-{Originally posted on NaPP}-

There was an article in the Redstone Gazette the other day about Ryersen Gas Stations donating $1,000,000 to St Matthews. Redstone is the blue collar town where I substitute teach. Ryersen is a very large chain of gas stations in the region that has its corporate HQ in Redstone. St Matthews is the local catholic school.

The whole thing left a rather bad taste in my mouth. Some of it is pure partisanship. I substitute at Redstone High School, St Matthew’s public alternative. And my thought on reading the headline was that St Matthews doesn’t need that money, and Redstone schools can use it! St Matthews is where the rich kids go (and select others) while most of the town is struggling to get by. Even setting aside my biases (I don’t substitute at the high school all that much anyway and wouldn’t expect the money to go towards my getting a raise), this raises some class-hackles.

But, no doubt, Ken Ryersen went to St Matthews. Because most people of note in Redstone went to St Matthews. The city’s leaders (most of whom aren’t ethnically from Catholic countries, despite most of the town itself being so) tend to have gone there. So of course that’s where a lot of the emphasis is going to be. Notably, St Matthews’s football team gets to play at a district stadium, free of charge (this has been a point of contention with some).

Anyhow, it’s natural that Ryersen would want to support the school that he went to. It does create a genuine problem, however, when this school soaks up a lot of the kids that could otherwise be lifting Redstone’s district up. And it does seem to create a wall of sorts.

Category: School

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3 Responses to Taking Care Of One’s Own

  1. Ω says:

    Are you sure that the benefit to the Redstone district of having some of the St. Matthew’s kids attend would outweigh the harm done to those kids in terms of less rigorous education and possible exposure to bad peer groups?

  2. trumwill says:

    It’s probably sub-optimal for the kids involved, but I do think it creates problems when one school’s grads run a town populated mostly by another school’s grads.

    I would also add, though, that Redstone High isn’t exactly the dregs. I wouldn’t mind sending my kids there (if we lived in Redstone, we would). So it’s not too much of a cost. Mostly the opportunity cost of not being around more future movers and shakers (to the extent that Redstone moves and shakes…).

  3. Ω says:

    “Mostly the opportunity cost of not being around more future movers and shakers”

    Somewhere in Manhattan, Half Sigma is shaking his head. If you want your kids to get ahead in life, it might benefit them to be around the movers and shakers. Of course, if one really wanted one’s children to get the full benefit of elite contacts, one should probably send them to a place like Phillips-Andover or Phillips-Exeter.

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