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Monday, June 17, 2013

What am I supposed to say about local public schools

I hate these conversations.  New person moving into the area asks me which school district is best.  How do I answer that?  I truly believe they all pretty much suck.  Technically, the area I live in has the best schools.  There is even a premium to buy a house in my neighborhood.  The same exact house on the other side of town is $30,000 cheaper.  For real.

Still, after 2 years attendance in this magnificently wonderful school district, I pulled my kids out.

Classroom trailers
Too much ADHD testing
Not enough gifted testing
Bullying on the Elementary level (not even middle school yet)
Child safety is very questionable.

How do I in good conscience recommend these schools.  I know this person does not want to homeschool, so I just tell them what they want to hear- I guess.

Stay on top of your child's education and they will be fine wherever you put them.  That means, read every piece of paper that comes into the house.  Volunteer at the school.  Sit with them during homework.  Don't let guidance counselors make decisions for them... be involved.

Still, I know that is not enough, but what am I supposed to say?
I know that test scores and drop out rates numbers are misrepresented.
I know that our schools guilty of the same CRCT cheating that Atlanta Schools are in trouble for.
... and so much more.

But I am not here to convince you to homeschool or to volunteer to homeschool for you.  Don't know what else to do.



Happy Elf Mom said...

I dunno... she's asking which district is best... so you can tell her that and add, "But I'd consider homeschooling because around here (insert cultural problem or whatever that makes all districts locally suck)."

Do they allow part-time homeschooling? We are trying that next year with Emperor.

Ahermitt said...

I told them that my school district is best, but 10 years ago we had a big problem with our kids being the "only ones" and that we could see that not a whole lot was expected of them... plus the bullying & etc. I made it clear that the demographic has changed and that was just my experience, but that they had to keep their eyes open.

They allow part time for children with disabilities. But they aren't interested in homeschooling at all. I probably should direct them to someone who is more excited about the public schools here.

Anonymous said...

I, too, live in an area that has "the best schools" and several parents have had kids go through the Gifted and Talented program and rave about it. However, there is a tremendous amount of politicking as to which kid gets in and, unfortunately, if your child has any learning differences or weak areas and/or doesn't get into GT, the schooling experience is VERY different. Even many GT parents say they are disturbed or saddened by how poor the non-GT classes sometimes are. When new families ask me my opinion, I tell them honestly that the GT program seems top notch but that there have been issues with the regular classes. I then tell them that my kids have dyslexia so we have chosen to homeschool, recommend that they talk to Mrs.... down the road about regular classes or talk with myself or our Homeschool co-op if they ever want to consider homeschooling. It is definitely an awkward place to be in, especially since they probably paid a lot more money to live in this area because of the "excellent" schools, but I try to be honest without bombarding them with ALL the negative I have heard or experienced or ALL of my thoughts on homeschooling. Not an easy tightrope to walk.