High expectations

So starts another year in the public school system for one of the younger Trackballs and the last year of private preschool for the other.

Athena help us.

The problem Dr. Trackball and I have is that we expect too much. Like quality, world class math instruction in grade school. Like some measure of efficiency in public schools. Like hanging on to a dynamite teacher who exceeds our high expectations in preschool. Like not having girls under 10 have to be blatantly discriminated against.

Well, the last one has already failed. And today we are 0/1 for school days of math instruction. That's right, this year, we're keeping count. In a school system that meets the 180 day minimum by stacking half days throughout the year and in a bunch at the end, every day counts, even the first. Not to mention that there are big time standardized tests in Minnie's grade.

What Renee Zellweger's character in Jerry McGuire said, "It used to be a better meal, and now it's a better life," now applies to education. So expecting a lot kind of comes with the territory and we don't see any reason to be reluctant in having high expectations.

Yes, this is a high scoring, well to do school system that is better than a lot others in the country and probably better than most of the rest of the world. We don't care. There are better ones out there, and those kids will have algebra in 9th grade, and plenty of AP and IB courses in high school. In the global market pool for talent, being a step ahead of Kansas creationistic science curriculum is not good enough.

Those who expect less get less, and those who are expected to provide less sense this and underperform a little more each year. That's fine at Giant supermarket (hellooooo Wegmans and Trader Joes!) but not fine with the Trackballs' education.

So, half-assed public school system, (motto: 'We coast on rich kids') you're on notice. Don't make us get involved with the math curriculum. Don't get us started on the lack of science and social studies curriculum. Don't enrage us with a communications blackout because teachers just don't want to communicate about upcoming tests, test grades, or anything at all. Don't make us start getting noisy about how in the early grades, nearly all the girls in a grade are stuck in the slowest math class. This has gone beyond the ability of trying to squeeze some special compensation for just our child when it's more than a teacher, it's the curriculum, the administration, the school board, etc.

Why don't you try to wow us? Just this once? Or as the op-ed in the Washington Post noted today, we might have to consider other options. And then only the lower expectation parents will be left, at least in this particular public school system. That pisses us off too.

It's those high expectations again.

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