Raising a Black Man

Choosing a School

Education & Career, Family, Featured, In My Opinion

My son has been getting a first-class education at his nursery school. At three years old he can read three to five letter words and count in both English and Spanish, and he is starting to add and subtract. They are on the ball at his school. But the cost of tuition is like paying rent on a small Mid-Wilshire apartment. Between that and our mortgage, we are stretched and so my hubby and I are on the hunt for a public kindergarten program.

This is a scary process, let me tell you. We live in LAUSD-zone and our local school options just don’t cut it. I am adamant that my child continue his foreign language studies but most public schools don’t even offer that anymore. The other options are schools that offer dual language learning which means they teach the child primarily in a second language. I’m all for that, but the waiting lists for these schools could wallpaper the Staples Center. When did education become so complicated?

When I was a child my mom filled out something called a Choices brochure. You picked the top three schools you would like your kid to attend and then were sent your selection in the mail. It was real simple. Now there is a point system to get into schools and the way points are given is complicated to understand, much less explain.

At this point LAUSD is completely transparent. Between the LA Times started schools report cards, putting both schools and individual teachers on blast, and having API scores be so easily accessible, it’s not hard to figure out where you don’t want your child to be. Education can’t be left to chance. Let’s face it: LAUSD is no longer setting a standard of excellence, other institutions have publicly been put on blast for miseducating kids, and then you have charter school options full of new teachers who don’t always know what their doing. The whole situation is convuluted and confusing, and the victims of this mess are our children.

If we decide to stay in LAUSD and put our son in a school outside of our neighborhood, we have to fill out an intra-district permit, woo the principal of another school to take our son and wish for the best. If we want to leave the district altogether, we have to fill out an inter-district permit and woo another school district to take our son, and again, wish for the best. Did I mention LAUSD has to be willing to sign off on these permits to let our son go?

There’s a part of me that wants to get a second job and just keep the boy in private school.

Parents, what have you experienced when choosing a school for your child?

2 Comments on "Raising a Black Man"

  1. Rashanii Jan 12, 2012 · 11:19 am

    When we purchased our home, we were guided primarily by the API scores of the high schools in the area for our eldest child. But we quickly found that the people who already had children in the school were very territorial about who they would let into the school. This isn’t the principal or the superintendent, mind you. This is just parent X from this neighborhood. It’s difficult to get your kids into the best schools nowadays, because once everyone knows that they are good, the walls go up. I hope y’all are successful in your endeavors to get him into the best school possible!

  2. Anthony Apr 20, 2012 · 10:17 pm

    I cannot naigmie how one could study this area of technical skill online.This kind of work involves learning how to do things with your hands, understanding the tools, learning how the products work and feel when applied.The only way I can see to learn this is to actually handle the stuff. Yes, there will be some theory/knowledge you could study on line. But after that, you’ll have to apprentice. Was this answer helpful?

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