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Subject: Re: Returning to topic


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 16:44:50 06/11/17 Sun
In reply to: sparman 's message, "Returning to topic" on 13:31:29 06/11/17 Sun

I don't think that Darien boys' or girls' lacrosse programs need my defending them, but it's complete apples-to-oranges to compare Darien to Landon, Salisbury or any private school which recruits players. The private schools are essentially feeder programs to Division I and III colleges, casting their nets wide to recruit promising 13 and 14 year old athletes, to say nothing of 15 and 16 year olds, plus of course the great unequalizer -- 17 and 18 year old PG players who already have a college admission in hand.

In contrast, any public school program is a team comprised entirely of walk-on's, who are there because, as I described before, for good reasons or bad, their parents choose to live in that town.

Since I earlier critiqued the high DB factor in towns like Darien and Greenwich, I think it's only fair to say that there is something to be said for living in a town where the local public high school offers an education the equal of almost any private school in the country.

Your kid walks to the end of your driveway and is picked up by a bus which drives five minutes to deposit him or her at a school with a potential education other parents elsewhere have to pay $20,000-40,000 to get. Your kid goes to school with all of your neighbors' kids and also plays with them after school and on sports teams.

In a town like Greenwich, where so many affluent parents send their children to private school, there is no connection binding parents with their neighbors. But in, say, Darien and New Canaan, the parents are bound to each other and the local school in a very healthy way. Granted, some of them are douche bags, but I've already covered that.

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Replies:
[> [> [> Subject: Jonathan Kozol: Savage Inequalities


Author:
Tod Howard Hawks
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Date Posted: 18:58:39 06/11/17 Sun

Germane to this discussion is Jonathan Kozol, a Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar who has written many provocative books on pressing social issues in America. His first book ever, "Death at an Early Age," about his teaching in a Boston inner-city public school, won the National Book Award.

The book I wish to underscore for this discussion is "Savage Inequalities," which is about the staggering and unconscionable disparities of funding for public schools in different cities across the United States. The enormity of the profound social, educational, and psychological impact these inequalities have on the students who attend these grossly underfunded schools, once understood, will never be forgotten.

Tod Howard Hawks CC 66

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Jonathan Kozol: Savage Inequalities


Author:
L et V
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Date Posted: 05:18:30 06/12/17 Mon

Wrong. Kozol's first book was a limp novel.

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Kozol's "Death at an Early Age"


Author:
Tod Howard Hawks
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Date Posted: 15:53:17 06/12/17 Mon

"Death at an Early Age" was Kozol's first non-fiction book. It did win the National Book Award.

Thanks for the correction.

Tod Howard Hawks CC 66

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Kozol's "Death at an Early Age"


Author:
L et V
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Date Posted: 15:57:06 06/12/17 Mon

Sorry to sound like such a peremptory jerk. Thank you for your polite response.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Re: Kozol's "Death at an Early Age"


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 16:25:41 06/12/17 Mon

THH, I'd like to thank you for your heartfelt response earlier this thread about why you were at Andover. I hope that the first steps you took by going to Columbia were followed by many others.

I've thought about the inequities in local schooling myself. Of course it all hinges on the fundamental decision that we in the United States made that public schooling should be administered and funded purely on a local level. That one decision inevitably creates and sustains gigantic disparities across school districts.

The "business model" I see in affluent suburbs to literally price themselves out of the reach of poor people. With fewer low income families in town, the educational dollars available per student are maximized. The school districts become highly rated and more affluent people want to move there, so their kids can attend those schools. It's a "virtuous" cycle analogous to what the Ivies have created in higher education, with the conspicuous difference that the Ivies offer financial aid to lower income students.

The key to the Darien and New Canaan business model is to have a high quality of life which encourages empty nesters to stay in town after their children have graduated from school. The whole objective is to maximize property values and property taxes while keeping the number of school age children low.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: Thanks, An Observer


Author:
Tod Howard Hawks
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Date Posted: 20:12:00 06/12/17 Mon

Thanks, An Observer, for your kind and thoughtful post above.

It is regrettable that there isn't more civil discourse on this Board.

I think you nailed it: public schools are "...funded purely on a local level."

Kozol's "Savage Inequalities" speaks to this issue, but virtually nothing has been done nation-wide to ameliorate this problem.

My Dad paid for Andover and Columbia. I was a beneficiary of of this inequitable condition. I am pleased that all the Ivy schools now offer need-based financial aid.

I have been all my adult life a poet and a human-rights activist--my attempts to make my life meaningful and helpful to others.

I have not been able to change the world, let alone our nation, but every kind act reverberates throughout humankind, whether we know it or not.

Thanks again.

Tod Howard Hawks CC 66

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[> [> [> [> Subject: good point An Obeserver


Author:
holtsledge
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Date Posted: 21:51:29 06/12/17 Mon

this fits me to a T
"The key to the Darien and New Canaan business model is to have a high quality of life which encourages empty nesters to stay in town after their children have graduated from school. The whole objective is to maximize property values and property taxes while keeping the number of school age children low."
But the charade is about to end, my modest 3000 sg ft home on a pond that my neighbor and I paid 100k to dredge is worth about what we paid for it after renovations 10 yrs ago. Believe me it is a tres cool location, bull frogs are bellowing as I write this, but my prop taxes will be over 20k and prop insurance is pushing 10K. So what am I going to do, move and declare FL residence like former CT gov Jodie Rell and stop paying for the ridiculous union benefits that have turned CT into pseudo union welfare state. The hell with ASFME and SEIU. Oh btw save 7% in state income taxes. Biggest problem is having to change the addresses on my concealed carry permits from 31 states, have gun will travel

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[> [> [> [> [> Subject: It all makes sense now, Holtsie....


Author:
Jackson Hatfield
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Date Posted: 07:55:05 06/15/17 Thu

...I had previously ascribed that telling bulge beneath your clothing to an entirely different source!

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Subject: made me laugh


Author:
holtsledge
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Date Posted: 14:39:37 06/15/17 Thu

see you in the fall

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[> [> [> Subject: Re: Returning to topic


Author:
sparman
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Date Posted: 20:27:06 06/12/17 Mon

Without getting into the significant public policy issues being raised, and dealing only with the mundane question of comparing current sports teams, I don't agree it is completely apples and oranges in favor of privates.

A private school can "recruit," but (and depending on the institution) there is at least some academic gate keeping; also, there are caps on class size (in Landon's case, about 100-125) and the schools must allocate spaces among all constituencies accordingly. Sometimes kids don't play as well as you hope, but you can't tell them to leave to open up a slot. Also, there are competitors for players - not only numerous private schools, some of which are equally, or nearly so, accomplished on the sports and/or academic front. And private schools cost money. In Landon's area, you can attend a good parochial school for less than half the cost, for example Gonzaga HS (which has about 300-350 kids per class) which has recently had just as good a record and even defeated Landon occasionally.

In contrast, public schools draw from a much wider pool; students cannot opt to attend a school outside their district. Also, numbers mean something. I gather that Darien has at least 350 students per grade and that Darien has an extremely large and active youth program that feeds into the HS from an early age.

None of this is to denigrate Darien's accomplishment, just to point out that the "David v. Goliath" meme may be overstated.

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Darien refuses to play Top 25 Teams


Author:
Parent
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Date Posted: 07:26:50 06/16/17 Fri

There are several Top 25 rankings in the country for lacrosse. Brunswick School is universally ranked 4th in all of these polls. USA Today shows Darien ranked 5th. It is sad for the boys that Darien decides not to play Brunswick School, a team that is about 15 minutes from its campus. Also, to my knowledge, and depending on which Top 25 list you use, Darien does not have a win vs. a Top 25 team. Brunswick, by contrast, has 4 wins vs. Top 25 teams, and 1 loss on opening day to then #1 ranked Landon on the road down in Maryland where the Bruins were beaten fair and square by a fine Landon team. Brunswick has 19 D-1 commits on the team and a D3 faceoff guy going to Wesleyan.

Darien does not play Brunswick because adults get too involved in youth sports. Each kid on the Brunswick and Darien team want to play a legit game. They all play with each other during summer circuit. Many of them will play together in college. Many of them are good friends, and hang out together. But the adults (not saying who) get in the way.

In contrast to Darien, New Canaan plays Brunswick in lacrosse. This year’s game drew 3,000 fans at New Canaan. Great spirit and fun for all in a showdown won by Brunswick. Last year New Canaan came to Brunswick, and soundly beat the Bruins in an equally exciting environment. The point is that the best should play the best. Darien simply has not done that, and I think every kid on Darien regrets that fact, as I think they would give Brunswick a great game, and maybe beat them, and beat other Top 25 teams, but the adults restrict the Darien kids from earning a top ranking.

http://usatodayhss.com/rankings/expert/boys/lacrosse/2016/13

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[> [> [> [> Subject: not sure why


Author:
holtsledge
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Date Posted: 09:38:02 06/16/17 Fri

they don't play Brunswick, as you said 15 mins away and NC plays them. I know one of the ass't coaches pretty well I will ask him

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[> [> [> [> Subject: Zena Edosomwan and Lacrosse at Landon


Author:
An Observer
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Date Posted: 17:18:24 06/19/17 Mon

Sparman, I'm sure that it varies from private school to private school but, in general, they seem to have bought into the concept that, just like colleges do, they can use winning sports teams to advertise and market their academic institutions. So more and more of them are recruiting great athletes, some with remarkable aggressiveness.

Look at the journey of one of our most well known Ivy athletes, Zena Edosomwan. I don't mean to pick on him for any reason other than the fact that his personal story is so well known. By all accounts, he is a great young man, filled with intellectual curiosity and an engaged member of the community. The guy speaks Mandarin, for crying out loud. Now what are the odds he is recruited or admitted to Harvard Westlake School if he is 5'8" and Caucasian or, worse yet, Asian or Jewish?

Similarly, Northfield Mount Hermon fell all over itself to host Zena for a PG year after he did not clear the minimum AI score to be admitted to an Ivy. Again, he's a great prospect for any school, but if he's 5'8" and can't play basketball, does he get in? Does he get as much financial aid?

The same phenomenon takes place across other elite schools like Landon. And Landon places a special emphasis on lacrosse. So you tell me, if a kid like Zena can be admitted to and probably granted generous financial aid at prep schools ranging from Los Angeles to New England, what are the chances that Landon turns down a promising lacrosse prospect regardless of his grades or other qualifications?

These expensive elite private schools have turned into feeders to Division I and Division III lacrosse programs. Once you recruit on a national scale, the sky is the limit for how good you can become. Or, as MJ says, the ceiling is the roof.

A public high school is constrained to the kids who live in the school district. Even if it's a lacrosse hot bed like Baltimore or Long Island, that's a limiting factor. The only limiting factor at a school which recruits aggressively is its own ambition. Look at Harvard.

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