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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:19 AM   #1
Happybunny
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Using one's influence and or money?

When does it stop being a helping hand, and become nepotism?

My grand daughter is coming up to primary school age, and the best school is over subscribed. The said school is in her catchment area, but there is always a lottery for places. But I do know all of the board of governors, as personal friends. My daughter has not asked me directly to do anything, but I do know that she would be hurt if I didn't.

I thought about it very hard, and I know that it is unfair to others. But is any more unfair that I was able to pay fully for both my daughters university educations. Or to be able to pay their daily living expenses, while they got non paying internships. It is after all what you are expected to do as a parent, too do the best you can for your children.

This weekend I'll be making some telephone calls, and having some discreet meals/drinks.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 07:49 AM   #2
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When does it stop being a helping hand, and become nepotism?

My grand daughter is coming up to primary school age, and the best school is over subscribed. The said school is in her catchment area, but there is always a lottery for places. But I do know all of the board of governors, as personal friends. My daughter has not asked me directly to do anything, but I do know that she would be hurt if I didn't.

I thought about it very hard, and I know that it is unfair to others. But is any more unfair that I was able to pay fully for both my daughters university educations. Or to be able to pay their daily living expenses, while they got non paying internships. It is after all what you are expected to do as a parent, too do the best you can for your children.

This weekend I'll be making some telephone calls, and having some discreet meals/drinks.
I don't really see anything wrong with it. It would be different if she didn't meet standards.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:10 AM   #3
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Of course it's wrong. There is a lottery to make sure everyone has a fair chance to get in. Using your money or your friendship or anything else that gives you a chance everyone else can't get is wrong. But you know that and you are doing it anyway and you just want to feel better about it.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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If I were in your position I would be doing exactly the same thing.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 08:30 AM   #5
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If I were in your position I would be doing exactly the same thing.
The deck is stacked, and if you don't use your influence to help your grandchild, then you are allowing those others who have money, power and influence to maintain their hold on the world. The best thing you can do, is make sure your granddaughter knows that just because you don't have money, power or influence does not mean you are irrelevant.

Last edited by stridemat; Feb 7, 2013 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Removed slur
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:01 AM   #6
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Any school that has a lottery, would have no situation in which someone with money or influence could affect the result? Right? In those circumstances, it is purely merit based.

On the other hand, using the OPs description of the circumstances, you have a school where those with power, money or influence can affect an admissions decision.

Right? This isn't red/blue, but money/power/influence vs. not. I'm blue, but that doesn't mean I don't have those things. I'm just talking about averages, percentages, and historical evidence.

You may feel free to claim I'm wrong, but don't demand that I produce evidence for something that you know is correct.

(edit) Hey CalWizrd, go to the any of the top private schools in the country. You will find a number of scholorships available to those who don't have money, power or influence. But, I bet you won't find any of those schools that has more of those scholorships than paid attendance.

Last edited by stridemat; Feb 7, 2013 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Removed deleted post
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:05 AM   #7
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This isn't red/blue, but money/power/influence vs. not.
Then why demonstrate your unreasonable disdain for republicans, for no reason?
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:25 AM   #8
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Then why demonstrate your unreasonable disdain for republicans, for no reason?
Why the hell not? There is at least a partially quantifiable relationship between money/power/influence and political affiliation. All I'm saying is that if you send your kid to a school dominated by money/power/influence, you should make sure your influence is still there lest they be brainwashed by the right-wing fanatics.

Before you give me a hard time, don't forget that the Republicans love to bash those "liberal professors."

If you want proof of my claim, feel free to provide proof of their claims.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:27 AM   #9
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Why the hell not? There is at least a partially quantifiable relationship between money/power/influence and political affiliation. All I'm saying is that if you send your kid to a school dominated by money/power/influence, you should make sure your influence is still there lest they be brainwashed by the right-wing fanatics.

Before you give me a hard time, don't forget that the Republicans love to bash those "liberal professors."

If you want proof of my claim, feel free to provide proof of their claims.
What about all those liberal movie stars? They are rich and have power/influence
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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Why the hell not? There is at least a partially quantifiable relationship between money/power/influence and political affiliation. All I'm saying is that if you send your kid to a school dominated by money/power/influence, you should make sure your influence is still there lest they be brainwashed by the right-wing fanatics.

Before you give me a hard time, don't forget that the Republicans love to bash those "liberal professors."

If you want proof of my claim, feel free to provide proof of their claims.
I never asked you for proof of anything.

I was just curious as to what would drive a person to spew vitrol at every opportunity (relevant or not) about a particular group.

I'm fascinated as to what could possibly make someone feel so strongly as to make their hatred of half the population known at every turn.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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I am against nepotism entirely. Heck, I think inheritance should be taxed 100% as well and reinvested in the public domain for all to enjoy
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 10:50 AM   #12
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Of course it's wrong. There is a lottery to make sure everyone has a fair chance to get in. Using your money or your friendship or anything else that gives you a chance everyone else can't get is wrong. But you know that and you are doing it anyway and you just want to feel better about it.
I'm with Mac'nCheese.

If the only legitimate, standardized way in is through lottery, then take your chances with the rest of the people.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 11:18 AM   #13
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When does it stop being a helping hand, and become nepotism?....
From your description, this isn't nepotism. You're not the official who decides on who gets in so nepotism doesn't really come into the picture. Rather it's just a petty form of corruption.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 12:19 PM   #14
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From your description, this isn't nepotism. You're not the official who decides on who gets in so nepotism doesn't really come into the picture. Rather it's just a petty form of corruption.
The longest journey starts with a single step. Screwtape would be pleased.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 12:43 PM   #15
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I don't really see this any differently from recommending your child for a job or any of the other advantages the middle classes give their children.

I also don't think that if working class people knew the school governors etc that they wouldn't do exactly the same.

The bit that makes it unfair is that the middle/upper class people are much more likely to know the school governors than working class people.

I would have thought the real solution to this sort of issue is to make sure working class people are fairly represented on the school governors. Working class kids go to school too so their interests should be taken into account.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 12:57 PM   #16
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Seriously people? bringing left/right wing B.S. into the thread? I'm 100% positive you can find a place for it elsewhere.

As for the OP, yes it's unfair to unduly influence the process and your logic to continue on this course is equally weak. One form of unfairness does not 'make up for' or 'correct' another. You know it's wrong to do; you know you are only doing it for the gain of a family member, so why are you still going to do it?

Will it help to know it might not matter anyway? In the book Freakonomics a study of the Chicago(?) school lottery was done, and it was found that the school that the child went to had little to no statistical significance on the child's grades. What they did find was that those children who were entered in the lottery (and cared enough about their education to do so) had statistically better grades than those who didn't enter the lottery. It led the book to postulate that it wasn't the school that brought the grades up, rather the emphasis the children/family puts on education.

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I don't really see this any differently from recommending your child for a job or any of the other advantages the middle classes give their children.
It is different, lotteries are impartial and the only requirement of winning is to participate in the lotto.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:04 PM   #17
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....I would have thought the real solution to this sort of issue is to make sure working class people are fairly represented on the school governors. Working class kids go to school too so their interests should be taken into account.
To make sure their system is fair, they've already set up a lottery so every qualified kid has the same chance as the next. Trying to rig that process is the issue here
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:38 PM   #18
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To make sure their system is fair, they've already set up a lottery so every qualified kid has the same chance as the next. Trying to rig that process is the issue here
Fair point.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:41 PM   #19
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To make sure their system is fair, they've already set up a lottery so every qualified kid has the same chance as the next. Trying to rig that process is the issue here
So if it's a lottery how do these boardmembers have the ability to get his daughter in? I'm confused about the details or how this works, I suppose.
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Old Feb 7, 2013, 01:49 PM   #20
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So if it's a lottery how do these boardmembers have the ability to get his daughter in? I'm confused about the details or how this works, I suppose.
I guess we'll have to wait for Happybunny to explain, after all, he's the one who said there's a lottery for places (and while his english is usually excellent, perhaps something was lost in translation)

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Old Feb 8, 2013, 01:58 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac'nCheese View Post
Of course it's wrong. There is a lottery to make sure everyone has a fair chance to get in. Using your money or your friendship or anything else that gives you a chance everyone else can't get is wrong. But you know that and you are doing it anyway and you just want to feel better about it.
There is no numbers in hats or tickets pulled out of boxes, although I must say that does sound really socialist, everybody completely equal.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrain View Post
Any school that has a lottery, would have no situation in which someone with money or influence could affect the result? Right? In those circumstances, it is purely merit based.

On the other hand, using the OPs description of the circumstances, you have a school where those with power, money or influence can affect an admissions decision.

Right? This isn't red/blue, but money/power/influence vs. not. I'm blue, but that doesn't mean I don't have those things. I'm just talking about averages, percentages, and historical evidence.

You may feel free to claim I'm wrong, but don't demand that I produce evidence for something that you know is correct.

(edit) Hey CalWizrd, go to the any of the top private schools in the country. You will find a number of scholorships available to those who don't have money, power or influence. But, I bet you won't find any of those schools that has more of those scholorships than paid attendance.
I put this in PRSI but I am at a total loss as to your argument.

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I am against nepotism entirely. Heck, I think inheritance should be taxed 100% as well and reinvested in the public domain for all to enjoy
Dream on with that one.


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I'm with Mac'nCheese.

If the only legitimate, standardized way in is through lottery, then take your chances with the rest of the people.
Again not a number out of hat or ticket out of box, but I do like the idea it's really socialist.

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Originally Posted by Macky-Mac View Post
From your description, this isn't nepotism. You're not the official who decides on who gets in so nepotism doesn't really come into the picture. Rather it's just a petty form of corruption.
I'm sad that you see it as petty corruption, pretty corruption that's what I was aiming for, after all it's for one of my little princesses.

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Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
I don't really see this any differently from recommending your child for a job or any of the other advantages the middle classes give their children.

I also don't think that if working class people knew the school governors etc that they wouldn't do exactly the same.

The bit that makes it unfair is that the middle/upper class people are much more likely to know the school governors than working class people.

I would have thought the real solution to this sort of issue is to make sure working class people are fairly represented on the school governors. Working class kids go to school too so their interests should be taken into account.
This is exactly my point, as a neutral I could not agree more, but I'm not neutral, this is family.


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Originally Posted by eric/ View Post
So if it's a lottery how do these boardmembers have the ability to get his daughter in? I'm confused about the details or how this works, I suppose.
This not Hogwarts, they don't have magic.

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Originally Posted by Macky-Mac View Post
I guess we'll have to wait for Happybunny to explain, after all, he's the one who said there's a lottery for places (and while his english is usually excellent, perhaps something was lost in translation)
Yes I did misuse the word lottery, I had read so often in the British press over (Postcode Lottery) when talking about random services.
I should have used words like pot luck, or even hands of fate.



One of the major reasons why these Free Schools are always over subscribed is they maintain a very low class size, on average nothing above 24 pupils.
The fact that they are over subscribed gives them the right to determine who has access.

Being diaper free is an absolute.
Letters of recommendation from the kindergarden are helpful, as this shows that child used to a school like environment.
Another hurdle is what is called the "Parents contribution" this is a extra fee levied on parents to pay for school trips, music instruments for the school orchestra, iPads for class 2 and above.

The final selection of pupils is based on an interview with the child and parents. The answers that are given are what makes the difference. It would be of great help to know what the interviewer is looking to discover.(It is this that I am looking to get some pointers on what is expected)

This interview is not set until September 2013, but preparation is never wasted.

I also have a very good personal friend who happens to own a music store, and would of course be willing to give a reduced prices, to the school.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 02:58 AM   #22
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This is a tough one and more of a personal moral issue than anything.

On one hand, you're in a position to have some sort of influence. On the other, it's obviously unfair. Something I know really well and struggle with from time to time.

If I were you, I'd go more on the lines of bending the rules rather than breaking them.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 03:32 AM   #23
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I live in Spain, at the moment, so I know a thing or two about nepostism... (actually, a lot, but this is not the point)

Put yourself in the other person's place. If you feel jealous, it's ok, but if you feel like it's not fair, it's not ok.
Don't even ****** think about taking the school board out for drinks. The moral thing to do is to play by the rules.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 04:48 AM   #24
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Sadly, schools do not think about educating children. Instead they think about their 'performance' statistics and getting 'the right kind of person' so that the managers can brag about prestige.

If it were me I would approach the people on the board, provided they were approachable by everybody and the advice they gave was available to all who ask. Otherwise, why be part of the problem? After all this is only primary school, and the thing that most influences education is not the school but the home. You'd spend your time better reading to the kids and playing mathematical games with them when they are at home.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 04:55 AM   #25
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Sadly, schools do not think about educating children. Instead they think about their 'performance' statistics and getting 'the right kind of person' so that the managers can brag about prestige.

If it were me I would approach the people on the board, provided they were approachable by everybody and the advice they gave was available to all who ask. Otherwise, why be part of the problem? After all this is only primary school, and the thing that most influences education is not the school but the home. You'd spend your time better reading to the kids and playing mathematical games with them when they are at home.
I do understand what you are saying, my problem is I want to help, but I also want not to derail the whole process. If this was a neutral event I wouldn't bother, but when it's family you do tend to go that extra metre.
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