by Kerry Dougherty
Imagine for a moment that you’re a top student in a highly competitive science and technology high school.
In your junior year you take the PSATs and enter the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program competing against the elite students in high schools from coast to coast. Imagine that in mid-October of your senior year your school principal is notified that you are a “Commended Student” in that competition, meaning that out of roughly 1.5 million entrants, you scored in the top 3%.
Applications for early decision to the most selective colleges and universities close on October 31 and this sort of distinction could be the difference between an acceptance or a rejection.
Now imagine that your school sat on your award and didn’t bother informing you that you are a Commended Student until mid-November, when it was too late to add that to your resume.
Oh, and instead of announcing your name over the school’s public address system or holding a ceremony to honor you, your teacher simply slapped your certificate on your desk.
You see, school administrators in your high school are apparently more concerned with “equity” and equal outcomes for all kids than in singling out high achievers.
Sucks to be you.
This really happened. At Fairfax County’s Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, perhaps the most prestigious public high school in the country. Continue reading