Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Animal Farm Schools"

Today I was excited to announce that my daughter had completed her pre-kindergarten program. My pediatrician, friends, and teachers praised my children's intelligence. They frequently told me how they were so far above the average, I must admit that this did boost my ego. Every parent wants to think that their child is extraordinary.
So the ambitious parent that I am, I started the search for the perfect kindergarten program for my four-year-old to give her a year advantage. I have spent time in the public schools, and observed that nothing is really taught in kindergarten except discipline. Confident that my daughter has surpassed the preliminary kindergarten level I ambitiously looked for the best first grade program. Determined not to leave a stone unturned I googled: "the best first grade program." This brought me to a Quaker school, known as the Sidwell Friend School. I read in the short bio that President Obama sends his daughters to this school, I found this odd considering the president's insistence on the greatness of our public education system, yet he places his children in a private institution. I downloaded a portion of math homework from the website, and I was shocked at the difficulty! The work that I had given my daughter did not compare... I felt deceived, weren't my children smart? They passed the pediatrician's development exams, my daughter surpasses the standard for public first grade even? Investigating deeper, I discovered that second graders, in this private school for the privileged, were completeing vin diagrams and answering questions on them! The school's lunches are organic, consisting of well-balanced meals, not at all like the poorly prepared pre-pakaged food I had seen in the public schools.
The incident reminded me of the 1947 book Animal Farm, by George Orwell... "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." Orwell risked his life under communist scrutiny to send this message to his people. How is this happening in our country? Aren't all children worth a good education and decent food? Obviously our president doesn't think so, he praises the public school system while keeping his children away from it. As I searched for true evaluation of education I am going to keep Orwell's words in my mind. If you have children look at their work, are you being deceived? Are you a part of a movement to steal your children's future? Throw the norm to the wind ignore the standard tests, look at hard facts. Look at the education system carefully, and decide the truth for yourself. Is the public education system really seeking the good of our children, or is it a mass movement to prevent our children from real success!
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