Thursday, August 29, 2013

Private School Parents Are Bad People

So says this article in Slate. The author says that rich parents bring rich change, including time and money, emphasis on money, and parental involvement.

This argument assumes that the largest issue with bad public schools is money, but it's just not. It's mindset. It's the fact that schools are still based on an agrarian calendar, still educating factory workers, and still pushing standardized tests. Money won't fix mindset.

Even China is de-emphasizing standardized testing, and they are the experts at educating compliant factory workers. Srsly.

I sacrificed 12 years of my life, and five years of my child's life, and I am unwilling to continue being an educational martyr, offering up my only child as a sacrifice. If I was called to make some real change, if people actually listened and thought about what was best for kids, then maybe I would consider returning. If adults in charge thought about how they learn best, if they considered what information they remember from their years in public school, things might change. I have tried to make change happen in my own small school district, which could be a model due to its size and diversity and have been repeatedly rebuffed and repulsed by grubbing minions who are only interested in what looks nice, not what's effective. If my system was only graduating 72% of its students, I wouldn't be making excuses - I'd be making changes.

Until then, don't call me a bad person for not wanting my child's brain to languish. I am actively involved in education, as a teacher, a learner, a parent and a person actively seeking change for all students (not just the wealthy and over privileged or poor and underprivileged). Don't call me a bad person for leaving the sinking ship just as it touched the waterline and then refuse to throw me anything other than a dollar bill as a life preserver. It's not about the money. Change your mind, then we'll talk.


  1. Hello there,
    I've been following for a few months now, and want to express my appreciation for this blog that you keep.

    I'm twenty, and so the frustrations that you write about public schooling are still fresh in my memory. I was blessed to be chosen to participate in a special collaboration between my high school district and community college, allowing me to attend the college exclusively. It changed my life, and gave me a vision of what education could mean for this country.

    I'm in the education club at UC Berkeley now, and there is much interest in alternative education amongst the members. I shared what you are doing in Georgia in a recent meeting, and everyone was amazed.
    Thank you for your dedication to your students and mission.


    1. I can't tell you how timely this comment is, and how much I appreciate it.

      If there is any way I can contribute to your path in education, and that of your club's members, please do not hesitate to get in touch.