The Complete ICT Guide to Boarding Schools
#1
I posted a couple times recently about boarding schools, and since then I have done extensive research on the subject.  I wanted to post this here for anyone interested, and also for my own personal future reference.  My sources include various websites, school websites, forums, personal contacts, lower school contacts, alumni, and a wonderful little sociological study on the subject that I highly recommend for anyone whose interest may be piqued called "Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools" from the mid-80s which deals with the unique inculturation/socialization of these schools as "total institutions" which turn students into "cold tempered steel" for elite governance of the U.S.

Some quotes from said book to frame the discussion:


Quote:Boarding school students, we began to see, are taught that they should be moral and treat life as an exciting challenge, but what they often learn is that life is hard, and that winning is essential for survival.  The "muscular Christianity" that so well describes the essence of prep pride is exactly right: speak like a man or woman of God, but act like a man or woman who knows the score and can settle a score without flinching.



Quote:Part of the preparation for power is learning to live in a world of seeming contradictions.  By learning to reconcile the difference between what the schools teach and what is learned, students discover that power and pain are inseparable and that to a large degree the price of privilege is the loss of autonomy and individuality.



Quote:The exclusive prep school played an important role in the formation and maintenance of an American upper class because the schools enrolled both Eastern patricians and parvenus. By putting a Boston patrician under the same roof with a New York parvenu, the schools ensured that blood and money would recognize their class interests were the same and that they should act in concert. The shared ordeal of the prep rite of passage would create bonds of loyalty that differences in background could not unravel. The collective identity forged in prep schools would become the basis of upper-class solidarity and consciousness.

Quote:To justify inequality requires the powerful to acquire a style of behavior that legitimates unequal relationships. The “habit of command,” which Randall Collins has called the essence of upper-class style, is a learned behavior. In Great Britain, public school graduates often became literal soldiers for their class, either by serving in the officer corps of the British army or by becoming civilian administrators somewhere in the British empire. Being able to command respect could mean the difference between life and death to public school boys in “Her Majesty’s service.”  The aristocratic and military traditions of the British upper class, however, are quite different from those of the American upper class. The American upper class is primarily a business elite, and in the economic marketplace inherited titles and battle flags count for little. The founders of American boarding schools imitated the British in many ways, but stopped short of trying to create a military and administrative elite, even though many of the schools’ founders dreamed of an American empire to rival the British.


Interesting stuff!  But what about the schools themselves?  We can distinguish a few different classes of such schools: The Academy, the descendant of Puritan schools dating from before the revolution (Exeter, Andover); the Episcopalian School, which attempted to more perfectly imitate the British boarding school and teach the Episcopalian elite as well as other extreme Anglophiles (St. Paul's, Groton); and the Entrepreneurial School, a later development that attempted to split the difference between these two types that were either primarily secular or non-denominational/Protestant (Hotchkiss, Lawrenceville).  There are other lesser types including Catholic schools (which are mostly not "elite" - more on that later), progressive schools (which, who cares), and Quaker schools (also who cares).

These distinctions pale in comparison to the question of which schools count as truly "elite."  Here we can distinguish a top 8 or top 16.  I present this list culled of those which, despite being prestigious, lack a college matriculation list that is truly impressive.  Any of these schools would mean almost automatic acceptance into an Ivy if you are fairly competent.  For those who aren't academically successful enough, they will end up in certain "elite" private schools that appear specifically designed for very rich students who couldn't quite make it into an Ivy.  Not to say anything bad about them - I'm sure they're great schools.  These include: Tulane, Tufts, Trinity College, Colby, Colgate, NYU; plus some more STEM oriented elite schools like Carnegie Mellon, Hopkins, and MIT; as well as certain elite Catholic schools like Boston College, Notre Dame, and especially Georgetown.

The absolute best of the best schools include:
  • Phillips Exeter
  • Phillips Academy Andover
  • St. Paul's School
  • Groton
  • Deerfield
The continuation of these absolute best schools that still lead to the same outcomes and carry almost identical prestige, but which fall *a hair* short of being the absolute best include:
  • Lawrenceville
  • Hotchkiss
  • Taft
  • Choate Rosemary
  • Milton
  • Middlesex
  • Brooks
A couple other honorable mentions that are not as exclusive (but with promising acceptance rates into the 30's), start to factor in many state schools into their matriculation list, and are farther removed from New England include:
  • Episcopal High School (Alexandria, VA)
  • St. Andrew's School (Middleton, DE)
  • St. George's School (Newport, RI)
  • The Hill School (Pottstown, PA)
  • Portsmouth Abbey (Portsmouth, RI)*
Of this last group, Portsmouth Abbey was most intriguing to me because it is the only Catholic school to be anywhere near these lists.  It is run by Benedictines and includes some of what we would consider the Catholic elite as its alumni (Kennedys, Buckleys); Sean Spicer, Charlie Day of It's Always Sunny, Benedict Fitzgerald, and various Republican politicos went here as well.  Unlike the others, it also appears uncommonly conservative/Republican.  It boasts a more impressive matriculation list than, say, St. Andrew's; however, it should be noted that a big reason for this is an emphasis on matriculation to Catholic schools like Georgetown, Boston College, Notre Dame (and even lesser ones like Holy Cross and Drexel); Brown and Penn accept a substantial number of students, as does Hopkins, Chicago, and oddly the Naval Academy.

Tuition at these schools hovers around $60,000/year; however, grants awarded to the lower 35-40% financially usually approximates $35,000-$45,000.  Acceptance rates range from 12% to almost 40% (particularly for that last batch of schools).  They attempt to present a face of strong diversity, advertising 35%-50% "students of color".  This can be deceptive: the actual breakdown is typically something like <10% Black, 5-10% Hispanic, 20-30% Asian, and about 5% White/Asian Biracial.  For a school that is 50% "diverse," those numbers are boosted exclusively by accepting more Asian students; as with the Ivies, the Black/Hispanic percentage essentially NEVER rises above 10 percent, despite appearances otherwise.

(Also please note that unlike most of these schools, Phillips Exeter is an explicitly Satanic school, offering electives such as "Critiquing Christianity". Even in comparison to the other schools, it is off the deep end in terms of leftism)

(On that same subject, apparently the Entrepreneurial schools house the most Jews, whereas the Episcopalian schools are somewhat known for having as little as 0 Jews even to this day; this is not something I could confirm, however)

Fun facts: The novel "A Separate Peace" was written about Phillips Exeter; the film "Dead Poet's Society" was filmed at St. Andrew's; Andover is best known as being the school that ALL the Bushes went to, from H.W. to W. to Jeb; the acronym HADES refers one set of the perceived "best of the best" and stands for: Hotchkiss, Andover, Deerfield, Exeter, St. Paul's.
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#2
I don’t think Sean Spicer is a good alumni to hail. He was terrible at his job. He was supposed to handle the media during press conferences. He didn’t. They handled him. As he stood there clueless, reporters dragged him around like a dog’s stuffed animal.
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#3
(12-20-2019, 12:29 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: I don’t think Sean Spicer is a good alumni to hail. He was terrible at his job. He was supposed to handle the media during press conferences. He didn’t. They handled him. As he stood there clueless, reporters dragged him around like a dog’s stuffed animal.

It also probably wasn't *great* for the school that the only time Portsmouth Abbey was brought up in the context of Spicer was the little news smear that he had called someone a N-word while he was there.  It wasn't true, but the headlines were all "Spicer called black student the N-word during Portsmouth Abbey days." 

lol
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#4
Speaking of "fun facts" about fictional stand-ins, ICT: I remember liking back in my teens the short story that this novel elaborated. A prep school coming-of-age saga that was once a standard (as was Knowles's book) on high school reading lists, before culture wars.
C.D.B. Bryan "P.S. Wilkinson" (1965). The dearth of Amazon or Goodreads reviews speaks for itself, I suppose.

As to the makeup of prep schools, as with the Ivies now (as the new satire--on "the diversity industrial complex," "outrage as virtue," and "victims as "celebrities"-- "Campusland" by Craig Johnston where "Animal House" meets "woke" discusses well), I wonder given their determined drive to demolish their former "demographics" to reflect "inclusion" (even if that means the wealthy scions of PoC affluent families), how might this effect these judgments on boarding schools? Does their shaping occur regardless of who enters their mold? Or does the current pressure to "demythologize, disrupt, and overturn" the patriarchy and the Dead or Alive WM's play a role?)
The deeds you do may be the only sermon some people may hear today (Francis of Assisi); Win an argument, lose a soul (Fulton Sheen)
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#5
(12-20-2019, 06:02 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: As to the makeup of prep schools, as with the Ivies now (as the new satire--on "the diversity industrial complex," "outrage as virtue," and "victims as "celebrities"-- "Campusland" by Craig Johnston where "Animal House" meets "woke" discusses well), I wonder given their determined drive to demolish their former "demographics" to reflect "inclusion" (even if that means the wealthy scions of PoC affluent families), how might this effect these judgments on boarding schools? Does their shaping occur regardless of who enters their mold? Or does the current pressure to "demythologize, disrupt, and overturn" the patriarchy and the Dead or Alive WM's play a role?)

Well, this book from the 80s spoke about heads lamenting their concessions to what they called the teen culture.  Prior to major demographics changes, these institutions perceived themselves losing ground to what started in the 60s when they started to turn the major boys schools (ie, all of them) into coed schools.  What appears to have happened is that for the first time in American history (or even further back), a popular social movement had succeeded in thoroughly radicalizing the youth of the elite, or even the elite themselves.

The primary concessions were first to make schools coed, then to de-militarize the schools.  These schools typically incorporated corporal punishment and rigorous self-denial; suddenly they began to allow students to have posters in their rooms, or to wear casual clothes, or to eat when they felt like it instead of at regimented whole-school meals.  These have greatly reduced their efficacy at exercising total control over their students.  They especially lament concessions made to overt consumerism, as the primary aspect of inculturation to the elite had previously been to attenuate the noveau riche tendencies toward conspicuous consumption, displays of wealth, and submission to mass media trends.

As to the incorporation of various non-white demographics, we see a familiar pattern where the elite will amend their own institutions with a specific type of demographic change consisting mostly of the inclusion of Asians, while middle-class and lower-class institutions begin to look much browner.  This is a very common pattern across schools, corporations, etc.  The reasons are addressed in the book: Asian students integrate into white populations immediately and effortlessly without skipping a beat and without changing the culture at all; however, there have been persistent issues with assimilating Hispanic and especially black students, even when they account for 5-10% of the population.  They consistently struggle and cannot integrate or perform adequately even if they come from far richer families than the white or Asian students.  The solution is to utilize the blanket term "student of color" to describe all non-white students and to obfuscate the nature of the demographics changes that occur.  These institutions, no matter how woke they are, realistically have no intention of making their demographics mirror what the local state college looks like.  They would rather the future of a globalized world consist of an upper echelon of white/Asian mixes with a lower strata of brown/black/white-trash mixes, and they appear to be successfully accomplishing this.  Again, the proportion of black/Hispanic students at these schools have not changed since the 70s.  Yet these schools at those times were 90% white.  The only thing that has changed has been more Asian students, and given their proportion of the population overall and the gradual inclusion of the term "student of color" vs specific descriptors of a student's race, we can only surmise that this is intentional.

The aforementioned concessions to mass culture and the noveau riche, combined with these demographics changes, appear to be the limits to which these schools intend to change - and these generally reflect the values of the elite.  In terms of leftism, Exeter looks like they've drunk the kool aid full stop.  Overall though, the leftism these schools profess looks like the leftism of major corporations (and the same "inclusive impulse" that has always been there: a sort of smoke screen to deflect possible anger/discontent away from these people as a class and to continue to foster inculturation from new money or new skin tones rather than hostility).  

Learning about these schools has really clarified for me why the elite act the way that they do.  Identity politics exist to direct hatred of privilege away from those who have it and on to unrelated poorer whites (who also shoulder the burden of the "wrong" kind of diversity so that the rich can play with the East Asians with average 106 IQs).  Social progressiveness and economic leftism exist to make the privileged look like class warriors fighting against some non existent bogeyman.  They are willing to sacrifice many ideals and tolerate much to maintain what really counts: their money and status.  They will share it with new people, including those who do not look like them.  As those above quotes suggest, everything taught at these schools is nuance, contradiction, will to power, even outright deception.  They will profess to be marxists even while hiding away in exclusive schools, and they will claim to fight white supremacy while making sure to carefully measure out their demographics in a way they would never tolerate from a nearby public school or state university.  All those woke schools do it too, regardless of their being at the center of these movements.  Look how many black students are at Harvard.  Look how many are at Hopkins, in one of the blackest cities in America.  

Harvard is 14% black and Hopkins is LITERALLY 6% black.  In Baltimore.  I expect Hispanic ethnicities to become more prevalent over time, but through a gradual process the same way Italians/Germans were integrated.
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#6
Quote:Imperator Caesar Trump Wrote:

I posted a couple times recently about boarding schools, and since then I have done extensive research on the subject.  I wanted to post this here for anyone interested, and also for my own personal future reference.  My sources include various websites, school websites, forums, personal contacts, lower school contacts, alumni, essay writing service research papers and a wonderful little sociological study on the subject that I highly recommend for anyone whose interest may be piqued called "Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools" from the mid-80s which deals with the unique inculturation/socialization of these schools as "total institutions" which turn students into "cold tempered steel" for elite governance of the U.S.


I have enjoyed the book and I would like to thank you for mentioning it here. It also emphasizes how the tides of immigration (so vividly) influenced the prep schools. And what I definitely recommend after reading Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools is a review on it by David Karen from Bryn Mawr College.
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