I’m going to start by asking you two questions to help you determine where you fall on America’s great educational divide. This is for parents and grandparents only.
When you hear that your child (or grandchild) has done remarkably well on the SAT, is your first thought, “They can get into a GREAT school” or “They can go to school for FREE”?
When you heard of the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal—where parents engaged a broker to help bribe their children into elite colleges—did the parental obsession with elite college admissions feel utterly alien to you? Or did it resonate in some small way with your own parenting experience?
The reason I’m asking is that I think one of America’s great political, cultural, and class divides is driven in part by parenting cultures that possess fundamentally different educational priorities.