I read the excerpt about Ashton Carter with interest, especially since he graduated from my high school, a run of the mill, suburban public school. Of course, he obviously must have been a very different type of student than I was smile.

But, Bostonian, I would agree that the ivies and ivy caliber schools really do have a lot to offer. The rap they get as nothing more than a Wall Street cattle chute is unfair. Students get tremendous intellectual stimulation, not only from top-notch professors, but from (finally) being in classes with like-minded peers. They also offer unparalleled financial aid.

One of my kids is in an ivy right now and is having an amazing time - finally challenged intellectually, taking a range of interesting classes, and meeting interesting people. He is as far from preppie as you could get.