Friday, February 10, 2012

Colleges and universities are overrated

This is not meant to demean institutions of higher learning. I think that great things, great learning, great habits start in high school. The higher learning begins there.

A column today in the Kansas City Star celebrates an honor bestowed by a survey company (The Princeton Review, Nasdaq: REVU publicly-traded) to UMKC for a “best value” rating. That’s nice.

I worry that the current economic food chain, the burgeoning of university coffers, the literal corporate branding of universities has outrun the high schools to a point where we no longer care. Many private (high) schools have it right though. Private schools maintain foundations. Private schools prepare students and groom them for university entrance at a hefty price. My Delaware prep school costs about $30,000 a year now, all “action figures” included. Tuition was around $2,500 in 1970. I know this can be a discussion about funds.

Despite my worry, for it’s a silly emotion really, high schools deserve our attention, our time, talents, and treasure…all schools do. Yet in this college-bound ratings season, I believe the real shows happen in high schools.

How would we rate our local private and public high schools?

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