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Kevin, I can understand academic preparation as a commodity, but what about character education. The last I read, this was still the top reason for choosing independent schools, and I have difficulty imagining that as a commodity that would be perceived as equally attainable at a number of schools.

Yes, I think what Marc was saying in his post (and with which I concur) is that the academic preparation has become commoditized, to whatever degree. I agree with you that the character education piece is difficult to turn into a commodity, and as such, it remains that which we can continue to use effectively. Some schools, of course, do it better than others.

On that same topic, I was present at a recent assembly when a rep from ISM spoke, and their analysis indicates that, hands-down, the number one reason students/families choose an independent school (for grades 9-12) is the availability of student clubs and activities; kids want to be able to participate in (and lead, for some of them) clubs. Character education was right up there, but the clear choice was clubs/activities. It was a fascinating discovery. (Sidebar: I don't know the sample size, etc.)

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