This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted February 26, 2015
- a parent
My daughter is in 7th grade at Marlborough and I disagree with the comments posted in the review dated February 23 2015. I do not have the sense that the school is in complete turmoil. There are obviously big changes going on and that can be stressful for people but my impression is the staff has been very professional in handling the current situation and their primary focus has been ensuring that the education of the girls is not disrupted. My daughter is not an athlete. She loves drama and singing and her experience has been just as good as any girl involved in sports. She has many friends who aren't into anything in particular - they just enjoy being at a challenging school - and they all seem happy and are enjoying their experience at Marlborough. The myth that any school only focuses on big donors is just that. Schools need to fund-raise and I appreciate that there are families and individuals who do contribute at such a level which allows the school to focus on what they do best - educating girls. No school in LA can survive by focusing on only one or two subsets of families. I genuinely feel all families and students are equally valued at Marlborough.
The school is in complete turmoil (evidenced in the press) as a result of not paying enough attention to the safety of its students, and cultivating an atmosphere where predators among faculty and students would thrive. For years, the major focus has been on recruiting mega-wealthy donors who can help pay off the last building fund (the ARC), and pay for the next (Arden Project), with less emphasis on recruiting the best female students in the area. The classroom atmosphere is strictly traditional (teacher lecturing to students, followed by tests or quizzes) rather than innovative projects that my daughter enjoyed at our more progressive elementary school. I am a Marlborough alumna who values the education I received there, but I think it will take time for the school to get back on track. My daughter is an excellent, motivated student, but we are happy to have removed her from this school. She is now thriving in an environment that is more nurturing, and accepting, particularly of children who are more artistic than athletic. Marlborough is much more into its athletics than it was during my time there, and so if you are not a sports team, it is hard to fit in.
Marlborough is arguably the best all-girl school in the country. There is a reason it has the 6th highest average SAT score in the nation, and so many of it's graduates continue on to the finest universities in the world. This school is challenging, and those girls that aren't self-motivated to do well won't; nor do they belong at the school. Marlborough's teachers and administration, led by Barbara Wagner, are incredibly supportive of their girls. They want the girls to succeed, whatever a girl's interests may be, and they will do everything in their power to help them do so. This school is NOT for students who do not take their own education seriously. Those that are unhappy because they didn't get in or felt it was too hard were not Marlborough material to begin with, and need to get over themselves. There are plenty of fine, yet academically lighter weight schools in LA to choose from.
Our daughter made it through this experience, but as a former parent told us at the beginning "there will be many tears". If your daughter is extremely motivated and competitive this may be a great place for her. But I have spoken to more parents about this feeling from the girls that were not in the top 25% that they felt stupid. Which is a shame. They were bright enough to get in, they are not stupid! The teacher quality was not as high as I expected. Some were great and some were down right mean and under qualified. For that much money I expected the best of the best. My daughter is well qualified for college and doing well, but what a road to get there. The head of school is a bit of a robot. Wonderful to listen to but she has created a culture where the faculty can do no wrong and parents are judged by their bank accounts. Which clearly led to their current problems. Any issue we experienced were our child's fault/problem and the school had no interest in changing things to provide a unique crafted expereince. The school is a machine. Maybe now they will see the light and change for the better.
There are four words to describe this amazing school - you cannot do better. To send a daughter to Marlborough is to give them a life long gift. And the school has the 6th highest SAT scores in the country which says it all.
One of these reviewers is targeting the head of administrations directly. I happen to know her and she is amazing her daughter was selected to go there, but not because of her moms position. I also know her daughter. She is a brilliant girl and does more community service then humanly possible. It is disgusting that some one would be so mean to either of them.
I too have a daughter at Marlborough and, like the previous posters, and so thankful she attends this fine school. She too began in 9th grade but had an awkward transition coming from a public institution. The administration went out of its way not only to keep her on track academically but help her get her social footing. 3 years later, she is a poised, self confident young woman who is ready to save the world! Dr. Wagner is amazing as is everyone who works there. We could not have asked for a better educational experience. And to those young women who did not get in, take this lesson from Marlborough; challenge yourself academically, be civic minded, treat others with respect, and, most of all, believe in yourself - you will succeed.
My daughter just entered Marlborough at the 7th Grade after attending a less academic West LA private school since kindergarten. Our daughter is very academic and is very self motivated. She made the decison to attend Marborough (as she was accepted to all four private schools she applied to). Marlborough is very challenging (there is a big difference from her prior school). However, our daughter thrives on the challenge. The fellow students, teachers and administrators have been nothing but very warm and friendly. The extracurricular opportunities are amazing. Our daughter is having the time of her life and enjoys every moment. I take her to the school bus everyday early in the morning. Despite the early start, our daughter is always excited and looks forward to go to school every day. From a parent's perspective, Marlborough is all you could hope for in a school for your daughter. Barbara and her staff should be commended for leading an incredible academic environment for teenage girls. As parents, we have found the parents to be friendly and welsoming as well.
Excellent school for girls. Barbara Wagner provides strong, intelligent and compassionate leadership. The teachers are very engaging and encouraging. The community nurtures the academic, social, and emotional development of the girls. We couldn't wish for more for our daughter.
I love that the heady, snobby, and bitter reviews are written by mothers that didn't even have a daughter attending Marlborough. My daughter just graduated from Marlborough. She began in 9th grade and was given quite a bit of financial aide so she could attend. I am a school teacher and we have a very modest income. The teachers, faculty, and staff go out of their way to make every girl feel welcome. My daughter blossomed academically and creatively at Marlborough because of the opportunity to work so closely with her teachers. Marlborough has great diversity both racially and socioeconomically. My daughter earned every grade and award she received. She made lifelong friendships and learned amazing lessons. They can't take every girl. It doesn't mean that each girl that applies is not a great kid. Mothers need to stop taking it so personally. It is one of the best schools in the country, and it was a wonderful blessing to be a part of it.