“The Incredibles” load their schedule with AP and honors classes at their private or magnet high schools, get into elite colleges and then discover the work is easy, reports the New York Times. They’ve done college in high school.
â€œMy first two semesters at Brown, I was shopping for science classes, and I would be in a bio class or a chem class and think, â€˜I learned this in high school,â€™ â€ says Carly Rush, a Brown junior who graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a public magnet school in Alexandria, Va., where â€œyou would know your G.P.A. to the fourth digitâ€ (hers was 3.931).
Ms. Rushâ€™s experience echoes the new reality for high-achieving students: work crazy-hard in high school and cruise in college.
I dropped Western Civ at Stanford after one quarter because I’d read nearly all the reading list in a (suburban public) high school Great Books class and a philosophy class taught by a visiting college professor. In other classes, though, I found the expectations were higher. I couldn’t just write my way to an “A” on every paper or test.
On The College Puzzle, Micheal Kirst reminds us that the Times is spotlighting the exceptions.
Only 5% of students are incredibles or zoomers. About 50% of students are not prepared for college. They are not ready for college and have many student risk factors that reduce college persistence. But the incredibles get much more national media attention. Community colleges, where academic or college readiness is the weakest, get the least media attention.
New York Times editors are likely to be raising high-achieving children or have friends whose kids are “incredibles.” What’s missed are the vast ranks of B and C students who coast through high school and then hit the wall in college. Nobody told them in their 13 years of free education that they weren’t building the skills and knowledge they’d need for college — or a decent job, for that matter.