This year we got two of our children accepted for an Opportunity Educational grant. The Opportunity Scholarship Program expands school choice in North Carolina through scholarship grants for eligible children in kindergarten through 12th
It wasn’t hard at all to get it. All I did was apply. It took less than a hour and I did it for five of my children.
Our children have been to public school, charter schools, regular high schools in low income zones and now high school in high income zone. Let me be the first to tell you , there is MESS in all of them if you skip a beat.
Our oldest daughter was attending Kennedy Charter last year. They put so many electives in her day. They kept promising to fix it the following semester and it never happened. Because they were easy classes, my daughter got comfortable with them too so of course she wouldn’t say anything. As we began the process to transfer her to her current high school, instead of her being a senior, she a junior.
Now at the high income high school, ( for reading pleasure, let’s say Providence High) the counselor there won’t return phone calls to figure out a way to get her out in time. When my daughter discovered at opportunity, she replies that she has never heard of it. So now she passing the same classes she’s taken already.
As we now prepare ourselves for private school. I am creating a checklist for signals to lookout for. Of course you can never be to sure of anything, but from dealing with a few educational warehouses, I now can sense when to grab my child and run.
Disclosure: I acknowledge that school systems are blessed with many gifted administrators and dedicated teachers, not all educational facilities are created equal. However, here are my four points of caution. Feel free to add yours in the comments.
- The large majority of your teachers have less than five years of experience- The best schools have solid veteran teaching forces, mixing in talented newcomers each year as teachers retire or move into administration or other job opportunities. When you run off your veteran teachers, you not only do not have teachers who can mentor the younger staff members and help them reach their full potential, but you also are increasing the odds that you are going to hire some less gifted teachers just to fill the vacancies. That makes it that much harder to understand why so many state legislatures are appropriating millions for inexperienced Teach for America instructors instead of spending that money to keep their best teachers in the classroom.”
- Does your child seem fixated on designer labels and trendy clothes for school? This is a symptom of an approach that emphasizes external rather than internal values, causing children to rely on shallower means of comparison and acceptance, rather than deeper values.
- The community is not involved in its schools- In many school districts, the community is kept at arm’s length until it is time to pass another bond issue or tax levy increase. Or the community involvement is restricted to a carefully selected group of business and civic leaders or the spouses of those leaders. A successful school district is one in which the involvement is organic and comes from all segments of the community, not just the ones who are needed when it comes time to ask for money. In some school districts, the community is asked for its input and then guided to give the input the administrators are seeking so they can say whatever initiative they have has the support of the community. That is not community involvement; that is pure spin
- Your child suffers a staggering drop in self-confidence. “Your child may begin to call himself ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ or is overly anxious about homework.”This is often a sign that the teaching style your child is meeting in the classroom is in direct conflict with what he or she requires to learn. Conversely, if your child is not being challenged, you may notice that he or she has started to act out in the classroom or regularly complains about being bored at school.”
More on Schooling:
The top-five reasons to avoid a high school
Wish us luck!