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All the parents I see in my practice are concerned about their children's future. They see attending a private school where their children can optimally succeed as a key first step.
After all this expensive education, parents hope their children will emerge to be in a position to obtain good jobs, and not lose opportunities to robots.
The 21st Century parent's concern is addressed in The Wall Street Journal's How You Can Raise Robot-Proof Children. In brief, the Journal recommends teaching your children creativity, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence, independence and mental agility.
A new private high school makes big promises. Inside Higher Ed reports on a new and dramatic change in a private high school's sell to families: a top college admission guarantee.
A private, for-profit high school in Orange County, California, Fairmont Private Schools, does not just "help" your child obtain admission or brag about prior graduates' success. They actually guarantee top college admission, and even scholarships.
"Fairmont Private Schools, Orange County's largest and oldest nonsectarian private school, is boosting the return on investment in education with the Fairmont College Promise, which guarantees that Fairmont Preparatory Academy graduates will be accepted to and receive scholarships for tuition at the Top 100 U.S. colleges or universities. The school also says it will convert up to 100 percent of tuition paid to attend its high school into a scholarship to the college of choice if the promise is not met."
No private school in New York has yet followed Fairmont's lead. But is this fortunate?
According to Inside Higher Ed:
Myra A. McGovern, vice president of the National Association of Independent Schools, ... said she was troubled by any high school designating only a certain kind of college as appropriate.
"Does that serve students well?" she asked. "The idea of a school isn't that it produces one outcome exclusively, but that it helps a student develop into an adult." Defining success as being admitted to a college praised by U.S. News "is a relatively narrow outcome."
She pointed to her association's code of ethics, which has a provision that warns against any relationships that would have school officials favoring some colleges over others in admissions advising.
Ignoring Maimonides' teaching that it is best to give charity anonymously so that the ego is not involved, Blackstone private equity CEO Stephen Schwarzman gives only on condition that he is recognized. Hence, his $100 million gift to the New York Public Library resulted in the renaming of the main branch, a historic edifice, as the "Stephen Schwarzman Building".
Recently, some at his alma maters have questioned his modus operandi of quid pro quo. Schwarzman's high school, Abington Senior High School in Abington, PA resisted renaming their high school "Stephen Schwarzman High School" in return for a $25 million gift.
Schwarzman's methods have also caused controversy at his college, Yale. Yale benefited from his $150 million donation for a new student center, naturally to be named after him.
Some feel that the university goes too far kowtowing to major donors, not only offering them name recognition but also power in prioritizing and determining the school's mission. From the Yale Daily News:
"There's a sense among faculty members that, when it comes to the really big-ticket items that the University is working on, like the new science complex or the Schwarzman Center, that a lot of the ideas are driven by the donors rather than driven by the faculty and their mission," said Chair of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate and American Studies professor Matthew Jacobson in an interview with the News this month.
At least nine heads of private K-12 schools in New York City earned total yearly packages topping $800,000, according to 2015 federal tax forms, the most recent year available.
Trinity School head John Allman received total compensation of $1.1 million, including base pay of $780,528, housing, bonus, benefits and deferred compensation, according to 2015 tax forms filed by the Manhattan school. Mr. Allman declined to comment. He made headlines in September for his letter to parents calling for a deeper school culture of public service rather than entitlement, to avoid being "just a very, very, very expensive finishing school" for its roughly 1,000 students.
By contrast, the average salaries of private college leaders and the Chancellor of the New York City Public Schools are much less.