Work Hard or Go to the Right School?

Work Hard or Go to the Right School?

Many Americans, probably most, belief in merit. They believe that if you work hard, do the right thing and achieve that they will be rewarded and that reward will be in some relation to the effort put out.

But is merit actually rewarded?

29There is strong evidence that we live in a two tiered society. Two groups of people, one a group of the very well off are able to afford the finest private schools for their children as well as many other advantages. The other, those whose children are relegated to the public or charter school systems will almost never rival the success or income of the first group.

Currently there is a Ivy League Prep School under a moral cloud for the male student’s custom of scoring points by having sex with the a certain of co-eds. I am unhappy that this is apparently taking place. But there was more upsetting news in the article. What I then read is quoted at the bottom of the page but let me pull a section out.  –

Secretary of State John Kerry graduated from St Paul’s in 1962, alongside former FBI director Robert Mueller. Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau is an alumnus as are 13 US ambassadors, three Pulitzer Prize winners, two World Series of Poker winners, actor Judd Nelson and sons of the Astor and Kennedy families, according to the school’s website.

This is where the one percent go. This is where the connections that lead to wealth, influence and power are made. This is the difference between struggling to make a living and a golden road of unending triumph.

Perhaps this doesn’t disturb you. Maybe you believe that you have earned your station in life?

But I am a teacher. I have college students who I am very proud of. And I have every reason to be proud of them. Every day I teach I see their obvious intelligence, their willingness to do more than necessary and an understanding that there are things that are very wrong in our society and that they will be called upon as a duty to remedy these failings.

And not for one moment at any time, do I consider my students to be less talented, less motivated and lesser people that the privileged few who have the opportunity to attend St. Pauls.

Nevertheless, I am aware of the tragedy clearly expressed here. Merit is not being rewarded. Parental income is being rewarded. Can there be anything clearer thatn that success in this society is only partially based on merit if it carries any weight at all?

Not one of my students, no matter how talented, no matter how kind, how genuine, how hardworking or intelligent is likely attain the success of the worst student at this prep school.

That’s wrong.

The very idea of business ethics implies merit. It implies that you hire based on capability. It implies fairness and square dealing, honesty in negotiation and a desire for mutual benefit.

I have met business people who roll their eyes when I say these things and look at me with the contempt one would have for a foolish child.

I welcome their contempt. I welcome their disdain. There is some justice in this world and a final justice in the next. I have faith in the necessity of the one and the inevitability of the other.

My students should have the same chance as those that go to elite prep schools. In fact, we should all be judged by our individual merits rather than who are parents are and what school we went to.

And when businesses hire on any other basis than merit, they have failed a fundamental test of business ethics.

James Pilant

 

Rape case puts focus on elite prep school’s alleged sexual tradition | US news | The Guardian

Founded in 1856, St Paul’s is an Episcopal school nestled on 2,000 pastoral acres (800 hectares) on the outskirts of downtown Concord, New Hampshire’s capital. It enrolls about 530 students and admitted girls for the first time in 1971. Tuition, room and board currently totals $53,810.

The school belongs to the Eight Schools Association, a sort of Ivy League for prep schools in the US north-east.

Secretary of State John Kerry graduated from St Paul’s in 1962, alongside former FBI director Robert Mueller. Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau is an alumnus as are 13 US ambassadors, three Pulitzer Prize winners, two World Series of Poker winners, actor Judd Nelson and sons of the Astor and Kennedy families, according to the school’s website.

The school also has a robust international presence: 17% of the 2014-15 class came from 25 countries and notable alumni include Bernard Makihara, the former CEO of the Mitsubishi Corporation, and Edmund Maurice Burke Roche, a Conservative member of the British Parliament and the maternal grandfather of Diana, princess of Wales.

via Rape case puts focus on elite prep school’s alleged sexual tradition | US news | The Guardian.

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