Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Competing values

Sometimes I get to see first hand how parents instill exactly the type of xenophobic "American" values in their children, the opposite of which we are trying to teach.

Basically, it's our competition for the kids' hearts and minds.

We are in the middle of college application season, and one college in particular calculates scholarships based on class rank. We do not usually calculate GPA or class rank, but we will do so if a student needs it. A student applying to this college had apparently been #2 as of the end of her junior year, but at the end of the first marking period this year, she dropped down to #3 - effectively disqualifying her from a large scholarship.

One of the students ahead of her is a foreign exchange student. I got a call this morning from the student's mother, very upset. She was ranting about how the exchange student shouldn't be included, my daughter has been worried and crying about this all night, and I'm sorry, but when I was in college there were all these foreigners that got a free ride, but I'm an American and I had to pay my whole way, and it's time for us Americans to get a break.

I calmly told her that I would have an administrator call her back. Glad I am not the bottom line on that one - what would I say?

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