Monday, January 28, 2008

The Rich Get Richer

While California’s public schools are bracing for budget cuts, some of the country’s richest prep schools are feeling flush. According to the New York Times, both Andover and Exeter posted more than 20% gains on their already sizeable endowments last year, despite a looming recession and a sluggish stock market.

The secret to their financial success? Well-connected alumni. Both schools are famous breeding grounds for future Wall Street tycoons. And after Andover and Exeter grads make their fortunes; they give back to the alma mater – not just with donations, but also with investment advice. With big-name investors minding their portfolios for free, these schools make a killing, which allows them to spare no expense as they train the next generation of Wall Street tycoons. Bowles and Gintis couldn’t have invented a more apt example of social reproduction in American education.


Johnny said...

Does that mean that this should be a sign to those who have become a success in public schools? I mean, does it mean that those who become successful and attended public schools don't give back to their respective communities, or rather perhaps there are so few (if any) success stories in the public school system that the point and the donation becomes moot?

tdomina said...

I've been hearing more and more about public schools soliciting donations from alumni. I get letters every year from my alma mater, Omaha Central High School, asking for donations. But this is a new thing. Since public high schools get most of the funds from the government, they simply don't have endowments to invest.