March 8, 2022
There are two universal myths far too many parents believe: One, overall success in life is determined by which college their child attends and, two, experiencing failure is bad for their child’s self-esteem.
I work at The Alexander Dawson School, an early childhood to grade eight independent school in Las Vegas, NV. When the news of the college admissions scandal broke, our school’s administration received a flood of communications from colleagues from independent high schools across the country. Here’s the interesting part: Of the many messages received, none of them expressed shock or surprise. The consensus was you would be hard-pressed to find faculty, counselors, or administrators in any high-performing high school who didn’t see this coming. One colleague shared that when the college counseling team at his elite Massachusetts high school heard the news, they sighed heavily, shrugged their shoulders, and agreed it was business as usual in the private school pressure-cooker.
Dawson is Nevada’s first Stanford University Challenge Success partner school. For the uninitiated, the Challenge Success program was created by Dr. Denise Pope of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Pope was alarmed by the high level of suicides and…