I was talking to a perfectly nice woman about her upcoming move to Pittsburgh, a perfectly nice city in what is left of the Rust Belt. Her main problem with the move was not her children’s adjusting to a new city, meeting new friends, the hassles of setting up a new household, leaving family behind – but that her child would no longer be going to a “top 45 school.”
Huh? What the heck was she talking about? Pittsburgh has wonderful suburban schools, many in small, walkable suburbs with tight-knit communities. Pittsburgh is no slouch. But didn’t I see? Her daughter will be leaving Bethesda, Maryland's Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, which was anointed a Newsweek top 100 school. She mentioned “top 45” at least 3 other times in a 5-minute conversation.
I agree with her: I just don't know how her daughter will survive.