Thread: St. Edward 2017
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Old 03-09-17, 05:25 PM
sehs sehs is offline
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Join Date: 09-07-03
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Originally Posted by CatAlum View Post
One might conclude that your view is that IB is just a bunch of public relations BS.

FWIW...I KNOW that people who run academics and admissions at Ignatius think that Ed's has improved its academics. Until about 3-4 years ago, Ignatius never gave merit scholarships. They started after the admissions climate between the schools heated up. Doesn't mean Ed's has improved its academics but, the people down the road think you have.
Ed's got better at talking about their academics, what they call in the business "spin." IB gets Ed's in the door so that they have a talking point that is different than St. Ignatius that is still academically on par with them. IB has not changed the actual classroom teaching hardly at all, its just something else to talk about so that they are in the conversation for a higher share of the higher academic achievers than they historically have been.

For most of Ed's history, they did not care about that, the narrative was (whether true or not) that Ignatius was a school you went to for academics and Ed's was where you went to if you couldn't get into Ignatius. It then shifted, Ed's was the sports school, etc. I don't know how far back it goes but I believe in Phil Donahue's biography he talks about not going to the more prestigious school, St. Ignatius. The Brothers wanted it that way, their charism is to educate a larger range of academic students, if you as Br. Dennis or Br. James Everett at St. Ed's they will tell you this. For a majority of the school's history, it worked, they were a larger school than St. Ignatius from the late '60s through the mid '80s. The nature of private education has changed since then though. Now you need to be prestigious and you want to be to continue to attract students so that the school survives, its just a reality.

So after having a lousy administration in the mid to late '80s where the larger enrollment went back to St. Ignatius, Ed's has been trying to keep up with the Jones'. They were a blue ribbon school in 1995 too. They talked about it for the next three years. They had a "Psychology of Testing" class for all their honors kids to take that was designed to help them score higher on national merit tests. They devoted money and training for teachers in the mid '90s to do more with special ed students. So yeah, whether you call it BS or spin, there's a history of the school doing that.

IB has let Ed's get a larger share of the smarter kids and they want to move into that direction because the future of private education looks like that is what you need to do in order to keep the school in a healthy mode. My hope would be that they can do this without losing sight of the traditional foundations that the school was built on. I'm not saying its not a bad program but it hasn't drastically changed education at the school is all. Ignatius isn't worried that Ed's improved an already quality education, Ignatius is worried that more people were talking about Ed's academics then they had been before and they stopped having things like waiting lists for prospective students.
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