An outside look at our school-assignment woes

Comments

Weiss attributes Julia’s

Weiss attributes Julia’s success, in part, to Hurley’s two-way bilingual curriculum,

So Julia's Dad is a software engineer? Is it fair to assume that Julia's Mom isn't sitting at home all day, watching game shows and smoking ciggies? I think we can say with confidence that the particular curriculum at the school had little to do with Julia's achievement. Mom and Dad have been pushing her and guiding her since she stopped pooping in her pants. The curriculum doesn't make the student - or did all of little Julia's minority classmates to to Boston Latin with her?

And once again, it is just assumed that some schools are just inherently bad - as if there are fumes coming out of the basement and damaging the student's brains. If there are bad schools in some neighborhoods, tell me who is at fault. The 'lingering effect of racism' thing wore out its welcome long ago. Most of the administrators, teachers and politicians of the band old 1970s are dead now. Unless you believe that their racist ghosts are sneaking stupid pills into school lunches or stealing homework lessons, the finger should be pointed towards today's personnel. So who is to blame? Name names please.

quality students or quality schools

IF we define quality largely as the performance of students on MCAS--or even on their rate of improvement--people who want to identify and punish the poor-performing schools should accept that a large part of the definition of quality is based on the kids and families themselves and beyond the control of the teacher. When you start with a challenging population, of course the scores are going to be lower and the only way to improve those scores is to import "better" kids.

Read another sentence

"It mostly worked for her," he says, "and that’s because learning in Spanish is challenging," even though it might not be as prestigious as a traditional gifted program.

It worked for her, in his analysis, because having things presented in a second language added enough challenge for it to be interesting.

Otherwise it might have been... what? Boring? Slow? Stultifying?

Reporter's Best Example is a Neighborhood School

How ironic that an opinion piece in favor of busing chooses to lead with an example of South End parents being able to send their child to... (drum roll please)... their neighborhood school in the South End!

It takes a village to build up a school and make it a place worth choosing.

Busing splinters our villages all over Boston.

Because the politics of blame

Because the politics of blame and guilt employ lots of otherwise unemployable people in phony-baloney jobs! And if you don't agree with the bullshit cover story you hate children, are racist, and probably gave some old lady cancer after kicking a puppy while clubbing a seal.

Because that would

Require that school districts admit that some kids do not want to learn or cannot function in a classroom environment without disrupting other students.

A huge problem isn't that middle class people are racist or classist in choosing where to school their child. But they know that kids cannot learn if the lessons are constantly interrupted to discipline students who refuse to be quiet or remain in their seats. They do not want their kid traveling through an unsafe neighborhood to get to school, or to send their kindergartener through a metal detector each morning (like my husband did), or their middle schooler to never be allowed to use the bathroom during the day because they are always locked to prevent gang violence (like the middle school I was districtedto in NYC.)

In face, I'd bet that most of these parents grew up in schools and neighborhoods like that, and swore they wouldn't subject their own kid to that environment. My parents say their experiences in failing schools shaped many of their decisions in our education, and I know many of their friends who felt similarly.

The easiest way to express your commitment to diversity

Is to move to the South End.

"Guaranteeing middle-class families seats at the best schools, closer to their homes, would certainly help convince some of them to forgo the suburbs or private education; after all, not everyone is as committed to diversity as the Weiss family is, and many middle-class parents won’t take a chance on high-poverty schools with low standardized test scores."

Then your desire to have your child attend your neighborhood school will be an expression of your exemplary commitment to diversity rather than the racist exclusion it would be if you lived in West Roxbury.