As my daughter started getting closer in age to going to school, I became interested in WCPSS. I began to learn how kids are sent to school, ow they get there and why. I also learned many many other things. That Wake is the largest district in the State and one of the largest in the country. That we are growing like crazy. That we win awards for our schools and the job that we do. And I learned that we use tests the rest of the country doesn’t use.
I come from an educator’s family; my dad taught for 33 years. Heck, I went to school to be a teacher and spent a single year in the classroom before I realized this wasn’t for me. An expert? No, certainly not. But an interested participant with not insignificant experience and training.
I also have a different take on education that most of my political flock. I’m not pro-voucher, I’m pro public school with market solutions existing outside of that option. See, I don’t so much see the taxes I pay going to MY children’s education as much as I see them going to a well educated public. One of the reasons our nation is so prosperous is that we have an educated populace. So, when I consider moving my kids into a private school, I don’t see the tax money I pay in something that I have claim to pull out.
With that said, the role of the public schools is to give an education. They are not meant to be anything else. And if there are tools that assist in that process, it is incumbent on the serious administrator to utilize those tools. And I think that diverse schools are one of those tools. I absolutely feel that parental involvement in the school contributes to the success of the students in those schools. We volunteer and walk through the school. I call the principle when I have concerns and am engaged with our teachers. All of this is to say that someone other than no one is making sure that things are being done well in our school. Further, our involvement affects other students in other ways. When my wife and I are in the classroom, we are not only helping our child, but the other kids in class as well. One more adult to pick up the slack and let the teacher teach just a titch more.
And so yes, when a school contains a mixture of economic diverse families, the involvement of the school’s parents exits at some level that keeps the school at least humming, if not over achieving. Is it hard to pass a school near where you live? Sure. Should that be our concern when going about the business of educating a public? Maybe, but not the top priority. Is there more work to do? Certainly. Is more money the answer? Almost certainly not. There are many many things that can be done without adding more money; removing any represented workers for one and merit based pay for two. But diversity works.
Leave it alone.