Public education is a complete mess in the US. A deep, structural, crisis kind of mess. Anyone who does not see this is totally out to lunch. Fortunately there are a lot of very smart, very well funded people working on that issue.
In the meantime, I don’t want my kids to be part of the fixing process. I want my kids to do the best thing for them right now. This is not a new approach to schools. Bill Clinton took this approach when he ran for President on a very liberal platform and then sent his daughter, Chelsea, to a very elite school in Washington DC. The same elite private school that the Obama girls attend now.
It’s not that I don’t care about fixing public schools in the US. But I care about it like I care about ending the war in Afghanistan. Both are really important issues and lots of peoples’ lives are being ruined but I don’t want it to affect my kids’ day-to-day life if I can help it. And being a parent activist definitely takes it’s toll on family life (these people actually quit their jobs to do it).
Remember the opening scene of Sex, Lies and Videotape? The woman is talking to her psychiatrist about world hunger or world garbage or some other world problem, and she sounds like a nutcase because she’s not taking care of the problems that are close to her.
I think that’s what parents sound like when they talk about school reform. We should just take care of our kids. Right now, today, is it better for your kids to be at home learning or in your particular school learning? That’s the issue that interesting because that’s the issue we can really act on.