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  #21  
Old 13.02.2017, 15:12
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

To pick up on Kittster's and nigelr's good posts.

I am from a generation, where going to Gymi and Uni was more or less reserved for those well off financially (with few exceptions). Like kittster, I have more esteem for a well trained builder/electrician/baker/chef/nurse

For us, the standard was to get an apprenticeship and you were always free to further your education after that first stepping stone, in whateer direction you pleased to take it.

Now, our system is really one of the best there is. Apprenticeships last usually 3-4 years, it is called Dual System, because the trainee works in his choosen profession and goes to vocational school once or twice a week (depending on apprenticeship), this is interspersed with mandatory extra curricular courses (überbetriebliche Kurse)

The system is highly regulated and supervised by federal and cantonal laws and ensures, that after the final exams really well trained people are let loose on us common folks.

So maybe we should boost the esteem of the apprenticeship a little more. A PhD is not the be all and end all of any professional career!!
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  #22  
Old 13.02.2017, 15:45
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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the country saves massively on educational costs
Rubbish.

Tom
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  #23  
Old 13.02.2017, 16:03
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

I cannot find the study now but in Vaud (Waadt) the difference between low and high income area gymnase entrance is about 20% to 40% difference. And this is in a canton where actually there is no all-or-nothing entry exam, but the year long average plus an exam that counts with 1/3 of weight and which is actually slightly below what the typical school test. Now unless someone shows me that this high correlation between income and school access doesn't happen in Zurich, I claim that:
- the current system enforces across the generations the income split, or to put it otherwise limits the social mobility.
- the current system also does a reverse redistribution, because the parents of poor kids are paying for schools their kids don't go to.
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Old 13.02.2017, 16:49
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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Unfortunately I couldn't hear any voice expressing properly what is better for SWITZERLAND. Is there any societal/economical advantage in attracting more Gymi students? Many apprenticeship positions stay unoccupied even today, so I cannot imagine a change here will worsen anything.
Ok, I know I am deliberately avoiding the rest of the conversation, but this is something that bothers me, because it keeps being brought up.

The bold statement is a bit of a dead fish. Is it true? In a way. It's basically an "alternative fact".

Yes, there are a lot of unfulfilled vacancies in apprenticeships - those that are not popular. When we open vacancies to draftsmen/women apprenticeships, we get bombarded with truck loads of applications: because there are not enough places for so many children.

So, are we saying that children should give up on their dream because chances look grim? Should we just shove them into an area that says nothing to them because those are the only ones with open places? Because sometimes I have the feeling people are saying that since there are so many empty places in apprenticeships (which cover things from stonemasons to textile designers), we should make the gymi path even harder to get some children filling those empty places by brute force.

Yes, it's quite ok to teach parents that it's fine if their snowflakes don't follow the university path. But we have to stop claiming that all jobs are created equal - newsflash: that's not true. Yes, all jobs are equally worthy - but no matter how pink you want to paint reality, some are more equal than others.

Sorry to be blunt, an apprenticeship choice can be as colourful as my pantone palette - and there is nothing more f@cked up than ending up in a career path you don't enjoy, just because that was the "best choice" in terms of vacancies.
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Old 13.02.2017, 17:06
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

So many kids don't make the expectations of their parents and/or themselves. It was a truly wonderful experience for me over Christmas to motivate / assist my daughters lovely boyfriend of the past almost 3 years in putting-together a great CV out of a terrible one.

Although he's a fantastic young man, with wonderful parents (in great / partly prominently respected positions here in CH), somehow lost his motivation and belief in his own capabilities. It's not only the highly educated and respected people that make good parents.

I think that this counted as of the most rewarding times of my life to assist him in putting together a truthful and great CV, and helping him think about a further education in the area of his dreams (although not well-paid).

In the meantime, I hate my IT/banking fate. Can't imagine living it out until retirement. Totally support his chosen path.
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  #26  
Old 13.02.2017, 17:07
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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Yes, it's quite ok to teach parents that it's fine if their snowflakes don't follow the university path.
I think many "life is tough" replies in this thread miss the point: chance equality, at least in the tax paid public system.
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Old 13.02.2017, 17:15
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

We much prefer the entrance examination than the incredibly arbitrary system of teacher-recommendation. We have run across a few examples where the chosen kids (and they are already chosen in 4th grade) do worse in school and on tests, yet get better grades nonetheless. A test where the test-grader cannot see the name of the child is significantly fairer than when the grading is heavily-weighted towards what the kids name is. Sadly, our canton bases the Gymi entrance solely on the teacher recommendation.
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Old 13.02.2017, 17:34
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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I think many "life is tough" replies in this thread miss the point: chance equality, at least in the tax paid public system.
Here the nine different roads to university:

Pass the Swiss Matura Exam. Held twice a year. No need to go to any school.
https://www.sbfi.admin.ch/sbfi/de/ho...spruefung.html

Go to any of the Matura schools for adults and pass the matura exam at the end.

Get the adult vocational Matura and then get a degree from any Swiss applied university / Fachhochschule.

Get the adult vocational Matura and then do the one 1 year Passarelle to get access to all faculties at Swiss universities.

Get the vocational Matura during your apprenticeship and then get a degree from any Swiss applied university / Fachhochschule.

Get the vocational Matura during your apprenticeship and then do the one 1 year Passarelle to get access to all faculties at Swiss universities.

Go to the gymnasium after 3rd year secondary school and pass the Matura exam in the end.

Go to the gymnasium after 2nd year secondary school and pass the Matura exam in the end.

Go to the gymnasium after 6 grade and pass the Matura exam in the end.
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  #29  
Old 13.02.2017, 17:38
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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.... chance equality, at least in the tax paid public system.

Ha ha friggin' HA!
Ever thought about the rocky road a handicapped, yet smart and aedequate person for the job, for example, has to follow to secure an apprenticeship place.

Not to mention subsequent hassle to get a job when training is finished......don't give me the equal chances spiel, please!
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  #30  
Old 13.02.2017, 18:07
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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Ok, I know I am deliberately avoiding the rest of the conversation, but this is something that bothers me, because it keeps being brought up.

The bold statement is a bit of a dead fish. Is it true? In a way. It's basically an "alternative fact".

Yes, there are a lot of unfulfilled vacancies in apprenticeships - those that are not popular. When we open vacancies to draftsmen/women apprenticeships, we get bombarded with truck loads of applications: because there are not enough places for so many children.

So, are we saying that children should give up on their dream because chances look grim? Should we just shove them into an area that says nothing to them because those are the only ones with open places? Because sometimes I have the feeling people are saying that since there are so many empty places in apprenticeships (which cover things from stonemasons to textile designers), we should make the gymi path even harder to get some children filling those empty places by brute force.

Yes, it's quite ok to teach parents that it's fine if their snowflakes don't follow the university path. But we have to stop claiming that all jobs are created equal - newsflash: that's not true. Yes, all jobs are equally worthy - but no matter how pink you want to paint reality, some are more equal than others.

Sorry to be blunt, an apprenticeship choice can be as colourful as my pantone palette - and there is nothing more f@cked up than ending up in a career path you don't enjoy, just because that was the "best choice" in terms of vacancies.
Indeed.
My daughter's career choices (as of age 8).
1st Horse Vet.... if she gets really good at maths and can go to Gymni.
2nd Horse Nurse.... if she gets good at maths.
3rd Horse riding teacher..... if she really can not do the maths.

Personally, as long as she is happy with her eventual career (which looks like working with horses right now) then I don't care if she gets into gymni or not, But I would hate it if, failing to get into Gymni to get on the veterinary medicine path she really wants was forced into an apprenticeship that had lots of vacancies (i.e. baking), rather than an apprenticeship in something she really has an interest in (i.e. veterinary nursing).
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  #31  
Old 13.02.2017, 20:04
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

I wish more education systems followed the Swiss way. Very strict gymi and uni admission criteria+fixed spots, combined with free/almost free uni; apprenticeships; alternative tracks to higher education, etc.

As someone else said earlier, I am not an expert in education, but among the systems I am familiar with, I think the Swiss system is the best.
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  #32  
Old 14.02.2017, 11:20
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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Now unless someone shows me that this high correlation between income and school access doesn't happen in Zurich, I claim that:
- the current system enforces across the generations the income split, or to put it otherwise limits the social mobility.
- the current system also does a reverse redistribution, because the parents of poor kids are paying for schools their kids don't go to.
The financing claim is horsemanure of the purest kind.
For instance in 2004 (can't be bothered to look for more recent data), on the federal level 11.8% of the natural persons had taxable income of 100k or more. This group paid more than 71.6% of the total Direkte Bundessteuer whereas taxable incomes up to 60k (61.2% of the population) only financed 9.0% of the total. The general picture on the kantonal and communal level is quite similar though a bit less onesided than on the federal level due to less steep progression of tax rates.

Higher income indeed correleates with higher rate of gymi and uni attendance. But is it really "the system's" fault?

Command of language (written and spoken) is the central means for knowledge transfer. Low income households tend to be foreign with origins from outside of German, French, Italian and English speaking coutries. This results in a huge disadvantage for the children that may well turn them away from reading as it's a bigger effort and they get less positive feedback.

Prove that lower income parents value higher education the same as higher income. Why do negative clichés, like the absentminded prof living in his own world or that scholars have no idea of "the real world", persist among many blue collar workers?

Also show that lower educated parents boost their children's natural intelligence by the same amount as higher educated parents. Not just in the sense of private tutoring, which has economic aspects, but also in general everyday interactions: Language and vocabulary used, time spent together and also used for educating them in passing (how about some algebra while comparing prices when grocery shopping?), the example the parents themselves are for the kids (do they read or watch tv at home?), suggesting reading rather than watching tv to the kids, etc.

Ask a teacher which type of parents are easier to arrange a meeting with, well educated parents or poorly educated. The answer will uniformly be the well educated, a clear sign how they value education.

There are of course aspects that disadvantage lower income parents, like the cost of private tutoring or educational toys, books, etc. But an awful lot is their own doing.
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Old 14.02.2017, 12:18
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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I think many "life is tough" replies in this thread miss the point: chance equality, at least in the tax paid public system.
With all due respect, but there is indeed a high level of chance equality. Full equality - no, but that's not possible anywhere in the world. But it is certainly much better than elsewhere in the Western world.

Public schools come at virtually no cost for the individual citizen and are of excellent quality, there is zero need for private ones and Swiss don't send their kids to private schools. University costs close to nothing and everyone has a chance to get there without bankrupting themselves or their parents. During apprenticeships, people even earn a small salary themselves, and post-apprenticeship, they still have about 500 possibilities to gain further education at no or very little cost, should they wish to do so.

Different levels of intelligence, diligence, interest, motivation, commitment are just that: individual differences. They have absolutely nothing to do with "the system".

More and higher education simply tends to correlate with higher incomes. Everywhere in the world. Tax returns of those with higher incomes are extraordinary too, given the extreme progressive tax that CH has, at least for its citizens. Urs Max has outlined this in more detail.
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Old 14.02.2017, 12:32
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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A PhD is not the be all and end all of any professional career!!
Not at all, agree on that. But relatively few choose to follow this academic path till this stage, probably more and more these days than before but still fewer compared to the total of students who choose to finish their studies with a bachelor/master's degree.
I had a Swiss male colleague who went through the apprenticeship followed by an applied sciences university path and said it was really difficult for him to get into Zürich University to finish his studies with a master degree simply because he didn't study enough mathematics (and physics, and chemistry). There is quite an amount of knowledge that is taught in gymnasium, as simple as that. Once you lose these formative years is very difficult to make a come back in terms of academic achievements.
He was quite bitter re. this issue because he felt the decision of sending a few (4) pupils to gymnasium was quite arbitrary back in his days. He checked on these people later on and discovered that out of 4 girls sent to gymnasium (for some reasons, girls were considered more fit to take up this path) only 1 one of them is working thus using her university degree. Things might have changed in the meantime, I hope.


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To pick up on Kittster's and nigelr's good posts.

I am from a generation, where going to Gymi and Uni was more or less reserved for those well off financially (with few exceptions). Like kittster, I have more esteem for a well trained builder/electrician/baker/chef/nurse
I too respect a well trained builder (and how!), or electrician, not to mention a nurse...or anyone, really. But that has nothing to do with more children being allowed to study in a gymnasium.
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  #35  
Old 14.02.2017, 12:40
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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Not at all, agree on that. But relatively few choose to follow this academic path till this stage, probably more and more these days than before but still fewer compared to the total of students who choose to finish their studies with a bachelor/masters degree.
I had a Swiss male colleague who went through the apprenticeship followed by an applied sciences university path and said it was really difficult for him to get into Zürich University to finish his studies with a masters degree simply because he didn't study enough mathematics. There is quite an amount of knowledge that is taught in gymnasium, as simple as that. Once you lose these formative years is very difficult to make a come back in terms of academic achievements.
He was quite bitter re. this issue because he felt the decision of sending a few (4) pupils to the gymnasium was quite arbitrary back in his days. He checked on these people later on and discovered that out of 4 girls sent to gymi (for some reasons, girls were considered more fit to take up this path) only 1 one of them is working thus using her university degree. Things might have changed in the meantime, I hope.
OK maybe I'm sidetracking too much now, but: I've been highly critical of Bologna as it messed up a system that in my opinion, used to work well. The Fachhochschulen are NOT academic and were never intended to be, nor should they be. Bologna messed this up by blurring the boundaries, leading to situations as that of your colleague above.

I've been to Gymi and later to both university and at some point uni of applied sciences. I didn't expect it to be that different, but it was. The two are HUGELY different, in terms of curriculum, expectations as well as the type of students and their thinking. And after seeing this, I am really, really glad that most universities in Switzerland continue to be quite strict on distinguishing the two when it comes to admission. It's different abroad though, as the difference between the two is not really well-known.

The maths requirement at uni is one thing and the most obvious and very, very significant difference. But it's not limited to that. Content is one thing, but it's also the way you were trained/taught to think, study, combine, prepare, report, present.

Both is needed here, academic and non-academic. Both paths have their advantages and disadvantages, that was always the strength of the Swiss system. And in my opinion, it should stay that way.
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Old 14.02.2017, 12:51
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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Both is needed here, academic and non-academic. Both paths have their advantages and disadvantages, that was always the strength of the Swiss system. And in my opinion, it should stay that way.
I agree with that, both is needed everywhere. One of the worst things that happened to some education systems is the fact that they lost (at least for those who once had it) the professional training component. Switzerland still has it and I too find it great, but again, more places in gymnasium is a separate thing IMHO.
ETA: I also agree with the fact that for a good percentage of school pupils a well done apprenticeship is the best thing they can have, despite of whatever plans their parents might have.
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Old 14.02.2017, 13:04
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

I used to think the Swiss system was terrible---although now I am slowly changing as I get older.


In the 2nd Sek, I was pretty far behind, and was probably considered more REAL material. From that class of 50 only 2 went to kanti, not sure if either followed to Uni.
But in the Canadian system, of course, Uni is a must so I followed that path. In hindsight the opportunity cost of all the years of Uni vs. a steady good paid apprentice position, really makes the latter seem better.
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  #38  
Old 14.02.2017, 13:05
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

[QUOTE=Urs Max;2740403]The financing claim is horsemanure of the purest kind.
For instance in 2004 (can't be bothered to look for more recent data), on the federal level 11.8% of the natural persons had taxable income of 100k or more. This group paid more than 71.6% of the total Direkte Bundessteuer whereas taxable incomes up to 60k (61.2% of the population) only financed 9.0% of the total. The general picture on the kantonal and communal level is quite similar though a bit less onesided than on the federal level due to less steep progression of tax rates.[quote]

In CH the personal income tax is about 50% of the overall budget. Therefore the significance of these direct contributions is halved. There is also a question of income inequality and how it happens and why a progressive tax system is in place. Discounting these things is like equating a banana republic and an OECD country redistribution policy that tries to counter income inequality which is not seen as "fair" share in the wealth created by the society.

Quote:
Higher income indeed correleates with higher rate of gymi and uni attendance. But is it really "the system's" fault?

Command of language (written and spoken) is the central means for knowledge transfer. Low income households tend to be foreign with origins from outside of German, French, Italian and English speaking coutries. This results in a huge disadvantage for the children that may well turn them away from reading as it's a bigger effort and they get less positive feedback.

Prove that lower income parents value higher education the same as higher income. Why do negative clichés, like the absentminded prof living in his own world or that scholars have no idea of "the real world", persist among many blue collar workers?

Also show that lower educated parents boost their children's natural intelligence by the same amount as higher educated parents. Not just in the sense of private tutoring, which has economic aspects, but also in general everyday interactions: Language and vocabulary used, time spent together and also used for educating them in passing (how about some algebra while comparing prices when grocery shopping?), the example the parents themselves are for the kids (do they read or watch tv at home?), suggesting reading rather than watching tv to the kids, etc.

Ask a teacher which type of parents are easier to arrange a meeting with, well educated parents or poorly educated. The answer will uniformly be the well educated, a clear sign how they value education.

There are of course aspects that disadvantage lower income parents, like the cost of private tutoring or educational toys, books, etc. But an awful lot is their own doing.
No numbers above. Foreigners earn about 10-15% less than Swiss on average, and there are about 20% of them.
Does it really correspond to a 100% difference in access to so called pre-gymnase in Vaud? (20% in poor regions, 40% in rich ones).
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Old 14.02.2017, 13:42
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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- the current system enforces across the generations the income split, or to put it otherwise limits the social mobility.
So how do you propose to train a person with low IQ to be a doctor, a lawyer, a software engineer.... Would you be happy to take medical advise from someone who was up to the task, but we passed them any ways??? In reality the system tries to do it's best give kids the best chance according to their abilities...

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- the current system also does a reverse redistribution, because the parents of poor kids are paying for schools their kids don't go to.
So do we not all benefit by having the best educated society we can have??? Being able to consult a well qualified doctor, live in a home we know will not fall in on top of use, use electric equipment that will not give us a shock etc...
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Old 14.02.2017, 14:03
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Re: Petition to change the entrance for Gymnasium in Canton Zürich

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So how do you propose to train a person with low IQ to be a doctor, a lawyer, a software engineer.... Would you be happy to take medical advise from someone who was up to the task, but we passed them any ways??? In reality the system tries to do it's best give kids the best chance according to their abilities...


So do we not all benefit by having the best educated society we can have??? Being able to consult a well qualified doctor, live in a home we know will not fall in on top of use, use electric equipment that will not give us a shock etc...
Well, wealthier suburb doesn't equal to 100% more smarter kids. It is known that salary is correlated to IQ, but inherited wealth isn't. So by having a biased system the society passes many smart kids over.

Last edited by yacek; 14.02.2017 at 14:03. Reason: typo
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