Good to meet you. Where did you go to school?

Finally getting myself out and about in Baltimore and meeting people—business meetings, networking, etc…plus just getting to know the neighbors, having my cousins over for a barbecue.  I am just starting to understand the culture of this place:  when someone asks where you went to school, they mean your high school.  Yes, your high school.  Baltimore folks make sense of who you are by relating it to what prep school you went to.  Since I didn’t grow up here, they have to make do with proxies:  my dad went to City College (which apparently means smart working-class boy who wants to make something of himself) and my daughter is starting at The Friends School (which seems to indicate respectful, socially responsible but still smart).  She applied and also got into The Park School (lefty/liberal) and Bryn Mawr (all-girls, terribly exclusive, dahling) and when she picked Friends we had no idea the bigger implications of it as a social statement.  This is a whole new world to me.  Everywhere else I have lived had much more transient populations (Boston, New York, Southern California) and no one shared enough history for this kind of thing to make sense.  Is this high school as social statement thing common elsewhere or is it just a Baltimore thing?