To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Munchkin Goes to a New School

After much consideration, we have made a decision to move the munchkin from public to private school. While we liked our old 1st grade teacher very much and think she does a good job under the circumstances she was given, we are unhappy with the degree to which state standards and standardized test performance control everything in public school. We want a richer, broader, more challenging and creative school experience for our bright child. So far, we're very happy with the decision even if it is taking a huge chunk of our income. Fortunately, another child in our neighborhood is making the change, too, so having a friend eases the transition for both of them.

My first inkling that I wasn't going to be happy with public school came at first-grade orientation. The first words spoken were, "Now, we want you to all know that we're all going to be teaching your children the same standards..." and for the rest of the evening, the only things I heard that didn't have to do with state standards were the directions for where to drive up for the car line. By the end of the meeting, I was ready to stand up and say, "I've heard all night about how you plan to teach the standards. Would you mind spending some time now talking about how you plan to teach my child?"

We like many things at the new school. They are able to devote time to things that wouldn't be evaluated on a standardized test - chess, Spanish, and handwriting. They do a great job of teaching the children to present themselves well and communicate effectively, both aurally and in written form.

I never thought we'd be the private school type of parents. But then, I didn't realize just how much public education had changed even since I was a public school teacher. We're very happy with the new situation.

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