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Posts: 248

Unfortunately no good deed goes unpunished. I hope and don't believe those admonishing posts were intended for you. But I can understand why you thought that they were! I definitely understand where you are coming from . . ..

Keep your chin up and keep persevering!


Posts: 526
There's lots of good food for thought here. As the person who started this thread, I wanted to come back and add some thoughts of my own.

For me, at least, it's important to not frame this question as "educational quality" vs "diversity". I think this way for a number of reasons:

One is that I think that judging educational quality is a complicated thing -- How do you judge the school that has a great reputation, and high overall test scores, but dramatically lower test scores for your child's racial group (a very common occurence for those of us with AA children). How do you judge the school that has a strong curriculum, and dedicated teachers, but serves a population that is largely English Language Learners and/or low income children -- two groups that typically don't do as well on standardized testing? How do you judge the school, like my son's, that puts a lot of emphasis in the early years on things like hands-on science, foreign language and the performing arts, while waiting for children to be developmentally ready to read?

A second reason, is that I think that that kind of either/or reasoning can often be an excuse for not looking far enough. When my son started Kindergarten I felt like I was choosing between two schools -- the academically excellent private school with lots of arts and enrichment and little diversity, and the very diverse public school that used a very narrow curriculum. I decided in favor of diversity and chose the latter -- my son was miserable. It would have been easy for me to say at that point that I was forced to go private, or that I was choosing the arts and hands on learning (which my son seems to particularly need) over diversity. Instead I rejected both options and kept looking until I found a school that satisfied all of my wishes for my son.

So instead I look at it this way: When I look for a school for my son(s), there are certain things I think of as nonnegotiable. The school needs to be safe, it needs to be diverse, it needs to have a school "culture" that's in keeping with my value system and it needs to offer the kind of hands-on arts infused learning that seems to suit my son best. ALL of these things are of critical importance to me, and I'm not going to choose one over the other -- I'm going to keep looking until I find a school that offers them all. If that means moving across country, then so be it.


Posts: 622
Hi All I am new to this forum, but have been on the ET adotpiton forum for a while. I thought this was a very interesting topic.

Emily, you make some very good points. As an AA I grew up in the south Bronx and my first schools were all very diverse. But ultimately my mom moved me out of them becasue they were unsafe. While I did feel safer at the new private school it was hard never dating or having a more restricted social life because I was one of only a very few minority students. Many time I was told "oh boys think you're fun, but won't date you because you are black".

School life should bring a ful set of skills and growth areas to children. Academics, sports, arts, social etc

Also where I live now there is a big focus on test scores and parents move to more expensive, more exclusive neighborhoods to get to "better schools". However a parent did a review of the statistics and found that kids of education focused parents, from middle income families tend to do well no matter where they go to school. Their education was based a lot on the additional enrichment they received from the families.

Just some food for thought

Stephanie (& Steve)
Mom to Lauren, 6 yrs. (bio)
Homestudy complete 6-27
Dossier accepted 8-1
Referral for 2.5 yo boy 11-15-07!
Traveling 2-14-08!!!!!!!!!
Home forever with Jared 2-22-08!!!
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