Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Figuring it out...

Click here: News - Princeton Stops Its Early Admissions, Joining Movement to Make Process Fairer

People figure out ways to do what they want to do.

When I went to school in The Bronx (The Bronx; No Thonx, said poet-comic laureate Ogden Nash; of Nash, make hash) there was an Honor School, mostly Jewish, now mostly Asian.) It took an 85% average to get in, and that GPA entitled you to to City colleges, like CCNY now part of CUNY.

It's just the way it was; there was little complaining.

I met my first two Protestants there, a lanky Swede who looked like Gunder Haag who was almost a 4-minute miler. Except that my Swede couldn't run very fast.

The other was a burly fellow who drank and liked to go the opera.

They became part of our cleek.

When my children went to school there were Advanced Placement classes. There were complaints that minorities didn't do as well as well-to do whites. True.

But thanks to community colleges, junior colleges, remedial courses, the minorites get their chance at a higher education. Most want it. The one many most responsible for this was President Lyndon B. Johnson and his responsible subalterns.

Secret: Latina women, who love their children and their native language quitely tell their kids: "Spanish-only is the language of busboys and maids." The young Latino who mows the lawn may well become a landscape architect. It happens all the time.

In the DC area, drawing from a pool of talent of incredible depth (think tanks, government, politicians, the NIH, BLS, SEC, FDA, NOA, smart WashReps no longer on the corporat teat, journalists --- some jerks, most not --- minority kids can get into a school, where if they work hard, they will do well. On full scholarship if need be.

Particularly if they can drive for show and putt for dough or hit the lines in tennis, or the three hole in football, or make the 3-6-3 double-play look like all in a days work.

Great schools are a-borning near here. U.VA was always first tier.

Hot on their heels is the Nobel-covey at George Mason U (which also made the Final Four last year.)

Upgraded Georgetown U.'s proud alumni inlcude Bill Clinton and Allan Iverson. Both have had their trouble. My guess is that, on balance, AI did somewhat better at what he did than WJC at what he did. Close call. (I have never been a Cinton-hater.)

I spoke at U. MD recently at the behest of my AEI colleague Douglas Besharov. The kids were smart and alert --- more so than I was at about that age. I slept through 50% of the 50% of the sessions of the 8:00 AM Philosophy course of Dr. Walsh's.

American U and Catholic U have climbed the greasy pole as well.

I took a required core curriculum (later dumped --- "Hey ho, Ho Ho, Western Civ has got to go") --- chanted by a few illiterate loonies. Of course the college folded its hand, thanks to gutless trustees who were brainwashed to believe they had to defend the free spirits of the tenured faculty from the storm troopers outside the gate. But the troopers were inside the gate. Decent citizens were on the outside.

In all, it was great training for a columnist. If you could begin a theme "Erasmus was a product of his times" after reading the first page of the dense tome you were ready for prime time punditry.


The man most responsible for this is President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In DC, a resident can pay in-state fees for any public school that will have them.


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