Here we have what has become a typical global WE DO EVERYTHING CONSULTING CORPORATION. It is the driver of human capital distribution and the driver of these K-career NEWCOMER SCHOOLS in Foreign Economic Zones around the world. This global corporation is competing with a global Duke or Johns Hopkins for a K-CAREER job training business and none are interested in the least in the welfare of children. These are the global K-career structures having been in place these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and indeed this is why university tuition skyrocketed----to pay for all this overseas global education corporation expansion.
Corporate NewsGAC Shanghai newcomer welcomed at sponsored school
30 May 14 Shanghai, China – 30 May 2014:
Pupils at the GAC-sponsored Longnan Migrant School gave Mark Delaney a warm welcome when he arrived for his first reading and story-telling session this week.
Here we see a Duke University at $50,000 in-state or out----nothing for local citizens happening at Duke. All of that student loan debt taken by families these few decades of Clinton/Bush/Obama paid for Duke to grow its brand. I paid $4,000 and received a quality of education not found in these global product mill schools. What is happening is this----global Wall Street is creating that hyper-competitive pathway through for-profit schools---K-career --that becomes more narrow---more expensive sucking all the Federal, state, and local revenue for our public K-universities that gave taxpayers value for their share of taxation.
Here is global Wall Street MARKETPLACE MONEY NPR------allowing national media to tell us all this movement of global corporate operating costs to WE THE PEOPLE is a value.
Cost of Attending Duke University Durham, North Carolina
In-State Tuition: $49,241
Out-of-State Tuition: $49,241
Duke: $60,000 A Year For College Is Actually A Discount
February 21, 20143:31 AM ET
Heard on Morning EditionLisa Chow
In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it's $60,000 a year. "It's staggering," says Duke freshman Max Duncan, "especially considering that's for four years."
But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that's actually a discount. "We're investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student," he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it's one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.
But just where exactly is all that money going? Michael Schoenfeld, Duke's vice president of public affairs, says for part of that answer, you need to look up: "For the first time in probably anybody's memory, there will be two cranes hovering over the main campus quad." Duke is in the process of renovating its library and dining hall; $8,000 of the $90,000 Duke spends on each student goes into building and maintaining physical infrastructure on campus.
Another $14,000 goes to pay a share of administrative and academic support salaries, which in Duke's case includes more than $1 million in total compensation to the university president, Richard Brodhead, and more than $500,000 to the provost, Peter Lange, according to 2011 tax filings. Also, $14,000 goes to dorms, food and health services; $7,000 goes to staff salaries for deans and faculty; and miscellaneous costs take up another $5,000.
Source: Duke University
Credit: Cris Valerio
Then a big chunk, $20,000, goes to Duke students who get financial aid.
So, one person gets a 1/3 of one year's tuition and that's the financial aid?
"For those paying full freight, the full sticker price, their tuition dollars are supporting students who otherwise could not afford to come to Duke," Lange says.
It benefits people like sophomore Tara Mooney. She is among the roughly 50 percent of Duke students who receive financial aid. "I call them normal people," she says. "Getting financial aid, that's what I consider normal."
Most financial aid recipients have to repay a portion of their aid, which comes in the form of loans and grants. Mooney is a special case. She's one of 500 undergraduate students (not including those on merit or athletic scholarships) who pay nothing at all.
Source: Duke University
Credit: Quoctrung Bui
Mooney says her mom lost her job at a public school about the same time that she was applying to college. "When we saw the aid package is when my mom and I started crying, because we knew that I could actually come here," she says. "They were going to give me enough money that it was actually possible."
But the biggest category of costs is faculty, at $21,000 per year per undergraduate student.
Jennifer West is a professor of bioengineering and materials science with a long list of publications, awards and titles. To hire West away from Rice University, money wasn't enough. She came with an entourage. "I moved a whole entire research group with me, so I had to move a lot of people and then we had to move a lot of our equipment and rebuild our lab," she says. "They actually sent architects to Rice who looked at our lab facilities there, then used that information to go back and design the facility that would work for us at Duke."
West is not alone. Duke pays what it calls "startup costs" for a lot of professors, particularly in the sciences.
And decisions about hiring faculty can drive up costs in other parts of the university. Duke considers a lot of that spending when it says $90,000 is what it costs to educate an undergraduate each year.
Charles Schwartz, a retired professor from the University of California, Berkeley, who has been studying university finances for the past 20 years, takes issue with this way of accounting. He says it's unfair to place the financial cost of professors like Jennifer West, who spend most of their time in the lab, on undergraduate students. "It's just wrong to bundle all those costs together," he says.
Lange disagrees. "If for instance you try to say ... nothing about the time the faculty member does research redounds to the benefit of the undergraduate ... then I guess you can do the accounting a completely different way," he says. "I think that's a deep misunderstanding at how, at least at a place like Duke, how the actual educational delivery happens."
Schwartz doesn't deny the value of research. It helps advance the human condition, discover new technologies, find cures for cancer and, in Jennifer West's case, build transplantable organs from a small sample of cells. But Schwartz questions how much undergraduates benefit from that.
In the end, Schwartz and Lange don't disagree on the value of what goes on at places like Berkeley and Duke. The disagreement is over the story that Duke tells its undergraduates.
So if you're a student at Duke, are you getting a massive discount on the cost of your education? Or are you subsidizing a giant educational edifice that you as an undergraduate student will barely come into contact with?
The answer sort of depends on what kind of student you are.
If you're engaged in research and capitalizing on your professors' expertise, maybe you're getting something that's worth more than what you paid. If you've got a good financial aid package, you're definitely getting a good deal. But if you're a full-paying student, who's not learning much from professors outside the classroom, it's the university that's getting the deal.
Students allowing themselves to be drawn into these public policy stances must stand up and be CITIZENS AND LEADERS----our young adults should not be following this pathway---there are NO WINNERS FOR 99% OF US CITIZENS----black, white, brown citizens.
It is the grads of these global corporate universities that are then told the jobs available are overseas REBUILDING A 1500 YEAR OLD WORLD ORIENTAL SPICE TRADE ROUTE for these crazy global 1%. If these grads think they are earning good salaries and are winners today---they need to go back to school and read more HISTORY-----
'This past spring in Toronto, meanwhile, the full–time faculty of York University, Canada’s third largest, ended an historic two–month strike having secured for the first time anywhere formal contractual protection against precisely the kind of administrative action being taken by UCLA'.
Let's go back to the fights over these issues during CLINTON ERA-----CLINTON IS THE ONE TO HAVE STARTED THIS DISMANTLING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION----
Back in 1998 academics were fighting to keep our US public education strong and as today global Wall Street and national media told the public these university employees were just being greedy and were bad teachers.
FOLKS------ACADEMICS ARE THE ONES WANTING TO KEEP AMERICA WITH STRONG, DEMOCRATIC, BROAD BASIC SCIENCE, ARTS, AND HUMANITIES EDUCATION THAT ALLOWS ALL PEOPLE OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS----please stop listening to global Wall Street saying this is bad!
The tiering of education created by Obama and Clinton neo-liberals through changes in Federal education funding created this dynamic----get into global IVY LEAGUE schools to become that global sweat shop professional earning $20-30 a day----or be tracked into K-career corporate MCDONALDS/UNDERARMOUR/SIEMENS/VOLKSWAGEN schools to earn that $3-6 a day.
THIS IS WHAT OBAMA DID IN HIS FEDERAL EDUCATION POLICIES AND NONE OF IT WAS CONSTITUTIONAL AND BREAKS ALL FEDERAL LAW AND COURT PRECEDENCE.
This article is long but please glance through!
Ivy League or Bust / What does it take to make it through today's college marketing mill? And can we stop it?
Published 4:00 am, Sunday, August 20, 2006
Illustration by Bud Peen
In 1990, my husband and I made a terrible academic mistake. We gave birth to our daughter. Had we been more strategically adept parents, we would have researched the matter and delayed the start of our family. But the deed is done and we're now coming face-to-face with the consequences. Our daughter's graduating high school class of 2008 will be the largest class ever in California, at the peak of what's referred to as the Baby Boom Echo. Nationally, '08 is virtually tied with the Class of '09 as the largest in the history of the United States, according to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
What this means is that these babies will have an unlucky X factor at work -- the sheer size of their numbers. Even fewer spots are available at the nation's 100-plus most selective colleges at a time when they're turning away applicants in record numbers. And the admissions process itself -- make that contest -- has devolved into a frenzied craze where success is defined as getting into the Ivy Leagues, failure is a grade point under 4.0, and less-than-near-perfect test scores shouldn't be discussed in polite company.
Over the past two decades, the college-admissions process has undergone a dramatic transformation. It's now a multibillion-dollar industry. Anxious families with enough disposable income hire SWAT teams of test prep experts, "summer experience" advisors and even "stagers," private counselors who help spruce up a student's image. They're pursuing a prestigious degree they believe will unlock the door to the good life for the Baby Boomets. Even though the average acceptance rate at colleges and universities nationwide is 70 percent, studies show that one in 10 freshmen are attending schools that were their third choice or lower. So, it's no surprise that applying to eight to 12 colleges is common. Everyone involved -- high school counselors, university presidents, parents, students and their paid consultants -- seem to agree that the college admissions process is broken, but no one is sure how to fix it, who's to blame and what the long-term ramifications will be.
"The extreme version is that we end up with a population that knows how to play games and market themselves, with or without substance behind it, rather than approaching thoughtfully an educational experience," observes Bruce Poch, dean of admissions at elite Pomona College, near Los Angeles. "We've already had our Enrons and Tycos. As a country, we should be worried about the link to the next generation of leadership that we're generating."
Those are not comforting words for those of us beginning the college admissions journey. In a few days, our 16-year-old daughters and sons will march into what some educators call "the academic crucible" -- the junior year of high school when Advanced Placement classes are packed, SAT prep courses are in full swing and an increasing number of parents ratchet up the marketing machinery to boost the odds to get their kids into prestigious colleges. Is it our fault? Are we forcing our kids to mirror our own perfection-driven lives at a time when it's harder than ever to achieve? Or is it selective colleges and universities that market themselves with Madison Avenue savvy only to reject the majority of kids they've encouraged to apply? Or, is it the annual $726 million undergraduate test-prep industry that has commercialized the college-admissions process, turning what used to be a pursuit of academic excellence into a marketing exercise?
The ultimate example of Student Staging may be Harvard's dethroned phenom Kaavya Viswanathan, the undergraduate author who now admits to copying portions of her bestseller. It's unclear if the book grew out of resume-building pressure. Her parents hired college consultant IvyWise, a service that charges between $10,000 and $30,000, to help pave the way to Harvard. It also introduced Viswanathan to a literary agent, and the end result was "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life," a novel about a high school student's struggles to get into Harvard. After the book was withdrawn from the market, Viswanathan decided to take a break from Harvard.
"Education is being sold as a product, and kids are being sold to as consumers," warns Lloyd Thacker, founder and executive director of the Education Conservancy. "Parents are looking at kids as trophy kids, validating their parenthood." Thacker, a former college admissions officer and high school college counselor, calls this Bumper Sticker Prestige. He's one of the loudest voices calling for reform. In mid-June, he accomplished what seemed impossible two years ago when Thacker launched the Conservancy, a nonprofit committed to reforming the college admissions process. At a recent meeting in New York, he assembled 22 educators, including several presidents of exclusive private liberal arts colleges, for a groundbreaking discussion about how they could exert their leadership to reclaim the process. Will they be able to push back against the commercialism they helped unleash? To understand their odds of success -- and the obstacles they must surmount -- it's important to first comprehend what it takes to get into a highly competitive college, even the less selective ones on a student's wish list.
Sleepless in Marin
Mount Tamalpais shimmers in the late afternoon haze as valedictorian Nora Barr strides confidently to the podium in an amphitheater on Redwood High School's grassy campus. Her shoulder- length blond hair is ruffled by a breeze as she begins her final leadership duty at Redwood. For Barr, this moment is the culmination of four years of grueling work. Her determination to do her best and go to the best college possible has paid off: seven semesters with a 4.5 grade point average at the respected public school in Larkspur has landed her not only the valedictorian honor, but a spot at Harvard, when only 9 percent of the 22,276 applicants were accepted.
The Redwood parking lot is filled with BMWs, Mercedeses and luxury SUVs driven by the type of high-achieving Baby Boom parents who've helped fuel the college admissions frenzy. Graduates standing in flowing red gowns in back of Barr include an impressive crop heading off to some of the nation's most competitive colleges and universities -- graduates like Victoria Ruff, who set her sights on the top schools when she was a freshman and developed an ambitious game plan with help from a seasoned private college counselor. Ruff, petite with large dark eyes, established grade-point targets, planned her summer activities -- language studies in Switzerland, Spain and Czechoslovakia, engaged in community service work and took an array of rigorous Advanced Placement classes. The end result: "I got into Tufts, early admissions," says Ruff, who doubts she could have achieved her goal without her private college adviser.
Her friend, Lauren Fried, rejected high-priced help -- and still succeeded. The letters U-C-L-A are spray-painted on the back of Fried's gown. Out of 47,300 applicants, she was among the lucky 25 percent that won acceptance. In 11th grade, Fried consulted with the same private counselor used by Ruff, but decided that the cost wasn't worth it. "Our school counselor is very knowledgeable, but I'm also a very on-track person," she says. To say the least. Throughout high school, Fried juggled serving as coxswain for her crew team six days a week, while carrying an AP-heavy course load, and volunteering at Planned Parenthood. Crew recruiters from Dartmouth, her first choice, came knocking, but a deal fell through. "Crew didn't help in the end. I was disappointed," she admits. Luckily, Fried says she really loved crew. Those hundreds of hours in the baking sun and winter rain, and nights with minimal sleep, weren't just to beef up her resume.
Such a driven high school lifestyle might sound surreal -- even absurd -- unless you've recently navigated a kid through the college prep maze. Here's a primer on what's happened since you last stepped foot on a college campus. Back in the 1980s, when enrollment dipped and federal funding was cut, selective colleges resorted to commercial marketing practices to attract and retain students. The marketing worked so well that the number of applicants swelled, triggering competition that's intensified with each new -- and larger -- class of Baby Boom Echoers. The marketing hype begat the rankings hype: the higher the ranking in US News &World Report's Best College issue, the more kids applied, and the more kids were rejected. Enter the testing and consulting folks who promised to improve a student's odds by boosting their standardized test scores and polishing the college application. Fearful Baby Boom parents who'd read the dismal admissions numbers were -- and still are -- easy prey. Stressed teenagers scramble to achieve what too often is virtually impossible. Education becomes an incidental byproduct of a teenager's high school years.
What will it take to unhook this runaway train of rankings, commercialization and fear? "First, you must get lots of colleges and universities to reign in their unreasonable marketing efforts," says Bob Laird, the retired director of undergraduate admissions at UC Berkeley. "They are so worried about maintaining their enrollment or moving up in the prestige category that they do a lot of questionable things, from purchasing (student) names from the College Board and deluging them with marketing literature, to sending partially filled out electronic application forms with names, addresses and other demographic information." Laird notes that at 28 cents a name, selling lists to colleges is a profit-maker for the College Board, the nonprofit that oversees SAT testing.
Getting into the Ivies -- without consultants
Nora Barr has been on the receiving end of those mailings, a deluge that could have filled a storage locker. A few days after graduation Barr reflected on what it took to get into Harvard -- and Princeton, and a host of other highly competitive schools that accepted her. She's a solid, matter- of-fact kid, tall with blue eyes, who exudes an air of confidence. What's most impressive is that she accomplished her goal and gained an edge through grit, determination and common sense.
When Barr arrived at Redwood, the athletic freshman was urged to go out for crew. "People said it will help you get into the best schools," recalls Barr. "But the commitment is insane. There were kids who missed graduation and the prom." She decided to stick with her sport -- basketball. "It was a hard one, but I wanted to enjoy my life." Barr acknowledges that for many, the unrelenting pace that she set would be untenable, but for her it was right -- and the key was selecting courses and activities culled from her genuine interests, not to impress an admissions officer.
To prepare for the SATs, she took practice tests. At Redwood, she served on the school board, won a spot on varsity basketball, served as captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team, joined drama productions and helped raise money to finance summer trips with her church, where she and other teens worked with American Indians and built a house in Nicaragua. By her senior year, the workload was so heavy that she dropped basketball. Throughout it all, Barr says it was choir and her family's ad-hoc band that kept her sane. As for outside help, she and her parents nixed the idea of hiring a private counselor. And, unlike many public schools with a dearth of guidance counselors, Barr could turn to her Redwood adviser for expert -- and free -- advice.
Summers were orchestrated with precision planning by her mother. "I'd map out every single week of the summer so that this poor child didn't do all her AP homework before school started," says Lynn Barr, a Wellesley alum. "And, we tried to make sure there was sanity, some family time." That AP summer homework meant reading a slew of books and writing as many as 12 essays.
Their mother acknowledges that while both daughters -- Sarah Barr is an '08er -- seem to thrive on pressure, it's not for everyone. "That's who they are. But to push a child if they're not that way isn't fair." Even for an engine of a student like Nora, there were times when the stress was too much -- like the day she realized that the process pitted friend against friend as they competed for those elusive Ivy slots. "It can get a bit catty, especially among the girls." Barr reflected a moment before adding, "It's probably a lot like the real world."
Hood instead of student staging
It's too much like the real adult world for teens -- that's the consensus of many guidance counselors, admission officers and even psychologists who study the health effects of college prep-induced anxiety. In 2004, Lloyd Thacker was so frustrated by the admissions process and the lack of leaders pressing for reform that he quit his job as a college counselor at Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore., and founded the Education Conservancy. His disillusionment had been building since the 1980s when he resigned as a college admissions officer at Pacific University near Portland, after disagreeing with its marketing plan. Some 25 years later, Thacker cautions that he doesn't have the answers, but his goal is to prod leaders of higher education into action. "We're trying to help them realize that the message students are hearing is hurting education," he's says.
The Conservancy's s first success was the publication of Thacker's book, "College Unranked," a collection of essays by college presidents, admission deans and foundation leaders who voiced their concerns about the admissions system. Although admissions officers snapped up copies and displayed them in their waiting rooms, critics remained skeptical that Thacker's lonely crusade would have an impact. But gradually, the born, bred and educated Californian is winning a following as he crisscrosses the nation, preaching a message that's attracting media attention.
"Lloyd's voice is the single most important voice trying to reign in this kind of national hysteria that's overtaken the college admissions process," says Laird, author of a chapter in "College Unranked."
"Lloyd has no special ties to special interests," says Jon Reider, the director of college counseling at private San Francisco University High School, who serves on the Conservancy's advisory board. "He says, 'Let's talk about the whole person.' He calls this StudentHood." Given the power of the industries and institutions he's taking on, Thacker could easily be dismissed as a Don Quixote. Instead, high school counselors like Reider, a former Stanford University admissions officer, describe him as a Jeremiah, the biblical prophet who believed in a future full of hope. Reider needs both hope and diplomatic skills when he meets with parents like the businessman father who handed him a 13-column spreadsheet correlating his daughter's interests and scores with 40 college choices. Reider filed the spreadsheet and thanked the father, telling him, "This is a great start, but what matters is how your daughter perceives herself."
Over-the-top anecdotes like that one fuel Thacker's crusade. In late May, Thacker made a quick pit stop in San Jose to serve as a guest panelist at the annual meeting of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC) on the San Jose State University campus. As we sit outside the Student Union, the trim, upbeat 52-year-old activist with bushy brows and graying hair doesn't mince words as he spells out his challenge: "This is a billion-dollar industry that needs to be dismantled because it hasn't contributed 1 ounce to the betterment of education." Thacker's wrath is aimed at institutions like the powerful, nonprofit College Board, which insists its tests can't be gamed, but has a flourishing test-prep service online.
During his WACAC appearance, Thacker urged the audience -- a mix of high school counselors and college admissions officers, to start accepting kids for the right reason: not because they've gamed the system, but because they've exhibited the traits of what he describes as a true student -- curiosity, creativity, effort, the ability to deal with ambiguity and disappointment. "These are the qualities that the admissions process does the most to repress," warns Thacker. "And all educators must reclaim them from the clutches of commercialization."
Inside the Student Union, where attendees are mingling over drinks, we pass by vendors who are hawking the 21st century tools of the college admissions trade. One company's literature bills its "propriety college-bound high school student database" as helping to ensure the success of "your enrollment campaign" by tracking down targeted students based on geography, grade point, age, religion and ethnicity. Multiple businesses are selling test prep services. Others are pushing magazines for the college-focused teen with cover stories that blare such dire warnings as "Financial Aid Horror Stories;" "Juniors, Only 365 days Left!" and "The New Crackdown on Cheating Is Fierce."
At dinner, we're seated with Tamar Adegbile, a counselor at Harvard-Westlake, the exclusive Studio City school where the kids of L.A. moguls and Hollywood stars are prepped for college. She'd attended Thacker's panel discussion, leaving impressed, but Adegbile is skeptical about whether Thacker will convince college presidents to take a stand. "Even though they bash the rankings, they benefit from them," observes Adegbile. The Vassar grad has the kind of impeccable credentials -- a former admissions officer at both Columbia University and Vassar -- that should encourage parents to value her advice. But when Adegbile suggests they look for the best fit for their child, not the toughest school to get into, she's often ignored. "In spite of what I say, lots of families are influenced by those rankings."
In the summers, Adegbile tutors disadvantaged 11th-graders, many of whom have never taken an SAT prep test. Is this obsession with prestige strictly an upper class illness? I ask. Adegbile shoots me an amused look and explains, "These are kids who are just trying to get out of high school. They're hoping that their one AP class won't be canceled."
Even if they finish high school, low-income students might be victimized by another byproduct of college mania -- the merit scholarship. In an attempt to boost their rankings, colleges use financial aid packages to lure top students, leaving less money available for kids with real financial hardships. Vocal critics of this practice like Amherst President Anthony Marx warn of the consequences. "They won't be able to go to college," says Marx. "You're cutting off social mobility... That's not what America is supposed to be about."
A moral conflict en route to Cornell
Robbin Mashbein could be Exhibit A in Lloyd Thacker's mission to halt what he views as the corruption of higher education's values. When her son, Zach Lipton, a student at University High, began thinking about college, she attempted to stay calm. She read studies about CEOs who achieved success without an Ivy League degree. Mashbein reassured herself -- and her family -- that "it's perfectly possible to go someplace that's not an Ivy League college and lead a perfectly happy life." Then, she started hearing the stories from friends -- about kids with incredible resumes who didn't get into the best schools. "I really was freaked out," she admits. "It feels like certain doors are open to (kids) if they go to schools that are top-ranked. You certainly don't want to see those doors closed."
Mashbein is surprisingly candid about the internal struggle that ensued between common sense and the lure of prestige. Ultimately, pursuit of the Ivies won out. "It didn't seem like the best part of me," she confesses. She was dismayed when her son was offered enticements such as a free laptop and cash to visit campuses. Like his mom, Lipton came to believe that "reputation matters" in terms of opportunities after college, so he used a private tutor to help him improve his SATs, a test that's now 3 hours and 45 minutes long. But Lipton, a serious young man, interested in computer science and technical theater, also found himself turned off by a transcript-driven approach to education. "Getting a good grade on your transcript was all important," he reflects, "not as much as what you learned." Those grades paid off: Lipton won early acceptance to Cornell. How would Mashbein change the process? "I don't know how we can get at this without addressing society's values," she says. "What's important in life? What is the value of an education?"
Those are the very sorts of questions that Thacker placed before about 22 college presidents and foundation officials when they gathered behind closed doors on the New York University campus in mid-June. The participant list included the presidents of Amherst, Reed, Bates, Colby, Swarthmore, Grinnell, Pitzer, Williams and Barnard as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Christian A. Johnson Foundation and the Spencer Foundation. While these liberal arts leaders didn't create a manifesto, they did commit to trying to build a consensus on several hot-button issues. Ask participants about the meeting and they are tight-lipped. But Thacker confirms that the college presidents focused on topics that included: creating a list of a college admission principles that presidents would commit to; revamping the college application, which Thacker describes as encouraging narcissism with "first person essays and resume-padding"; reducing the importance of SATs by agreeing to use tests taken only twice, and only in the senior year; and undercutting commercial rankings by creating their own criteria for evaluating schools. "There hasn't been a mechanism to deliver educational conscience to this market frenzy. We're providing that mechanism," Thacker says of the historic meeting.
The presidents' unwillingness to publicly discuss the meeting underscores how much is at stake. They point to anti-trust laws that have restricted collaboration in the past, but violating the law isn't their only worry. "Whenever alumni, trustees, legislators of a public institution ... hear that their college may drop standardized tests or early admissions, they can exert enormous pressure on the presidents," explains David Hawkins, public policy director of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling.
Just the fact that the college presidents met is hailed as a breakthrough. "I'm much less skeptical about change than I was in the beginning," acknowledges Jane McClure, a respected San Francisco private college counselor. In recent months, Thacker has won increased funding and grants, including a tentative pledge to help fund a $1.5 million study on how the college admissions process impacts student attitudes and behaviors.
Down in the trenches, admission process veterans like Dan Murphy, director of college counseling at the private Urban School of San Francisco, say the need for reform is urgent. One day soon, our daughter, an Urban student, will visit Murphy's office. While he places students in top schools each year, Murphy cautions that his ability to properly advise students is hampered by a lack of truthful information from colleges, like knowing how many slots are given away to early-admission applicants. "It would be great," says Murphy, "if they'd put something on their Web site that said, 'Half of the places are gone.' "
Even Wall Street is monitoring reform efforts. When Pomona's Triple A bond rating came up for review, Poch found himself defending the highly selective college's 30 percent early admissions rate. "I was dumbstruck the first time I was asked about our yield rate (the number of kids who apply)," says Poch, who notes that those dubious college rankings now are factored into bond rating calculations.
The no frills solution
If there's hope in this story, it's in the saga of the students at San Francisco's Lowell High School where the majority of students still get into good colleges the old-fashioned way -- all by themselves. The public high school is packed with ambitious students who won acceptance to Lowell, which offers a rigorous college prep curriculum. But unlike their wealthier public and private school counterparts, Lowell kids, many of them sons and daughters of Asian immigrants, often don't have the money to indulge in private consultants, expensive SAT tutors, or community service trips to exotic destinations. Yet, they are heading off to selective colleges and UCs in impressive numbers.
On the day before graduation, Lowell's seniors, about 600 of them, packed into the New Asia restaurant in Chinatown for lunch. The banquet hall echoed with high spirits and laughter, as the students blew off steam. At one table, five kids say they're going to UC Davis in the fall, including Derrick Chao. "I only applied to schools I wanted to go to," he says as the pot-stickers arrive. I asked if any of them had outside help. "Maybe at other schools," answers Chao, "but we're all real responsible."
At another table sits John Kim, the son of Korean immigrants, who's won a slot at highly selective University of Southern California. NYU was his first choice. "I wanted a level of prestigiousness because it will help you later in life, but I wasn't about to make myself crazy," says Kim. Any outside help? He shakes his head. "I figured out the process myself." Kim's primary source of information? Web sites.
Are they handicapped because they're not spending summers building classrooms for Guatemalan villagers? Apparently, those expensive community service trips may not pay off. Adegbile recalls that she and other admission officers at Vassar and Columbia were unimpressed by students who "had to go to some exotic place where there were Aborigines, when they lived near urban areas where volunteers were needed."
Over the next few months the Education Conservancy hopes to hold another meeting of college presidents. For Amherst's Marx, reforming the process requires confronting some disturbing questions. "Are we sending signals that are misinterpreted as encouraging students to lie and oversell themselves?" he asks. "If so, what are they suggesting about what our values are?"
Those college presidents might be interested in the reflections on what needs to be changed by survivors of the admissions war. Harvard-bound Barr, a champion test-taker, suggests ending reliance on standardized-tests: "I don't think they show your strengths, more your weaknesses." Cornell-bound Lipton thinks that binding early admissions -- a pledge made in the fall to apply to just one college and attend if accepted -- can result in a poor choice. "For me it worked out, but I don't think it's a good thing to ask college seniors to commit right there." Laird, the retired UC Berkeley admissions director, calls for an end to rankings. "If a significant number of institutions withhold information, then they become irrelevant." And private college adviser McClure says parents can stop the frenzy by worrying about what's best for their kids, not reputations. "I wish this whole prestige thing would go away," she says with a sigh. What's at the top of Lloyd Thacker's own wish list? The answer is one word: Leadership. "There's hope," says the Jeremiah of admissions reform, "that college presidents are more than CEOs -- that they are public servants."
As for my daughter's monster Class of '08, I asked Marx what advice he could offer students who are just a year away from applying to college. "The more you can focus on where to go and less on gamesmanship and rankings, the better." He paused, then added, "But I understand the pressure on seniors."
I had Warnock of Green Street Academy ask me why I call his school 'corporate'. Well, the definition of PUBLIC SCHOOL does not allow private funding---it does not allow corporations to be involved in operations---it does not allow narrowed and career-targeted lessons. While these new corporate K-12s may have warm and fuzzy names like GREEN STREET----with environmental sounding lessons----that is not the goal of these global venture capitalist schools. They are simply breaking down all regulations tied to defining what PUBLIC SCHOOL MEANS.
Baltimore City has nothing but corporate K-career-----almost all real public schools are closed----we are filled with corporate charters pretending to be PUBLIC----are central city school administration has been reduced to nothing but education technology departments. Our teachers are a majority private education corporations and those numbers are growing. Our appointed school board is 100% corporate appointees with a CEO as our school leader tied to NYC Wall Street BLOOMBERG.
All Federal and state education scholarships, funding, grants are now dispensed by global corporations who decide when, where, how, why a students gets that scholarship and where they will attend higher apprenticeship training.
Here in Baltimore it is the global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations including Johns Hopkins' corporate education organization Baltimore Education Coalition who will fight a left social Democrat like me calling me bad for education. Our Baltimore Teachers' Union are as bound to RACE TO THE TOP/COMMONER CORE then anyone. That is because Maryland AFT and MSEA are filled with CLINTON/OBAMA GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% TO THE 1% NEO-LIBERALS.
K–12 | Daily Report
Corporate sponsorship in schools can harm students, experts say
November 8, 2011 | Joanna Lin Redcrosse/Flickr
For schools facing shrinking budgets, a branded scoreboard on the football field or advertisement on a school bus can bring some much-needed cash. But such corporate sponsorships also could undermine students' critical thinking skills, education policy experts warn.
While commercialism in schools can directly harm students – marketing sodas and candy undermines nutrition curriculums, for instance – it also might discourage students from thinking critically about the brands, messages or topics sponsored in their schools, according to a report released yesterday by the National Education Policy Center.
"It's a whole panoply of marketing methods now available to schools, and it's becoming more and more (prevalent)," said Alex Molnar, lead author of the report and a research professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. "The goal of it is to become more integrated into the pattern of everyday school life, so it's hard to tell where the advertising begins and ends. … These businesses are there for the kids? No, they're not. They're there for themselves; they're there to make money."
After analyzing cases of corporate engagement in schools in North America and Ireland, researchers concluded that the missions of schools and the goals of corporations are inherently at odds: "When corporations enter the schools, there is going to be pressure to create student experiences and shape student attitudes in ways that support, or at least do not undermine, the corporate bottom line."
Researchers called on schools to pass on corporate sponsorships until they are proven to cause no harm to students and to also demonstrate educational benefit.
Schools that have opened their doors to corporate sponsors say those thresholds have been met. In California, several school districts in recent years have adopted policies to allow corporate sponsorship and grant facility naming rights. District officials say they vet partnerships carefully, banning those whose products conflict with school policy.
At Santa Rosa City Schools, corporate sponsorships and naming rights are so far limited to career technical education. The sponsorships can be part of the educational process, said Nancy Miller, director of career technical education and community outreach for the district.
"We go through a training with the students on critically thinking about what the various industries would mean to their programs," Miller said. "We go through that exercise with students: Who is important with your industry? What would happen to the industry if that particular company went away? What would happen if Chrysler went away in the American auto industry?"
In January, the district will finalize its first corporate partnership: a $1 million deal to name its new geospatial technology center. For students, the deal means more than just a name-brand building, Miller said.
"We would hopefully want people from the industry to come in and speak to our students about career opportunities in the field in general, but also with their organization," she said.
Education Funding Partners
A mockup from Education Funding Partners, a firm that connects schools with corporate sponsors, shows a sponsored scoreboard.
For the company, which Miller said she could not yet disclose, "it's the development of your next workforce." The company has asked to use the building during the summer, when school is not in session, as a training center for its employees. Local colleges also will use the facility for its observatory and weather station, she said.
Such opportunities could not have happened without the naming deal, Miller said.
No sponsorships have been approved yet at the Sweetwater Union High School District in Chula Vista, but once in place, they could generate as much as $1 million a year, said Lillian Leopold, the district's director of grants and communications.
"We've cut more than $32 million from our budget since 2008-09," she said. "There are things we can't offer anymore, and it'd be great to bring back some of those student programs."
Potential partners include clothing companies, auto insurance providers and local banking institutions, Leopold said. Sponsorships in the classroom are off limits, as are materials that promote soda, energy drinks, candy, alcohol or tobacco. All proposals are reviewed by an advertising committee made up of teachers, administrators and parents and are subject to final approval by the school board.
Leopold said she's not worried that corporate sponsorships will detract from critical thinking. In fact, she said, critical thinking is part of the curriculum starting in seventh grade.
"Each year, there's some piece of advertising that students have to write an assignment on – take it apart, look at what the messages are, what the unwritten messages are," she said.
Leopold said she did not know if the school's corporate sponsors would be subject to students' advertising assignments. Still, she said, "I think our students are very media-savvy; our students are very critical thinkers. We've never had an issue with them speaking their minds."
The MSEA ----Maryland State Education Association is raging global Wall Street Clinton corporate education so when it creates media articles pushing these policy goals or those policy goals or claiming a win it is not tied to REAL public education issues.
This article written by FORDHAM---a global Wall Street corporate K-12 think tank----correctly identifies Maryland as very low in ranking on education achievement even as a global Wall Street Bill Gates EDUCATION WEEK ranks it #1. Our public K-12 education policies are VERY, VERY, VERY BAD for students and teachers whether during the Clinton era DUMBING DOWN EDUCATION POLICIES of Maryland's GRASMICK or today's DUMBING DOWN EDUCATION POLICIES OF RACE TO THE TOP with ---there she is again GRASMICK.
If we understand that global Wall Street pols have already MOVED FORWARD to US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones operating independent of any state or national sovereignty---which is what Baltimore does and coming to a US city in your neck of the woods----then an ESSA that says----all Federal Department of Education oversight and accountability in OPPORTUNITY AND ACCESS PUBLIC EDUCATION no longer exists---then we know as well a Maryland State law tied to education policy has no meaning in Baltimore EITHER. Baltimore City is seen as a separate entity making its own rules and this is why a MARYLAND ASSEMBLY posing left social Democratic pretends to be fighting TRUMP AND DEVOS when in fact Baltimore City is already 100% Trump and DeVos. Prince George's County executives and pol are MOVING FORWARD with these same corporate K-career policies as it is a Foreign Economic Zone.
Baltimore City has sold education data----it has already built a student tracking system based on pre-K testing----and all Baltimore K-12 are tied to GREAT SCHOOLS----that very global Wall Street school rating corporation this Maryland education policy states it prohibits.
So Fordham KNOWS THIS----and it is propagandizing these state assembly votes helping to hide the fact that US cities and counties deemed Foreign Economic Zones are MOVING FORWARD CORPORATE K-CAREER
A painful ESSA setback in Maryland
Chester E. Finn, Jr.
March 22, 2017
Editor’s note: In addition to his roles at Fordham, the author is Vice President of the Maryland State Board of Education. The views expressed here, however, are his alone.
Maryland prides itself on having high-performing public schools, but the truth is that its primary-secondary education system is failing to prepare far too many children for what follows. On the most recent (2015) National Assessment of Educational Progress, for example, barely one third of the state’s eighth graders were “proficient” or “advanced” in either math or reading. Among African-American youngsters, that key benchmark was reached by fewer than one in five.
Yet lawmakers are on the verge of undermining the best chance the state has had in ages to do something forceful about the schools that have allowed this sad situation to endure. They’re about to prevent the State Board of Education from installing a new school-accountability system that prioritizes pupil achievement and student success, as well as true transparency by which parents can easily tell whether their child’s school is succeeding or failing. Instead, House Bill 978 and Senate Bill 871, now speeding toward enactment, sharply limit the extent to which learning counts, restrict the use of achievement data, forbid the state from “grading” its schools (or intervening in dreadful ones), and give top billing to measures of teacher satisfaction, class size, adult credentials, and other inputs that are dear to the hearts of teacher unions but have woefully little to do with classroom effectiveness. The General Assembly has already killed Governor Hogan’s proposed expansion of the state’s cramped charter school program and is threatening to shrink its tiny voucher program, thereby ensuring that kids stuck in district-run dropout factories won’t have any alternatives. Maryland districts are also famously allergic to public-school choice, save for the occasional magnet.
Supported by the Maryland Department of Education team, the Board has done its utmost over the past year to maximize the benefit to children, parents, and taxpayers in the Old Line State that is newly possible under the federal Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires states to have standards, to test, and to develop a school-accountability system, but gives them much wider leeway to customize these as state education officials see fit, including what measures to use (in addition to test scores and dropout rates) and what to do about persistently failing schools. I was all for ESSA’s devolution of such authority back to the fifty states, but am now living with a vivid, painful example of how federalism can be used to advance adult interests at the expense of students’.
States don’t have total freedom under ESSA, which retains a number of requirements. It demands, for example, that the indicators of academic performance that are used to judge a school must carry “much greater weight” than gauges of “school quality” such as attendance and discipline. But how to interpret “much greater”? It appears that most states are hinging 70 to 90 percent of the school ratings in their accountability systems on academic indicators and 30 percent or less—sometimes as little as 10—on other kinds of data. Our State Board recently determined that 70-30 would be a reasonable allocation for elementary and middle schools, 80-20 for high schools—which enabled us to give substantial weight to graduates’ actual readiness for success in college and careers.
The pending legislation, however, restricts the academic portion to 55 percent, a ratio that may be rejected by the federal Education Department for not honoring the “much greater” requirement and that, if accepted, will likely place Maryland near the bottom in terms of states’ seriousness about student learning.
The same bills will bar the use of a simple A through F grading scale for school performance and block the state’s ability to intervene in even the most persistently disastrous schools. (The state’s sole remaining role will be to “identify” such schools and “collaborate” with districts in planning possible remedies.) Nor can any remedies for such schools interfere with extant union contracts. Instead, the very districts that negotiated those contracts and let their schools decay retain almost exclusive authority over what—if anything—to do about them. The fact that non-wealthy Maryland families have essentially no alternatives to the schools they’re stuck in only worsens the pain.
The Board and Department have bent over backwards for more than a year to engage every conceivable “stakeholder” group in the state in developing the ESSA accountability plan. The General Assembly concocted the pending bills with no input except from education-establishment lobbyists—who are now gloating about their clout. As board president Andy Smarick, State Superintendent Karen Salmon, and I tried (without success) the other day to persuade a key Senate subcommittee—chaired by a longtime teacher union official—to limit the worst damage that these measures will do to the state’s ESSA plan, we observed the union’s lobbyists prevailing on every single material issue. (Had the subject matter been less serious, we could have been amused by the sight of union leaders lobbying their own veteran colleague.)
As a board, we’re charged with looking after the interests of Maryland’s students. The pending legislation attends to the interests of adults. Governor Hogan will surely veto it, as he should, but absent a political lightning bolt, any such veto is almost certain to be overridden by lawmakers who appear to have no interest in whether the state’s schools are actually preparing the state’s children for success in the modern world.
As with all Federal agency programs that worked effectively and efficiently for WE THE PEOPLE once Clinton/Bush/Obama came on board our PELL GRANT became the source of Federal funding used by corporate universities to expand their brand overseas and not of course to give value to students or communities. As we see here, PELL funding was expanded to meet the growing university tuition creating CORPORATE WELFARE indeed while leaving students with the bulk of student loan debt repayment. It was a deliberate distortion of how PELL worked for several decades. Today, the tax credits coming from education scholarship are not realized by citizens---they are reaching global corporations---the entire Federal funding of K - university was turned away from citizens and towards global corporations and Wall Street under Obama with Clinton neo-liberals in Congress, our state assemblies, and city halls. Remember, Congress passes laws on a national level but our state assemblies follow right along.
'Recent economic research suggests that colleges siphon off a significant portion of federal education aid rather than lowering costs to students. Simply put, much of federal student aid is corporate welfare for colleges'.
The answer is not to kill our Federal Department of Education or these college funding programs---it is to reverse the damage----the US Constitutional Amendments and Federal law require these illegal actions be reversed!
We cannot allow global corporate universities call themselves NON-PROFITS---they are acting as corporations----as are these K-12 charters----they are not NON-PROFITS.
NOT ONE MENTION OF EXPANDING US UNIVERSITIES OVERSEAS---WHERE DID THEY GET THAT REVENUE? FROM TOO HIGH TUITION.
The Truth About College Aid: It's Corporate Welfare
- Andrew G. Biggs
- May 21, 2012
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Recent economic research suggests that colleges siphon off a significant portion of federal education aid rather than lowering costs to students
President Obama is holding thinly-veiled campaign events at college campuses around the country touting his plan to retain low interest rates on federal student loans. Amidst the debate over whether a temporary 3.4 percent interest rate passed in 2007 should be retained and, if so, how to pay for it, a far more important question has been ignored:
Who really benefits from the $65 billion-plus that Washington spends each year on student aid?
Recent economic research suggests that colleges siphon off a significant portion of federal education aid rather than lowering costs to students. Simply put, much of federal student aid is corporate welfare for colleges.
WHO REALLY GETS THE MONEY?
Annual earnings for bachelor's degree holders are $30,000 higher than for high school graduates, making a college diploma a prerequisite for entrance to the middle class. But as the College Board reports, from 2001 through 2011 tuition for public colleges increased by an average of 5.6 percentage points higher than inflation, while private college tuitions rose 2.6 percent above inflation. Tuition, housing and other expenses at public institutions today tops $21,000 per year. Double that if you want to attend a private college.
In response to rising tuition costs, federal aid such as Pell Grants, work-study programs and tuition tax credits have more than tripled over the last decade, reaching $65 billion in 2011. Washington also made over $100 billion in subsidized student loans last year.
But is all this college aid actually making college more affordable? At first glance, the answer is obviously yes. But there's an alternative story, in which colleges and universities can siphon off a portion of federal education dollars. Economists would term this a question of the "incidence" of federal aid, of who ultimately benefits from it.
The most obvious way that colleges might capture federal student aid is by raising tuition. Research to date has been inconclusive, but Stephanie Riegg Cellini of George Washington University and Claudia Goldin of Harvard have provided compelling new analysis. Cellini and Goldin looked at for-profit colleges, utilizing the key distinction that only some for-profit schools are eligible for federal aid. Riegg and Goldin find that that aid-eligible institutions "charge much higher tuition ... across all states, samples, and specifications," even when controlling for the content and quality of courses. The 75 percent difference in tuition between aid-eligible and ineligible for-profit colleges -- an amount comparable to average per-student federal assistance -- suggests that "institutions may indeed raise tuition to capture the maximum grant aid available."
HOW COLLEGES EAT YOUR AID
An alternative way that colleges can capture federal aid is by reducing their own student assistance. This is a particularly effective approach, since students receive widely differing amounts and are unaware of what they might receive in the absence of federal assistance.
Writing in the Economics of Education Review, Nicholas Turner, a Treasury Department economist on leave from the University of California, analyzed colleges' responses to student eligibility for tuition tax credits. Programs such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit allow up to $2,500 tax credits for tuition costs, a benefit that flows mostly to the middle class. Turner found that roughly four-fifths of the benefit students receive from tuition tax credits is lost through reduced student aid provided by colleges.
Pell Grants focus more on lower-income households. Lesley J. Turner, a doctoral candidate in economics at Columbia University, analyzed how institutional aid changed as students became eligible for Pell Grants. She found that, on average, "institutions capture 16 percent of all Pell Grant aid." However, important differences exist. Public colleges and universities garnered very little Pell money. But selective private colleges -- the ones parents really want their kids to attend -- claw back 79 percent of the value of Pell Grants.
Together, these studies imply that tens of billions of dollars in federal educational assistance may be siphoned off by educational institutions rather than making college more affordable for students.
THE CASE FOR MAKING THE MIDDLE CLASS ANGRY
Where does this money go? One possibility is higher salaries. But while superstar professors' salaries have increased rapidly, overall full-time faculty salaries have risen only slightly above inflation over the past decade, according to the American Association of University Professors. A more likely suspect is administrative staffing, where the number of employees per 100 students has risen by 13 percent over the past decade. The largest increases in both salaries and staffing have been for private universities, bolstering the view that private schools have greater abilities to capture federal dollars.
Simply scolding or threatening colleges over rising tuition, as public officials -- including President Obama -- have done for decades, is unlikely to succeed. Given the multiple avenues by which colleges can capture federal dollars, enforcement would be difficult.
A better approach would focus on market pressure. Colleges can most easily capture federal aid when it flows to prospective students who do not truly "need" it, meaning students who would likely attend college anyway. For marginal students, those for whom federal assistance makes the difference between attending and not, economic theory suggests that colleges could capture less.
There is already plenty of incentive to attend college. The average student loan balance of $25,000 pales next to the extra $1 million a Bachelor's degree holder will earn over his lifetime relative to a high school graduate, according to a 2002 Census Bureau study. Focusing student aid to the truly poor would enrage many middle class parents, but that's the point: to make them truly angry at rising costs and unwilling to keep paying them.
We shout out to what we know is the bulk of our 5% to the 1%-----our Greeks, Freemasons, and Trade Unionists----remember this------these OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE structures from the Medieval Ages were about the global 1% ----not today's merely rich----and the growth of these secret societies to main stream Americans was deliberate by those old world Merchants of Venice needing to use our lower and middle-class citizens to push what they knew was bad policy for a 99% of citizens and to be those ROBBER BARONS when needed. Know what? These global 1% and their old world secret societies will no longer need the merely rich-----the token poor and middle-class ----and this source of a 5% to the 1% will be thrown under the bus.
What we need to remember as well----I speak especially to my labor union friends is this------we shout to get rid of international labor unions because their leaders are partnered with global Wall Street killing our US standards of life and wages because these old world MERCHANTS OF VENICE had their TRADE UNIONS----these medieval trade guilds are the opposite of modern US labor unions---and this is why our international labor leaders are CLINTON/OBAMA GLOBAL WALL STREET these few decades---they are morphing into those old world TRADE GUILDS. Please focus on who leads our labor and justice organizations and keep things LOCAL-----so WE THE PEOPLE will remain PEOPLE WITH POWER.
'Ancient Secret Societies and Trade Unions. Fraternal groups began with the first assembly of men who gathered regularly for any reason at all; historical evidence suggests that religion was the focus of early fraternal gatherings'
'Only 5 percent of greek brothers and sisters are from the lower or middle class. As the Century Foundation pointed out, “over 60 percent came from private high schools.”'
We need that 5% to the 1% global Wall Street players to stop allowing themselves to be PLAYED!
Is greek life only for the wealthy?
By ARIEL SOBEL
January 19, 2016 in Opinion This article is not about whether greek life is bad.
There are a thousand other pieces with that title and a thousand opinion writers who’ve called for fraternities and sororities to be abolished, repealed and burned with fire and brimstone.
For greek institutions, their reputation of “-isms” precedes them.
Every few months comes an exposé of greek life and sexism, from gender roles during rush to the undeniable presence of rape culture. Just this year, a highly publicized racial attack on the Row showed us that they can promote straight up racism.
Our houses and their love affair with -isms have graced national headlines. But the most obvious hate nestled between greek letters is rarely talked about.
Fraternities are classist. Sororities are classist. Greek life rests on classism, the prejudice against a person based on their social class.
The Row isn’t where students may face this -ism. The system itself embodies it.
In the fountain of social elitism we call 28th Street, there is all but a “rich only” sign.
There’s no denying Panhellenic fees are expensive. The Daily Pennsylvanian called them “unreasonably high” at UPenn at a maximum of $1,000. At USC, a semester’s dues cost up to $2,500.
For some students on financial aid, simply joining takes food off their family’s table.
That’s saying if those students could get in.
For sororities, it costs nearly $100 to pay rush fees. In contrast, students at state schools, like SUNY Binghampton, can rush for $20 plus a T-shirt. But getting in is even more expensive.
Maybe some houses are exclusive to rich girls, but they all look for pretty pledges. It’s because beauty is catered to conventions of a wealthy white elite. During rush, expensive treatments echo down the perfectly trimmed lawns. Facials. Keratin. The gel nails, the perfect diamond necklace, a flawless face of makeup, followed by a week of pricey outfits. The cost of sisterhood is pretty, and pretty ain’t cheap.
But for the undercover models who make the cut without breaking the bank, joining a sorority is like writing a blank check. From group shirts and invite outfits to seemingly mandatory Disneyland, Vegas and Spring Break trips — if you can’t pay up, you can’t sit with us.
Not that the men are much better. The fraternity cycle churns out rich white boys like the stomach of any guy who can’t afford the price of brotherhood.
Although USC doesn’t offer demographics on its greek population, Princeton University found that 95 percent of those who wear letters come from the wealthiest quarter of America. Only 5 percent of greek brothers and sisters are from the lower or middle class. As the Century Foundation pointed out, “over 60 percent came from private high schools.”
Trojans could claim that it’s different here, but knowing how traditional USC is — and the assortment of BMWs in front of houses — one could only expect this trend amplified. Perhaps we do not investigate the demographics at USC because of how appalling they’d look.
Moreover, classism on the Row doesn’t just accompany racism. It encourages it.
According to Maya Richard Craven, a senior majoring in creative writing:
“People of color are specifically discriminated against during the rush process… Because people of color tend to have lower incomes than white Americans, this may hurt the chances for a girl to get into a house that cares about socioeconomic status.”
While some may defend the accusation of elitism by claiming that Panhellenic offers scholarships, they often come at the cost of tokenism.
According to Cornell University, 2 percent of the U.S. population is in fraternities; yet greek alumni constitute 80 percent of Fortune 500 executives, 76 percent of senators and congressmen and 85 percent of Supreme Court justices.
Classism in greek life isn’t just making the rich kid cool. It’s keeping the cool kid rich.
Last year saw a historic rise in activism. Hundreds of students rallied for the Undergraduate Student Government diversity resolution to combat racism, sexism and queerphobia. Its meetings were the most attended in USC history.
But the resolution mentioned classism only in passing, and offered no tangible ways to address it.
When USG Senate addressed classism, social justice warriors stayed home.
According to USG Student Body President Rini Sampath, “We need students to get behind initiatives such as the college affordability resolution, which asks for a tuition freeze and for USC to recommit to financial transparency, because they are built to help students of all classes, and not just some.” The resolution, which passed in November, has gotten minuscule attention from the student body in comparison to the diversity resolution or calls to delay rush.
This issue is not just another problem; it’s the nexus of the Venn diagram of oppression.
Whether you’re queer, a person of color or disabled mentally or physically, a low-income background amplifies your struggle. Caitlyn Jenner will never face the same fear as a transgender woman who can only support herself through sex work. Someone with schizophrenia who can afford medication can conform to society — without it, their life path is dismissed as a prison pipeline.
According to Sampath, Trojans “dismiss the student activists (e.g. SCALE) who speak out against the low wages of our university workers as extremists.” Imagine if they addressed the discrimination against lower-income students on the Row.
Fraternities and sororities are expected to shove classism under the rug. The bar is higher for those who regularly fight for social justice.
We must remember what student activism would look like if complaints about the lack of LGBT resources couldn’t be posted from MacBooks or if the I, Too, Am USC campaign wasn’t taken by an expensive DSLR camera.
It’s time to recognize the privilege of the people always telling us to check ours.