Pat Bassett, the president of the National Association of Independent Schools, claims that independent schools serve roughly 1% of the overall student population. That particular figure has been much in the news this past year, and in general, the 1% topic hasn’t sparked a lot of “feel good” stories…
Related to this, a friend recently surveyed all of the students who are on significant financial aid at her school in an effort to find out what the stumbling blocks are for students from “non traditional” backgrounds, especially during their transition to private schools.
Two things surprised her:
First, students who have a particular ethnicity, nationality, or religious background may be proud of any or all of these attributes, but nobody is ever “proud” to be poor.
Second, many of the students on aid (in high school) are already worried in grade 9 about how they will pay for the major grade 12 dance. (Many of them are also the individual who completes the financial aid forms for the family.)
If educational opportunity is the civil rights issue of our time, how should we begin to think about addressing all of this?