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Dec 16 2009

School choice ain’t all that

Growing up, Tom and I both attended our neighborhood schools. His was down the street, mine was across town (even though another high school in the district was considerably closer). That was the way it was, end of story.

Colorado is not only a different story, it’s a different language in a different library. Here we have open enrollment, so parents are able to send their kids to any public school in the state, provided there’s room there. There are private schools, there are charter schools, and there are a lot of homeschooling parents. It’s intimidating, to say the least. Open enrollment season is upon us, with decisions from the schools going out to the parents after the New Year. Wait lists are filled, parents are filled with dread, and it just casts a depressing pallor over the holidays if you’re in the thick of it. We went through that a few years ago, when we got A into a charter school for kindergarten. It was a lottery system, he wasn’t pulled on the first round, and was lucky to be pulled in the second. That was a long and difficult weekend.

Tonight we find out if the charter school we support (a different one than before) has been approved by the school district. Our involvement has been minimal at this point. I was asked if I wanted to help, way back when the idea was first being tossed around, and I declined, as A had just moved to the new neighborhood school and I was DONE with school choice. Turns out the neighborhood school may not have been the best situation for him (yes, hindsight is 20/20, thanks for noticing), and so we’re actively supporting this school.

It is my fervent hope that the school is approved, for I think it would be a much better fit for my boys, for many reasons. I don’t think it’s going to be the answer to all our problems with A and school, not by a long shot. But…I have hope. If, God Forbid (sayaprayersayaprayersayaprayer), the school isn’t approved, we’re in a much more difficult situation. The two gifted schools that were in the area folded this year. My two backups…folded. They would have known what to do about A and his extraneous issues and been able to help and support him. The other option is homeschooling, which I’m not yet 100% sold on, despite the great support from Tiffany and how much I loved her hands-on math class last Thursday (seriously, head over there and check out the cool stuff we did).

So I’m worried. Today is D-Day. Based on a decision by a small group of people, tomorrow I’m either offering up my life for the foreseeable future to get this school up and running…or I’m having a series of gradually intensifying panic attacks about what to do next year with A and school.

Oh? Keep him where he is? Hmmm…I.Don’t.Know.

Comments

comments

2 comments

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  1. Nancy Campbell

    Saying a prayer for your comfort and that your kiddos end up exactly where they are supposed to be.

  2. cursingmama

    I know how the decision turned out, and I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you. I too have struggled with open enrollment and school choice and we ended up going with a private option, one that cost about 12 billion dollars a year (I exaggerate but only slightly because it may as well be that much because eeegadds does it hurt to pay those bills), but it is what is best for my kid(s) and they actually care that we are happy with them (it keeps the $ coming in after all).
    The part that frustrates the hell out of me in this whole deal is that our public schools nationwide are broken and nobody is willing to acknowledge that band-aids won’t fix it, that they need to scrap it all and start from scratch – the world has changed and so should they.

  1. Tweets that mention School choice ain’t all that -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deborah Mersino, Jen. Jen said: She's writing again: School choice ain't all that http://laughingatchaos.com/2009/12/16/school-choice-aint-all-that/ […]

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