Thursday, May 15, 2008
Registration Blues Part 3.......The Lottery
So I got a letter in the mail telling me that my baby is a low number that is not divisible by two in the lottery for one of our many charter school groups in New Orleans. Since everyone is scrambling to find a place for their children in a few schools, I won’t put the actual number she is because I can’t afford to hire security to protect her safety. Might be some poor baby right outside of the magic number with an over zealous parent.
I am glad she got into this one because I had to spend money on the second option and there was no clear third option. This school is supposed to be really good for a public school. I am still doing what research I can.I think my registration trouble is over but looking at the big picture I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. All I can come up with is questions.
What about all the kids that don’t get into the school their parents have selected? How come I don’t know where my district school is if I had to send her there? Do I have a district school? Do we still have districts? If you have more than one child and they don’t get in the same school after the lottery, what kind of pain in the ass is it if their schools are miles apart? How much time and gas does that cost? How come we have schools advertising on the back of city buses like they are small claim attorneys? When is the local news going to mention this like they do the crime problem? Doesn’t this situation assure that we will still have a crime problem for a long time? Why isn’t our city council making more noise about getting back local control of the school system? Why isn’t Austin Badon’s bill to give all the kids in the city a chance for a scholarship to pay to go where they want a bigger story? Am I the only person who realizes his bill is a direct statement about the state of public schools? Don’t try to answer all of that because it will give you a headache.
At the risk of making the counter argument against my own blog, New Orleans schools have been a wreck for a really long time. Some of us manage to still make it through all of that to live productive lives. Just because it’s obvious that the odds are stacked against these kids doesn’t mean that we can make it alright for them to not give the total effort. That means I shouldn’t see these kids waiting for the bus in the morning without a pencil or a notepad. They are not prepared to learn anything. If my kids were going to a school with one window, no air conditioning and the entire class had to share one book, I would be mad. I would be angry. I would do whatever it took to get that fixed but when my kids left my house they would know that I am laying the smack down on anyone who doesn’t give their best. When it’s all said and done no one is going to pay your bills and buy your groceries because you went to a Recovery District School instead of a KIPP charter school. Circumstances suck sometimes but you have to deal with them anyway.
That’s my opinion as I sit here dreaming of causing an uprising at my first PTA meeting in my Clark alumni t-shirt.