Thursday, April 02, 2009

That tears it

I was present at the lottery for the DC public charter school of our choice.  Pre-K, language immersion, good administration and parent support, the works.  
Boom was not selected.
All is not lost, apparently. He has a decent chance at getting in through the wait list, which will be posted tomorrow and activated in two weeks.
Although we were lucky to get accepted to his present pre-school -- where it must be said that the boy is developing, thriving, and enjoying his little friends -- this felt like the first arbitrary, luck-based tournament that we have entered a child into.  It sucked.  And there will probably many more such arbitrary selection processes leading all the way to college admissions and perhaps the NFL Draft (but hopefully not the Selective Service lottery). One is reduced to waiting for someone to pick the correct slip of paper from a whirling brass drum.  A drum, by the way, filled with names of jerky little kids that probably all live down in Capitol Hill where there are already decent schools, but their jerkly little parents want them to be something special (even though they are not).
Basically, the suckiness of this process recapitulates the fact that DC public schools ain't that great.  Washington DC spends more per pupil than any other state and our schools, by and large, blow.  And seeing as how this blog post is turning in to a wide-open rant, I should raise the point that whether DC should be compared to states rather than cities or counties is an open question.  Also: I pay direct taxes in the form of income taxes and payroll taxes, and I don't have any voting representation in Congress -- which sucks.  And I owe 4 digits to the IRS this year, which also...sucks!
So anyway, this is a shout out to all our California friends...we might be joining you sooner than later, refugees from the DC public school system!


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