It is that time of year again! For many of us, the stress over where we will enroll our rising kindergarteners, middle schoolers, and high schoolers next year is ramping up, compelling us to put together spreadsheets of schools and obsessively instigate TheSchoolConversation with everyone we know… or every parent-looking person we see (the park, the market, the library, it’s all game on!).
We will worry about how to compare schools, what we should look for, how to prioritize the apples and oranges, how to determine “the best fit” and so on and so on. We will online-research test scores, and map out the groovy programs and record all glossy extras. Totally. Because we have choices and we are good parents and that’s what we do.
This will open conversations with significant others and friends about our own educational experiences and our responsibilities as parents. We will talk ad nauseum about school and our children. The spreadsheets, at some point, will prove unhelpful.
But… which schools are you even considering?
You might already know that our public schools are increasingly segregated by race, socioeconomic status, and language background. You might already know that your children are most likely to attend school with kids just like them. You might, as most parents claim, value racial diversity. You might care about that.
If this last point is true, if you might care about the inequities of our public school system and you might care about how segregation affects all kids and the nation as a whole, here’s an easy action. Take the Two Tour Pledge.
That’s it. The pledge isn’t requiring you to enroll your children at either of these schools, or zealously recruit your friends to enroll their kids there. It’s simply inviting you to check out two schools that you weren’t considering – schools that might have a reputation that caused you to dismiss them as not the “right fit” for your family. You just might be pleasantly surprised.
Read the research, hear the stories (we have compiled some resources, along with a sample of integration questions to ask and a resource if the school isn’t in the business of giving tours). Sending your child to an integrated/ing school might not have been a priority, but perhaps it could be.
Because YOU – not any school – are the most influential thing in your child’s life, because you are not only choosing the school that will help your kid become a successful, empathetic and well-adjusted adult, you are building the world they will live in. What do you want that world to look like?
Take the pledge.
And don’t forget to register your pledge. Let’s build our grassroots movement strong & loud!