Update: March 2019
Read the special March update from Making Caring Common and don't forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter to get updates straight to your inbox.
"College admissions is a key rite of passage for young people—and we're sending the wrong messages."
Making Caring Common today launched a new report focusing on the critical role of high schools and parents in supporting teens in developing core ethical capacities, including a sense of responsibility for others and their communities, and reducing achievement-related stress.
We also release here the Dean’s Commitment Letter, a pioneering statement endorsed by nearly 140 college admissions deans that seeks to give high schools greater freedom in advancing these goals and to allay parents’ fears of short-changing their child if they don’t amass impressive achievements.
Many high schools are also taking key steps that advance Turning the Tide’s goals. We report on our new campaign that has engaged more than 200 high schools and middle schools nationwide in promoting these goals and that more broadly supports high schools in developing students’ ethical character.
This report follows our first Turning the Tide report released in January 2016. This first report was a set of recommendations endorsed by over 50 college admissions deans, that sought via college admissions to:
Elevate ethical character, especially concern for others and the common good
Increase access and equity for economically disadvantaged students
Reduce excessive, damaging achievement pressure in many communities
This report argued that what’s important in college admissions is not the quantity of students’ achievements or long "brag sheets" but the quality of their ethical and academic engagement.
We hope you will read the new report and join us in this important work.
-- The Making Caring Common team.
Resources for Families
Parents and caregivers have the opportunity to model ethical behavior and self-reflection for their children during the college admissions process. Try these tips and resources for sparking conversations with your family:
Resources for Educators
High schools can help shape a college search and application process that promotes rather than undermines ethical character. They can also help nurture sustained community engagement and ethical capacities in their students. Here are three resources to get started:
Read the Report and Recent Coverage
Read our newest college admissions report, Turning the Tide II: How Parents and High Schools Can Cultivate Ethical Character and Reduce Distress in The College Admissions Process. In addition to our guideposts for families and educators, we also provide examples in the report of what high schools, colleges, and families are doing to change the conversation and the culture.
Recent media coverage of our college admissions work includes:
The Moral Wages of the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni in The New York Times
Feel like the college application process is out of control? Here’s how to keep it ethical. by Jennifer Breheny Wallace in The Washington Post
One power-broker parent exposes the bitter truth that the elite play by their own rules by Jenny Anderson in Quartz
The college admissions process was scandalous long before we learned about celebrity bribes by The Los Angeles Times editorial board
The college admissions scandal is more proof that helicopter parenting hurts kids by Amy Joyce in The Washington Post
The Two Powerful Forces Changing College Admissions by Catherine Gewertz in Education Week
Making the grade still matters — at least in college admissions by Jeffrey Selingo in The Washington Post
Elite-College Admissions Are Broken by Alia Wong in The Atlantic