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Re: Prep School Search

I agree with the poster who thinks the "code talking" allegation is hyperbole. Truly professional teachers, counselors, administrators, etc. have integrity and standards. They will not overstate or understate their genuine assessment of a student applicant or athlete. To do so only undermines credibility and professional reputation.

Moreover, if it were true, as the post seem to suggest, that the teacher comments are all sugar-coated, obligatory fluff with some subtle texture mixed in, amounting to "code talking", then why even bother making everyone go through the silly kabuki dance? This makes a mockery of the process!

I submit that what you describe as talking in code is really just how educated professionals communicate. The teachers expect any reader/user to be able to interpret the plain meaning of the multi-syllable, big words written.

Just because YOU need a dictionary, thesaurus, and google does not mean the teachers are talking code!

Re: Prep School Search

There's some truth to the code talking. The teacher has to be careful because what he or she writes is going to become public knowledge. If they come right out and say "this kid is a moron, and a jerk on top of that", it's not the greatest career move as the parents, aka taxpayers, aren't going to take that well and could become serious thorns in the side of that teacher and his/her career.

The phrase "damming(sic) with faint praise" is very applicable here. If a teacher likes and respects a student, they're going to be happy for them to be getting an opportunity at prep school, and will go above and beyond on the recommendation. Anything less than that - "works hard, able, solid student" - might as well be a "meh, whatever, I don't care one way or the other, the kid's ok but won't be adding anything special to your school", because that's how it's read in the admissions office.

Re: Prep School Search

Anon
There's some truth to the code talking. The teacher has to be careful because what he or she writes is going to become public knowledge. If they come right out and say "this kid is a moron, and a jerk on top of that", it's not the greatest career move as the parents, aka taxpayers, aren't going to take that well and could become serious thorns in the side of that teacher and his/her career.

The phrase "damming(sic) with faint praise" is very applicable here. If a teacher likes and respects a student, they're going to be happy for them to be getting an opportunity at prep school, and will go above and beyond on the recommendation. Anything less than that - "works hard, able, solid student" - might as well be a "meh, whatever, I don't care one way or the other, the kid's ok but won't be adding anything special to your school", because that's how it's read in the admissions office.
Finally. Thank you.

Re: Prep School Search

Right.... kind of like the code for a blind date who has "a good personality" (lol). When everyone understands it, it is not really a code.

I think what everyone understands is that there is recommendation "inflation" just like there is grade "inflation".

Similarly when you are a dinner guest, and you are asked, "how was the meal?". When everyone knows how to interpret the answer, it is not a code!

Re: Prep School Search

anon
Starting the search, any advice?
Unless your son is really smart, is a potential D1 player (according to someone other than you) and you have a lot of money, it's a long shot.