As my partner and I are both attorneys who work on and in support of public education, private school was not an option for us, so we decided to look for homes further out but with highly rated public schools. At the risk of sounding naïve, I was wholly unprepared for the reality that came with prioritizing high-quality public schools in my home search.
Higher education today embodies individualistic, hypercompetitive achievement norms which contribute to inequality in a number of ways. And it has enormous, if often unacknowledged, power shaping career plans of its students and helping to authorize "what counts" in the intellectual life of the nation.
Ah! The wonderful sound of clanging medals, young voices cheering, and the slapping of high fives -- it's the sound of students being rewarded for collaborating and utilizing their STEM skills. This sound does not come without a price -- it is the sound that can come after as many successes as failures.