The Productivity of Whitney Young Students

Donovan Michel, Student

Whitney Young’s students are generally perceived to be some of the highest-achieving in the nation, but it is not known what the primary factors are for that. Paradoxically, many students procrastinate or cut corners to achieve the high scores they want, so it is unclear just how productive the students of Whitney Young really are.

Due to the high expectations of parents, teachers, and fellow students, there is little margin for error on assignments, or missing due dates. Former Whitney Young student Peter Lyday argues that these high expectations can do more harm than good for students’ productivity, as “there’s a lot of pressure to be the best so kids stress out and don’t get a lot done.” This is certainly a possibility, but Mark Mulcrone, ‘21 believes when it is absolutely necessary, WY  students can get things done, as they are “very productive for very short periods of time.” This sometimes aligns with cutting corners, as Whitney Young students are known for being some of the best at getting good grades while putting in the minimum amount of effort.

In contrast to these more pessimistic views of Whitney’s productivity, an unnamed parent said that Whitney Young students, in general, “are productive, take their work seriously, and are self-motivated.” This is also a possibility, though parents’ perception can be misleading as they sometimes do not see the complete picture of a student’s effort.

All of this is to say, there is a wide level of disagreement about Whitney students’ productivity, but it is undisputed that even with all this potential stress or expectation, students still, in general, maintain high grades and test scores, providing outsiders a positive perspective of the school.