Privileged Poor vs. Doubly Disadvantaged at Elite Schools

Andre Archie:

As a professor at a fairly large state university, I have noticed a pattern during my years of teaching. Students who consistently avail themselves of office hours, to seek clarification on course content, to chat, or to do both, have attended, on average, private preparatory, parochial, or high performing public high schools.

The moment these students walk into my office, it is clear that they were prepped to see professors as allies, not adversaries. At a minimum, they are admiringly self-possessed.

Having casually kept in touch with these students throughout their undergraduate years, I have found that they often excel in the classroom and confidently take advantage of the many opportunities around campus to learn and engage. There are two questions that arise from these observations: first, are they correct? And second, if so, what is it about high performing high schools that make the difference?