)
My Voice Matters, a blog, On Tumblr.
Palo Alto Weekly, cited as patrolling the (language) commentariat on their articles.
Andrew Liu; a blog post, uncited
inflammatory prose & diagram
a Venn Diagram: (Palo Alto, Asian, Male)
<quote>It seems, that the demographic most at risk are Asian (Chinese) males in high school (hey, that’s what I am!).</quote>
Denise Herrmann, Principal, Palo Alto High School
3-year accrediation plan, presented to the School Board
priority: “expanding the cultural definition of success beyond traditional metrics.”
Joe [no last name]; exemplar, (temporarily) missing teen. A search party is deployed.
Ian Cramer, exemplar; might have been missing, but was found.
substantially in order of appearance
Daniel Saal, parent. psychiatrist
Lauren Saal, daughter; junior, Gunn High School.
Martha Cabot, age 16
Lisa Hao, student
Denise Herrmann, principal, Gunn High School
Roni Gillenson, program director, Adolescent Counseling Services, Gunn High School
director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program at Stanford
consultant to the Palo Alto Unified School District
Ian Cramer, wrestling team, Gunn High School
Erika Drazan, pediatrician, Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF)
Carolyn Walworth; the Sorrows of Young Palo Altans; In Palo Alto Online; 2015-03-25; separately noted.
Carolyn Walworth is the Palo Alto High School student representative on the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education.
tl;dr → Divided by immigration in the proxy of observable regional origin & named by their race, those doing well in the system want more of it; those not succeeding want a different system. School district administrators try to <quote>avoid becoming another Palo Alto</quote>. The stewards & stakeholders debate the pros & cons, with emotion & emphasis in public spheres as school policy is modified in situ. Student population & individual behavior, feelings & attitudes are not surveyed; with the understanding that all is compos mentis therein.
Letter to the Community; Dr. David Aderhold; West Windsor-Plainsboro (WW-P) Regional School District; 2015-10 (undated in the text, dated on the filename); 16 pages.
There will be change.
The changes are outlined.
Whole Child, Every Child
<snide>what bright & colorful names!</snide>
Whole Child, Every Child!
No Student Left Behind!
The Race to the Top!
Headstart (the grandaddy of them all!)
<quote>The mission of the WW-P school district is to “develop passionate, confident, lifelong learners.”</quote>
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
Whole Child Initiative
Whole Child Tenets
large longish sentences with mission statement gravitas, embedding the adjectives:
No midterm, final exams; continuous & constant grading.
Option II; a State of New Jersey program for credit granted for activities performed outside of school.
assessments (grading); somehow different than testing.
external program review
<quote>face the prospect of becoming another Palo Alto, Calif., where outsize stress on teenage students is believed to have contributed to two clusters of suicides in the last six years.</quote>, attributed to David Aderhold in verbal statements at a meeting.
West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, N.J.
is “near” Princeton, N.J. whatever that means in a state the size of New Jersey.
<quote>bout 10 minutes from Princeton and an hour and a half from New York City,
<quote>At a packed meeting of the school district’s Board of Education held shortly before the winter break, a middle school cafeteria was filled with parents, with Asian-Americans sitting on one side and white families on the other.</quote>; unclear if Kyle Spencer, the reporter, witnessed this, experienced this, or was told of this by others.
Apparently due to the Kyle Spencer, the reporter, and the editorial staff of The New York Times (NYT).
Categories of Persons
euphemism to characterize 0th generation (at least, the parents)
white (lower case)
<quote>Both Asian-American and white families say the tension between the two groups has grown steadily over the past few years, as the number of Asian families has risen/quote>
<quote>The district has become increasingly popular with immigrant families from China, India and Korea. This year, 65 percent of its students are Asian-American, compared with 44 percent in 2007. Many of them are the first in their families born in the United States.</quote>
superintendent, West Windsor-Plainsboro (WW-P) Regional School District, NJ.
2.5 years as superintendant
7 in WW-P
parent; son, daughter; ages circa elementary school, middle school.
former president, Parent Teacher Student Association (PTA)
<quote>Asian-American professional</quote>; cited as exemplar of the genre.
parent, no further details.
moved to WW-P after 2005.
(represented as) Chinese; i.e. born in Chengdu, CN
a parent; kindergarten, 8th grade
something about “pursuing” a masters degree in chemistry
[still working on it? she didn't finish it & has abandoned the quest?]
(represented as) Chinese-American; i.e. born in the U.S.
parent; 5th, 8th graders
professor, sociology, University of California, Irvine
tl;dr → 8900 words; big-name writer breezes in from New York, stays with friends in San Mateo; recites the material, does some interviews, off-site interview with a survivor of the milieu. Eats, shoots, leaves. No new information. Graphic descriptions of street-level Caltrain for sound & mood; graphic expandable pictures of the grieving parents. Tour of the bestsellers. Not helpful. Generalized schadenfreude..
U.S. News & World Report, university ranking scheme.
“a culture of affluence,” Suniya Luthar.
unethical Tiger Mothers.
Panopticon, Jeremy Bentham,
due to Taylor Chiu (attributed below)
Automaton, Henri Maillardet, 1800,
due to Hanna Rosen, an artistic & intellectual flourish.
The children can no longer have fun, can no longer play.
Taylor Chiu, a former Paly student, San Francisco, an interview, a testimonial.
Ken Dauber, a school-board member, PAUSD; software engineer, Google
Kim Diorio, principal, Palo Alto High School.
Denise Herrmann, principal, Gunn High School.
Glenn “Max” McGee, Superintendent PAUSD
Chloe Sorensen, sophmore, Gunn, a survey
Carolyn Walworth, 2014, was a junior, Paly student representative to the PAUSD School Board.
Avi Assor, professor, psychology, Ben-Gurion University, IL.
Something about the effect of reward systems for adolescents.
Frank Bruni. Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania
William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life; also The Atlantic
David Lester, professor, psychology, Stockton University, NJ
cited for statements in a podcast(!!!)
Madeline Levine; The Price of Privilege
Julie Lythcott-Haims; How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
Suniya Luthar, work product unclear; circa “late” 1990s.
Concept: “a culture of affluence.”
As cited, but not interviewed.
Suniya Luthar, assistant professor, psychiatry, Yale Univeresity, circa “late” 1990s
Julie Lythcott-Haims, ex-dean of freshman life (or such), Stanford; a parent of 2.
Roni Gillenson, Gunn mental-health program since 2006.
William Deresiewicz; contributor, The Atlantic; ex-professor, Yale.
Madeline Levine; a child psychologist who practices in the Bay Area.
Unclear if she was contacted or her published works are merely being cited.
A bit murky who was actually interviewed & who was cited from topical but wholly unrelated written or recorded oral recitations.
Carolyn Walworth, senior, Paly student representative to the PAUSD board.
Ken Dauber, a school-board member, PAUSD.
Taylor Chiu, a former Paly student, San Francisco, a testimonial.
Kim Diorio, principal, Palo Alto High School.
The Overprotected Kid; Hanna Rosin; In The Atlantic; 2014-04.
Teaser: A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.