Saturday, February 20, 2010

Yes, I'm still going on about this.

Today I had brunch with a boy I used to babysit. He's 13 now, almost fully a man. (Fully-fully a man, if he were Jewish.) It's a little strange seeing a kid who used to wait for me outside the bathroom door because he was scared of the dark sporting the makings of a fine mustache. He's still good-natured and funny and ferociously intelligent. In preschool his IQ tested above the 90th percentile, and it seems to have held: he just got accepted to Stuvyesant, arguably the most competitive public high school in the US.

So where am I going with all this? This kid, who was singing along to the Beatles before his first birthday and explaining the counterbalance pulley systems in elevators at age 7, spent every Friday of his entire 7th grade year working with a tutor to prep for a high school admissions test. During 8th grade, it was bumped up to 3 times a week. So he could pass a high school admissions test.

Yes, I'm still going on about this.

I can't get over the fact that kids prep for 2 years for the chance to go to a good school. I didn't even prep for the SATs! (Which could explain my score.) Not every kid has to take the test. If you want your child to go to the shitty school down the street - the one with the metal detectors and constant police presence (I'm talking to you, terrifying high school in my 'hood) or happen to be lucky enough to win the lottery, you're golden. (I wasn't kidding about the lottery. Many public schools are so overcrowded they select students randomly. Like out of a hat.) The really great high school in my neighborhood requires not only an interview, but a portfolio review. It's rumored to be harder to get into than Harvard.

This is a public high school, peeps.

In related news, Asheville's supposed to be nice, right?