Sunday, June 2, 2019

Wealthy white parents are turning away from selective schools because they fear their children will be an ethnic minority

This is mainly a NSW concern as only NSW has much in the way of government funded selective schools.  It is also about Chinese students -- who star in selective schools -- which can be demoralizing for all but the very smartest white kids. In some years ALL the top students are Chinese, many from selective schools.  Their combination of hard work and high IQ is unbeatable.  Their talent makes it easier for them to get into selective schools in the first place.  So they get a high quality education for free.  Why would they go elsewhere?  White parents are more aware of the important social advantages of private schools

Wealthy white parents are avoiding sending their kids to selective schools because they fear they will be an ethnic minority, according to an expert. 

Christina Ho, a social scientist from the University of Technology, says Anglo families were choosing to send their kids to private schools while migrant families are choosing selective schools. 'We do have this self-segregation going on,' Dr Ho said.

And part of the reason appears to be based on the fear of being a minority.  'A lot of Anglo families are saying, 'I would be a minority if I went to a selective school,' Dr Ho said.

The same concern impacts the schooling choices of rich migrant families, who previously preferred private schools. As with Anglo families, they were now choosing selective schools because they were worried about being a conspicuous minority in private schools.

'We do have a lot of wealthy migrants in this country who are living in the eastern suburbs and north shore, who could potentially afford to send their kids to private schools but they are not.' said Dr Ho.

In NSW, more than 80 per cent of students in fully selective schools came from language backgrounds other than English (LBOTE).

Of the 99 schools with fewer than 10 percent LBOTE students, over half were private and in affluent areas.

Dr Ho's research indicates that the process of self-segregation is leading to a wider problem across Sydney where many schools are more ethnically divided than the suburbs in which they are located.

'The increasing diversity of our communities is not reflected in our education system,' Dr Ho told  

The process of self-segregation worries Dr Ho who argues that when schools no longer reflect their local communities, students have less opportunity to develop cultural understanding.

She adds that the reason for the ethnic divide lies in policies that encourage parents to shop for schools, over selecting their local school.

Pranay Jha, the son of Indian migrants, had the choice of attending a selective school or attending the King's School in North Parramatta on a scholarship.

His parents decided on the private school option, and Mr Jha, admits he felt isolated, and suffered from some cultural shame. 'I was surrounded by white people, and so to socially succeed in the school you needed to play down your ethnicity a lot,' he said.

Mr Jha also remembers being racially abused while playing sport and believes that if there had been more diversity at the school it would provide students from migrant backgrounds with a greater sense of solidarity.

However, the ethnic make-up of The King's School has changed since Mr Jha's graduation in 2015. At that time 31 per cent of students were LBOTE. By 2018 the number had risen to over 40 per cent