Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Suburban Hipocritomas
I admit to being many things, including a hypocritomas (Trademark pending). The thought that I am a hypocritomas comes to me most strongly when discussing the swirling chaos around the elementary and middle schools my kids attend. I have discovered that there are many similar creatures living in this area. I suspect there are many living in your area, too.
It occurs to me now, lo these many years after Eldest first got into the by-lottery school for kindergarten, thus ensuring his and his siblings' excellent education, sheltered from the low-performing neighborhood school they were slated to attend, that I'm not really as strident a hypocritomas as I have always felt myself to be.
The fact is that, were that by-lottery school a neighborhood school, my kids would almost certainly be slated to attend it. As the controversy surrounding the existence of that school as a by-lottery one has reached epic levels over the past couple of months, the clamor from most people against its by-lottery status has been that neighborhood kids should be able to attend the school. Why should those kids who live literally next door and down the street from the school be forced to go to another school?
The arguments from those wanting to keep it a by-lottery school have always been that it is different, that it provides a specialized education, and that, by virtue of the lottery, everyone throughout the district has an equal chance of attending it.
Saturday morning, many parents of children who attend that by-lottery school stood up in front of the school board and argued passionately in favor of allowing their children to attend their neighborhood middle school. They argued that it wasn't fair to make them go somewhere else when there was a middle school next door and down the street from where they live. They argued that it wasn't fair to let someone from much farther away take a spot and edge the neighborhood kids out from the middle school. They argued that they had bought a house near local schools -- gliding over the fact that they drive past their neighborhood elementary school every single day -- to enable their children to walk or bike to them.
These are parents of children who have attended or do attend the by-lottery elementary school making these arguments.
Those against the by-lottery elementary school are, as expected, having a field day with this.
I shrug my shoulders.
Clearly, we really do only care about our own children, all others be damned.
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