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Friday, May 05, 2006

We Don't Need No Education

"It looked like a...a... A facility!"

"Well, it is, hon. It's an educational facility."

"Looked more like a correctional facility."


I was thinking that the last time I had set foot in a public school was, oh, about twenty years ago when my mother was still teaching, then I realized, duh! my two youngest attend public school. I set foot in one nearly every single day. But theirs is so small and cozy and informal. And cheery. And fun. This was nothing at all like that.

We took the open house tour at the local middle school yesterday. One other parent and her fifth grader attended from our little charter. We were treated to a sonorous lecture from a dean or principal or robot, and an exciting fashion show hosted by the eighth graders demonstrating the do's and don't's of the dress code. After a particularly skanky Don't Girl was dismissed for her way too revealing attire and the Do Girl praised for her modest apparel, the other mom, whose eyesight is much better than mine, leaned over and whispered, "Do Girl's shirt says, 'Lick Me'." A far too perky teacher enlightened us about the lunch lines and enthused, "You can eat cheeseburgers every day if you want to!"


This on the same day the paper ran a frontpage story on Gracie's other public school option. Of course I had a brief case of educational envy second guessing my homeschool plan and even momentarily considered covering another base by signing her up there too -- because as the statistics show, aside from their phenomenal SAT scores, 99% of students go on to a four year college, the remaining 1% attend a two year college -- until I got to the last line, a quote from a satisfied parent, "Everything at Pine View is geared toward going to college, and every kid aspires to go on to college. In that kind of atmosphere nobody considers not going, and looking back at the education he's received, the experience is superior to what he would have received in public schools in England."

Well then that's not for us, is it?

On the way out of the drab, dark brown brick institution, Gracie nudged me and pointed out a large inspirational sign planted in a dusty, dry courtyard, "NEVER NEVER QUIT!"

"Mom? That's a double negative, isn't it?"

High five, honey.

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