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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Private Schools ‘Counsel Out’ the Unsuccessful

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Author Topic: Private Schools ‘Counsel Out’ the Unsuccessful
philnotfil
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nytimes.com

quote:
But for a small number of parents who prevailed through this gantlet in the past, this time of year brings another kind of notice — that their child is on thin ice — as an even more painful process begins: the “counseling out” of students who are not succeeding.

Not discussed on schools’ tours or in their glossy pamphlets, counseling out is nonetheless a matter of practice at many private schools. Unlike the public school system, private schools are not obligated, and often not set up, to handle children having trouble keeping up.

quote:
Schools do not publicize how many students they remove this way, but the number is generally a small portion of the enrollment. But some Web sites for parents have offered the suspicion that schools remove lagging students to protect another statistic that schools do publicize: their students’ admissions rates to top colleges. Frank C. Leana, an independent college counselor on the Upper East Side, said that view was wrong. “They’re trying to justify their own kids, or their friend’s kids, who have been counseled out,” he said.

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tonylovern
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it's not just private schools. i and several of my friends were counseled out of the public school system in bellevue ohio.
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G2
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Is this a "bad thing"?
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Carlotta
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I don't think so. Just like not all people are a good match for a particular company or a particular job, not all kids are a good match for a particular school.
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tonylovern
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they dont counsel kids to try a different school, they counsel kids to drop out.
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Carlotta
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Are you sure? I thought it was illegal to drop out if you're under 18... wouldn't they counsel to transfer to a vocational school?

Also, per the original topic, I'm sure that parents who put their kids in a private school will not allow them to drop out if that private school counsels them to leave. Two separate issues, though, if the public schools really do counsel the kids to drop out completely.

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tonylovern
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i'm not informed enough to comment on the private schools. i also dont know the age range of all the kids being so counseled. all i really have to offer on this topic is personal experience.

for my part i was counseled the day after my 18th birthday. i think one of my friends might have been 17. i'll send an e-mail to her sister asking about it but i cant promise a reasonable time frame for a response.

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philnotfil
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It is only a bad thing if you think that privatizing education will fix all of the problems.
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RickyB
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"Are you sure? I thought it was illegal to drop out if you're under 18..."

"Education is compulsory for all children in the United States, but the age range for which school attendance is required varies from state to state. It begins between the ages of five and eight and ends between age sixteen and eighteen.[5] For example, in Illinois, attendance is required through age 17, while in Mississippi it is age 17, and in Oklahoma, age 18. Some states allow students to leave school between 14–17 with parental permission, before finishing high school; other states require students to stay in school until age 18. Many states do however allow gifted and talented students to accelerate their education so as to finish all educational requirements early. [5]" (Wiki)

Practically speaking, to the best of my knowledge, nobody really enforces attendance past tenth grade if a kid wants to drop out and the parents are OK with it. I could be misinformed on this.

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Hannibal
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I dont think this is news.

This probably happnes on a scale that every case is needed to be considered on its own.

In addition, If I were a private school manager I would have probably done the same.

The kids should either drop out or suck it up and try harder.

And if my last sentence was to harsh, I still maintain that every case is to be considered on its own.

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MattP
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Around here the public schools "counsel out" kids that are dragging their test scores or average GPA down and these kids get sent to "that school" where all the losers go. The problem with this is that "that school" is that it's sort of a concentration camp for the worst of teenagerhood, so you're ADHD can't-get-his-homework-done kid is now spending his day with all the kids that have alcohol, drug, sex, and truancy problems. We had a "that school" in the last city I lived in too, so I know it's not just a local thing.

I don't see why we should be pushing kids out of school just for academic underperformance. That seems like something that should have little effect on the other students. If there are related issues, like team projects failing or being unable to participate in classroom activities, but that doesn't necessarily have a correlation to grades.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
I don't see why we should be pushing kids out of school just for academic underperformance. That seems like something that should have little effect on the other students. If there are related issues, like team projects failing or being unable to participate in classroom activities, but that doesn't necessarily have a correlation to grades.

We shouldn't, but we do because it makes us look better. Lower achieving students are more likely to be suspended or expelled so that they miss standardized testing. That shouldn't happen either, but they are both easier than actually teaching the kids.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
I don't see why we should be pushing kids out of school just for academic underperformance. That seems like something that should have little effect on the other students. If there are related issues, like team projects failing or being unable to participate in classroom activities, but that doesn't necessarily have a correlation to grades.
Some kids don't belong in elite schools. What is an elite school? I'd say the first criteria would be that it maintains standards as to who it lets in the door. If the school lets dummies in the door, then that sullies its reputation, even if they are harmless dummies.

Further, I disagree with the premise that the presence of poor achievers does not harm other students. Even where marking is not done on a curve, the overall ability of one's peers is a factor in determining how a student performs. Competition impacts the level of achievment of every student.

Private schools don't have to accept anyone they don't want to accept, and can make this decision based on any criteria they want, apart from race and maybe a couple other grounds.

In this case we have private schools where parents are paying enormous amounts of money for their children to attend. These kids have loads of options. If necessary, the parents can pay for private tutoring or find some other school to take their money.

None of them are in any danger of ending up in some "concentration camp" for underachievers.

[ January 07, 2011, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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MattP
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quote:
In this case we have private schools where parents are paying enormous amounts of money for their children to attend.
Public schools had been introduced to the conversation and I was addressing that. My only concern with private schools doing this is that the performance of private schools is often used as an argument to eliminate public schooling. If that performance is achieved by shunting under-performing students to the public school system then it's not a valid metric.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
Public schools had been introduced to the conversation and I was addressing that. My only concern with private schools doing this is that the performance of private schools is often used as an argument to eliminate public schooling. If that performance is achieved by shunting under-performing students to the public school system then it's not a valid metric.

Public schools, by your own statemen,t already shunt under performing students to other schools. So what is the difference if a private school does the same thing?
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Wayward Son
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The difference is that those students are shunted to other public schools.

So the when the overall staistics of the performance of public schools are published, they include those schools, lower the overall average.

Underperforming students from private schools will eventually go to public schools, since they are mandated to accept everyone (although not necessarily at any particular school).

This may be one reason why the public schools in affluent areas perform as well as private schools. [Wink]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
The difference is that those students are shunted to other public schools.

So the when the overall staistics of the performance of public schools are published, they include those schools, lower the overall average.

Underperforming students from private schools will eventually go to public schools, since they are mandated to accept everyone (although not necessarily at any particular school).

This may be one reason why the public schools in affluent areas perform as well as private schools. [Wink]

I'm still not sure why it matters. Private schools get to be picky, public schools don't and that's pretty much common knowledge.

I definitely support education vouchers, but that doesn't mean/imply that public schools will be forcibly closed. It just means parents that want to use the private system get to spend tax dollars to help.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
I definitely support education vouchers, but that doesn't mean/imply that public schools will be forcibly closed. It just means parents that want to use the private system get to spend tax dollars to help.
Yeah, this argument is more directed toward those Libertarians who believe that private schools always can do better than public schools (as supposedly evidenced by the better test scores in private schools).
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TheRallanator
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:

I don't see why we should be pushing kids out of school just for academic underperformance. That seems like something that should have little effect on the other students. If there are related issues, like team projects failing or being unable to participate in classroom activities, but that doesn't necessarily have a correlation to grades.

Because all too often grades and overall performance have a correlation to funding, so the school administration faces tremendous pressure to get results so it can get the cash it needs, and the administration passes this pressure onto individual teachers. And if they don't have the resources to help the bottom X% of senior students raise their game, then maybe it might be better for the school as a whole to ditch that X% before they drag the school's performance and funding down.
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JWatts
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And of course, a good portion of the bottom ranks are there because they don't care about school or an education. The only reason they are still attending school is that their parents and the system force them to be there against their will.

So the logical reaction to that situation is not to expend scarce educational resources on them, but to show them the door. There is not really much justification for forcing 17 year olds to attend school and no justification to force 18 year olds to attend.

If the students who won't put any effort into learning are below whatever minimum age the state sets then it makes the most sense to group them together so that they don't interfere with the learning of the rest of the students.

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