Big Name Universities: Don't Really Matter | 名牌大学并不是最重要的

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-1-12 00:00| 查看数: 107| 评论数: 0|

In the college-admissions wars, we parents are the true fighters. We are pushing our kids to get good grades, take SAT preparatory courses and build resumes so they can get into the college of our first choice. I've twice been to the wars, and as I survey the battlefield, something different is happening. We see our kids’college background as a prize demonstrating how well we’ve raised them. But we can't acknowledge that our obsession (痴迷)is more about us than them. So we've contrived variousjustifications that turn out to be half-truths, prejudices or myths. It actually doesn't matter much whether Aaron and Nicole go to Stanford.

在高考这场战争中,我们这些家长们才是真正的战斗者。我们督促孩子要考高分,催着他们上SAT (美国高考)考前辅导班,还拼命要他们写简历,以便他们能如愿以偿地进入我们所理想的大学。我经历过两次这样的战争了,可是当我现在再回过头来审视当年的战场,心里却有了异样的感觉。我们将孩子的大学背景看做是对自己辛苦抚养他们的奖品。但是,我们不会承认,其实我们对大学的痴迷更多的是考虑自己而不是孩子,所以,我们编造各式各样的理由,而这些理由其实不过是些半真半假的、带有偏见的或虚构的东西。我的两个孩子阿伦和尼科尔上不上斯坦福大学,其实真的没什么大不了。

We have a full-blown prestige panic;we worry that there won’t be enough prizes to go around. Fearful parents urge their children to apply to more schools than ever.Underlying the hysteria (歇斯底里)is the belief that scarce elite degrees must be highly valuable. Their graduates must enjoy more success because they get a better education and develop better contacts. All that is plausible-and mostly wrong. We haven't found any convincing evidence that selectivity or prestige matters. Selective schools don’t systematically employ better instructional approaches than less selective schools. On two measures -professors’ feedback and the number of essay exams —selective schools do slightly worse.


By some studies, selective schools do enhance their graduates' lifetime earnings. The gain is reckoned at 2%~4% for every 100-point increase in a school’s average SAT scores. But even this advantage is probably a statistical fluke (偶然).A well-known study examined students who got into highly selective schools and then went elsewhere. They earned just as much as graduates from higher-status schools.


Kids count more than their colleges. Getting into Yale may signify intelligence, talent and ambition. But it’s not the only indicator and, paradoxically, its significance is declining. The reason:so many similar people go elsewhere. Getting into college isn’t life’s only competition. In the next competition — the job market and graduated school — the results may change. Old-boy networks are breaking down. Princeton economist Alan Krueger studied admissions to one top Ph. D. program. High scores on the GRE helped explain who got in;degrees of prestigious universities didn’t.

起决定性因素的是孩子本身,而不是他们所上的大学。考上耶鲁大学也许能说明他们的智力水平、天资和雄心,但是,这并不是成功的唯一标准,并且,正相反,这个标准的重要性在日渐消退。原因是:很多同样优秀的学生去了别的地方。考大学并非人生中的唯一竞赛。在随后的竞赛中——求职和考研究生——结果可能都会发生改变。旧的人际关系也会被打破。普林斯顿经济学家艾伦·克鲁格通过研究某个顶级博士项目的录取情 况发现,可以用GRE高分来解释为什么这些学生能考进这个项目,但是,没有迹象能表明他们的录取跟原来所在大学的名声高低有什么关系。

So, parents, lighten up. The stakes have been vastly exaggerated. Up to a point, we can rationalize our pushiness. America is a competitive society;our kids need to adjust to that. But too much pushiness can be destructive. The very ambition we impose on our children may get some into Harvard but may also set them up for disappointment. One study found that, other things being equal, graduates of highly selective schools experienced more job dissatisfaction. They may have been so conditioned to being on top that anything less disappoints.

所以,家长们,把心态放松点吧!我们把高考看得太重了,认识到这一点,我们才会理 智,不那么一意孤行。美国是一个竞争社会,我们的孩子要适应这个社会。但是,给孩子过多的压力可能会毁了孩子。我们非要强迫孩子考哈佛,正是家长的野心,可能会让一些 孩子考进哈佛,也可能会把孩子推向失望的绝谷。一项研究表明,在其他条件不变的情况下,重点大学的毕业生会遭受更多的职场失意。他们可能已经对成功习惯了,任何的挫折都会使他们失望。


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