Reconciling the Hard

I have over 200 blogs in my reader and yesterday there were three posts. All day. This morning there were five. I guess the summer doldrums are already here.

My husband and I had a fight last night. One of our old ones. It wasn’t even a very thoughtful rehashing of the topic. I struggle with the idea of living forever in the city. It’s harder than I thought it would be. It seems increasingly impossible that I will ever develop any real sense of community here. My husband would be miserable in a monochromatic suburban wasteland. I am honestly starting to wonder if it’s better to be surrounded by diversity but ultimately alone, barely participating in it, or to just give up and feel at home with a bunch of people who look and talk like me (and have about the same amounts in their bank accounts). The progressive, liberal part of me (and it’s a BIG part) wants to slap the woman who would rather run away from the hard to a place where she feels like she truly belongs. The part of me that is actually living the experience of being one of the only white, English speaking people on her block, and sending her daughter to a school where she is one of the only white kids in her grade, wants to scream that it’s hard, and there is a reason so few other people are doing it.

It’s not hard for my husband because he loves living here. Being in the city provides him with all sorts of opportunities that he appreciates, even if he’s not able to take advantage of all (or even most) of them right now. He doesn’t crave community, in fact he’s happy to avoid it. And he is more removed from the challenges of raising kids in an urban area, because I handle a lot of the day-to-day logistics. While he attends most special events at my daughter’s Title 1 school, he’s never there for drop off or pick up or during the regular school day. He doesn’t see how rough the older kids are with each other on the playground. He does see that the line for the general education (as opposed to Spanish immersion) Kindergarten class usually only has 5-7 kids standing in it, even though there are 20 kids in that class. He doesn’t read all the articles about how schools with high percentages of lower income students (our daughter’s school is 92% free or reduced lunch), NEVER perform as well as schools attended primarily by upper socio-economic families.

I haven’t written much about my thoughts and feelings regarding my daughter’s school, mostly because COMPLICATED, but I think about it A LOT. Every day I drop my daughter off at one school and drive 30 minutes away to teach at an arguably “better” school. Obviously, we decided that it was best for our daughter to send her to the school in the city, and I still believe in the reasons we did so, but they are more abstract and harder to quantify. When there is so much written about the failings of inner city schools, it’s easy to wonder if we made the right choice.

I really hope I write more on this here, because I have a lot to work through and process. In the meantime, I need to get to work.

36 Comments

  1. Very complex issues. No simple answers.
    Are there other children within 2 blocks of where you live that are appropriate ages etc to play with your children? Would that help get to know their parents? I gather English is not the common language on your street but do the residents speak English fluently or is there a barrier you cannot cross with language (and I think you are also a Spanish speaker.)
    The ‘suburbs’ you mention are way less homogeneous than your husband fears but you have to actually go there and spend time there to see this. (Things have changed quite a bit in the last 10 or so years.) And, they remain expensive with school issues too. Further I do not see any indication in anything I have read in your writing that your husband would see leaving SF as less life threatening than stage 5 pancreatic cancer (totally terminal.)
    If you choose could your daughter go to school in your school district based on your employment? I know transfers get tricky…and political. Thinking of school districts, you have done lots of curriculum development…. would a county or district level school job be better pay and still reasonable hours? Do you get money for acting as a master teacher for student teachers and would that reduce your work load?
    I hope your weekend is wonderful and full of good weather and more laughing children than tantrum-ing human children.
    As always thank you for writing! I wish I had some real wisdom to help.

    1. There are not any kids on the street that she has played with, though I’m not sure that there aren’t at all. I would say that most of the people in our neighborhood are of Asian decent, but there are plenty of Spanish speakers as well. Both our direct neighbors are Spanish speakers. We know them a little, and one is a large Hispanic family with many extended family members/families living together in various parts of the house. They are very nice and have invited us over to their many “garage” parties. We don’t really go (though the kids have played on the sidewalk with their kids during some of the parties), not because of the language barrier (I do speak Spanish but many of them speak English too), but more because I just don’t know how to do that. Maybe it’s just that I’m not a shmoozer, and I’d feel the same way in a suburb, but it feels different some how…

      1. It may be worth it to go, if only to be neighborly. Schmoozing may feel awkward but you may enjoy it and your kids may also enjoy playing with the kids. Even if it is unrealistic that you are fully part of this community, it would be nice to have more than just a “wave hello and goodbye” relationship with your next door neighbors in case you need to rely on them in an emergency, or vice versa. What if when your daughter is home alone as a preteen there is an earthquake? It would be nice if she knew she can go to the neighbors for help.

  2. “…the line for the general education (as opposed to Spanish immersion) Kindergarten class usually only has 5-7 kids standing in it, even though there are 20 kids in that class.” So I take this to mean there’s over 50% absenteeism every day? Wow.

    I don’t know if this is very helpful, but my knee jerk reaction after reading this is that it sounds like you’d probably be better off in many ways without your husband than with him (and I by no means am someone who takes divorce lightly – the motto regarding marriage in my extended family is “Put up with it”).

    Having children complicates things a lot but I’d find it hard to compromise in the many ways it sounds like you have to, if there’s not meaningful compromise being done in return, i.e., if your husband is dead-set on remaining in the city he needs to find a higher paying job to make the burden easier on the rest of the family. And it’s also as elitist in its own way for your husband to completely write off the suburbs.

    1. KK: Over the years her husband has increased his involvement with his children and upbringing and also increased his share of daily household management. Not to Danish standard of fully 50% but significantly above what was standard in his father’s life. And, clearly there is also love between the two of them which has faced significant strain on both parts and come through supporting each other.
      This time her post doesn’t reflect that side of their lives, but it is helpful for readers to know that side is real. When I first began reading this author’s first blog I too misunderstood that there are real strengths holding this marriage together. Marriage is so hard and there are so very many pressures today pulling people in different directions. Two very different emotions are often acting at the same time. Very hard as you point out.

      1. People have such different views about acceptable levels of conflict/compromise in a marriage. My husband & I have both had to make significant compromises to be together, but I think we’d both agree that it’s 100% worth it. So being married to someone with this kind of difference in views may seem like a deal-breaker to some people, but I’d avoid making the assumption that it feels that way for Noemi. (And purple and rose, you said it so well)

        1. I think the bottom line is she can’t afford to divorce financially or professionally. Also, he can’t manage the kids solo. So…

          1. Whoa. I’m pretty sure her husband can manage the kids solo. He’s a functioning adult. Maybe he gets overwhelmed and hands over responsibility to Noemi, but let’s not overstate this problem. Also, I know Noemi makes her life public and asks for comment, but how would you feel if someone said that you should probably divorce your husband but you can’t because you don’t make enough money. She has never, ever made either of those statements (I should leave/I can’t afford to be on my own). Let’s show her and her marriage some respect.

    2. I wonder all the time if I’d be better off without my husband than with him, but right now I’m trying to make it work. Hopefully we can figure this out together. We shall see.

  3. Grey and I were talking about this recently. Our move to the East Coast landed us in an apartment that is arguable in suburbia. Both of us have hated the location. What’s been changing our tune is when we look at the performance of the schools (very good) and running into like-minded parents at the local library, playgrounds, etc. It is hard because we want the Beats to experience diversity, but we’ve seen first hand how certain values results in families suffering.

    The key thing you’re grappling with is a spouse who has a different view point. And I wonder if it is because he’s not taking the same things into consideration. He loves the city and the freedom that is there, but what are his thoughts on overcrowded classrooms, teachers who are stretched thin and classmates who are struggling with the basics (a chaotic home life makes it next to impossible to learn)? Has he talked with other parents? Or is this all falling on you?

    As an aside, Fortune magazine just released an article on millienials moving out of cities. Thought you would be interested. http://fortune.com/2016/03/28/millennials-leaving-cities/

    1. You want to know something interesting…when you comment on my blog I don’t get an email. At least I haven’t the last three times. I wonder what that is about…

      I have to say that I’m not totally against staying in the city. I don’t really WANT to live in the suburbs, at least I’m not quite there yet. But it’s a lot harder staying here than I thought it would be. I think the next few years are going to be really key for me and for our family. If they show things trending for us in a certain way, I’ll be delighted to stay. But if it stays this hard, I’ll probably start wanting to leave.

      That is a really interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Means I have to dig out your email 😉

        I still struggle a lot with suburbia. It’s been a hard adjustment. Ideally we’d like something that is more in the middle. Kinda like what we had back in Seattle. But what I have been finding is that it is possible to find pros for each situation.

        Hang in there. And I hope you guys can talk more about this as time goes on.

  4. I also wonder if the suburbs are as bad as he fears, as far as diversity goes. Hypothetically, wouldn’t he be able to drive into the city to attend his music concerts/social events? Living in a huge city, I am used to driving at least 30 minutes to get anywhere, even when I lived “in” the city- so I guess I just don’t see why living in the suburbs is a bad thing, especially if the schools are better and there are more opportunities for your kids to make friends. But at any rate, I’m sorry you all had a fight and I hope you both have a relaxing weekend.

    1. I don’t think the burbs would be as bad as he thinks. And honestly, there isn’t a specific “suburb” I want to live in, even around here. This is just harder than I expected, and it feels like I can’t even talk to him about it being hard, because he takes it as an assault on our lives and what we have here. I probably made how I feel about it more black and white than it feels for me, because I don’t necessarily want to leave the city, but staying is more challenging than I expected.

  5. I have to be honest here if I didn’t “know” you from reading your blog I would see undertones of racism and classism in your post.

    Why does it matter if your children go to a school where whites are in the minority and there are lots of poor kids?

    This is an issue I feel very strongly about. I strongly believe in public schools in terms of I believe all children have a right to a good solid education. I don’t think the solution is for those of us with means to take our kids outside public schools or to move to “better” school districts. That just creates a downward spiral for the schools have less and less money and they do worse and worse. I think the way the money is apportioned to public schools is very unfair and obviously California does not spend nearly enough per student– – aren’t we someone at the bottom like Mississippi or something?

    I am dealing with this issue right now. We live in the same town I grew up in and my children will be attending the same school district I went thru. The last few years it’s had a somewhat tarnished reputation whether deserved or not. Don’t get me wrong I would not send my kids to some gang infested horrible place. I think it’s very important for them to know and experience diversity both racial diversity economic diversity etc. I have been very disappointed to learn that many many families we know from preschool are sending their children to private school or have actually moved to the neighboring school district which is “better” which I find absolutely ridiculous. It feels to me like white flight. I mean really the school district we are in is not horrible at all. We live in the most affluent city with in our district and the schools my kids will be attending are probably the highest rated out of our district. Whites are not the majority and there will be poor kids who go there.

    As to schools with poor kids performing poorly, well of course that’s related. I don’t understand how that affects your children– if your children perform well why does it matter what the overall school performance is if your child is getting a good education and learning well? I actually sat down with the relatively new superintendent of my district and discussed several issues with him including the performance of the school. He explained that obviously if a child comes to school having not eaten breakfast it may not do well on a standardized test; that doesn’t mean my child will do poorly or that my child is getting a lesser education. In other words it’s not all the teacher’s fault if a child performs poorly.

    Obviously you are a public school teacher so you know a lot more than I do about how the public schools work but I’m a product of the public school system and the same district my children will be attending so we’ll see.

    1. I don’t have children or live in the US, but similar issues come up here, and get discussed a lot by my immediate acquaintances/friends and family – I have a niece, and I work in a University so have quite a lot of friends who tend to be both left-leaning (so believe in things like everyone going to the same school for the reasons discussed here) and to have relatively ‘needy’ children.

      That’s MY bias – I was rated as gifted (45 years ago, so before the current trend), I was continually bullied by pupils and sometimes teachers at school (I’m socially awkward, intraverted, and never really understood or understand most of my peers – most people are really confusing, it’s as if their heads are quiet and they don’t think about everything constantly 😛 – I’m pretty sure now I work with students with many identified ‘issues’ that I’m a bit neuro-atypical with ADD being the closest I’ve found so far, that I am mildly dyslexic, and that in combination with being smart it was very very easy for teachers to see me as lazy, careless, and inattentive because my writing/spelling was worse than my content, I struggled with focus, and I hardly ever read the words on the page in front of me, rather producing something close to them but distinctly different). And they had so many other kids to cater to! I loathed school, and I tried so hard to be good, and I still feel like I will never ever be good enough or be likeable. I was in state schooling until age 11, when I was able to get a competitive scholarship to an independent school (not the same as private, sort of half way) which was a former grammar. Which was still most unpleasant in many ways, but with smaller classes and teachers who were used to teaching students who qualified for elite universities, I at least got some good teaching and made friends with the other embattled nerds. My only ‘nerdy’ friend from junior school went to the local state secondary, and was bullied so badly he had a nervous breakdown at age eleven and had to be removed from school attending at all for several years.

      Which is a long-winded way of saying that the more challenged the teachers are (managing a class with 50% absenteeism means constant recapping and plan-adapting, and suggests students with really problematic, insecure home lives who will need a lot of care and attention from their teachers), the more under-funded the school is, the harder it is for the teachers to find the resources to make sure they meet the needs of all their students, especially the quieter, better behaved, less worrying ones. I mean, if I was a teacher, I’d worry more about making sure everyone left my class literate and numerate than in making sure I properly challenged an already fluent kid to push ahead as they were able to with their academics, because the life-chances of people and their ability to function well in society are hugely related to literacy and basic maths skills – letting a child idle a bit and maybe not getting to all of the history syllabus seems a fair trade off over letting a different child slide through without being able to read newspaper headlines, and from outside talking to friends who teach in inner city and reading articles, it seems like that’s sometimes the choice faced.

      BUT should the parent of the kid with the stable home who has breakfast every day and a place to do homework and decent attendance and has been read to and can read and has reasonable classroom behaviour just accept that their child is not being taught as well as they could be because the teacher is focused on getting other children to sit down, learn basics they’ve missed out on or struggled with, or otherwise are presenting more immediate needs? That’s the dilemma… and even more so if one thinks one’s own kid is being negatively affected by that context. It’s very hard to stand up for social principles when your kids appear to be paying the price.

      It’s not all the teacher’s fault, by any means, but a teacher only has so much attention to give to the whole class, to planning and grading and managing, and the more of that that is needed by pupils with severe disadvantage or by classroom management, the less is available for the rest of the class. I think it must be incredibly hard to navigate this sort of thing, and am selfishly glad I don’t have to directly.

      1. Thank you for adding your thoughts to this discussion. You echo so much of what I am thinking and feeling. It is a complicated, broken system, and it’s hard to be someone trying to work for change within it, while also wanting to do what is ultimately best for your child. As purple and rose said, their are no easy answers. I just came here to try to get out some of what I was feeling.

      2. Well, I was also gifted, in this program (MGM): http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/gt/lw/
        It’s now defunct, and times have changed, but I never felt like I somehow was not getting the education I needed in my public schools. I also skipped a grade–not bc my public school was somehow lesser than others or private schools, but bc, well, I was smart. I wasn’t bullied bc of being smart either. And when I was going to school we had individualized programs for math and reading where you could essentially work ahead of the rest of your class independently.

        I get what you’re saying and that is a valid concern–the teachers might not have enough time to focus on my genius child. But I guess I’m just not that worried about it considering my own experience. Of course i will go what’s necessary for my children should anything arise. My main concern right now actually is that I’m afraid I won’t know how to deal with my children having trouble in school if they do since frankly school was pretty easy for me and I just kind of innately knew how to study etc.

        1. I’m glad to hear that some schools do manage things well!

          I think this is what makes it so complicated, though – to balance what you believe as a principle against what your child is experiencing, and working out whether any issues/concerns about your child are actually such that the school environment is a causal part of the problem and needs changing, or whether the concern would arise in any setting. It’s not about ‘genius children’, it’s just about children being each a unique combination of characteristics and needs. A friend moved her child between schools because he was becoming a bully and aggressive in response to any kind of adult authority parental or teacherly, just because that was how to get in with the right peer group, and because his school environment wasn’t handling a group of aggressive, swaggery boys in his year well. He’s someone who really cares about being popular/is highly susceptible to peer pressure – it’s a kind of social immaturity, I guess? Anyway, different school, different peers, and the child is both a much nicer person to both adults and peers and seems happier all round.

          As soon as you put several students in a classroom with one teacher, compromises have to be made – and that’s good, in some ways, as it teaches self-reliance and lessons about fairness not meaning the same treatment for everyone and about the uniqueness of people. As the parent of a younger student, though, you also want to make sure that child’s needs are met….

          And as you indicate that involves being aware that your child is not you and therefore has different needs. It’s very hard and there are no easy answers!

    2. There may be tones of racism and classism in my post. I would hope, though, that my actions speak louder than my words on this, and the fact that I send my child to the under performing school instead of bringing her to mine (which preforms so well that people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more for a house there to be in the district) shows that I also believe strongly in public schools, and recognize that it is when parents like me, who have the opportunity to pull their kids from the struggling school district and do so, that causes the downward spiral of those districts. That is exactly why we sent our daughter to school in the city, because I want to be part of the solution and not perpetuating the problem. Instead of taking the easier route, where I know my daughter gets a top notch education, with access to all kinds of technology and elective classes, I’m sending her to a school with run down facilities, not enough money for much arts or physical education, and very low test scores.

      Yes, I know all about why some schools “perform poorly,” and what that means. I am probably more familiar with how API scores are calculated than most people. I know that amazing teaching can be happening at a school where everyone speaks English as their first language and has a strong culture of education at home (and they test very high) and a school where most don’t (and they test low). But if you want to argue that the amazing teaching at those schools is the benefiting the same kids, I would have to disagree. How can a teacher who has to make content accessible to students who are lacking basic foundations in education, possibly be teaching content with the same rigor than a teacher in a classroom where most students can handle very high level content and instruction. As a public school teacher I can assure you that they just can’t. With class size and resource allocation being what it is, I promise you that that the high achieving kid in the class with mostly low achieving classmates isn’t getting the same rigorous instruction as the kid in the class with mostly high achieving classmates. They just aren’t.

      At the elementary level I’m not as concerned about this because we can supplement at home, and do science experiments and art projects with our daughter and give her opportunities to play team sports. At the middle school level I’m more nervous because they make huge leaps in what is expected there, and I’m not sure I can fill in the probably gaps at home.

      And no, my plan is not to just send my kid there and make up the difference. I’ve already taken a leadership role at my daughter school (which I’ll write more about later) and I’m going to be attempting to make systematic changes that positively affect everyone, and help bring the level of education up at the school for all students. That is why I wanted to send my daughter to an inner-city school, so I could make a difference there. But it’s hard not to worry that I’m sacrificing the quality of her learning for the (attempted) good of the system, and to second guess how appropriate a move that is as a parent. If that makes me racist and classist, then I guess that is what I am.

      1. This is a really interesting conversation. I think about these issues a lot too. Even at the elementary level, where you can supplement, I imagine it would have negative consequences to go to a school with such a high level of absenteeism.

        1. What I hear you saying is, “I believe in this, but it’s really hard.” And of course it is hard! Of course you question your decisions! I don’t think that’s racist or classist at all. That’s acknowledging that important work is hard, especially when it affects us so personally. (I did not carefully read all of the comments, just skimmed, but I felt strongly about this one).

    3. It’s “ridiculous” to send your child to a better school because you can afford to and have a desire to do so? Are you kidding me? That is not “ridiculous,” that is choosing what you feel is best for your OWN child based on whatever criteria is important to YOU. It’s not racist or classist, it’s simply making the best decision for your child’s education based on what’s important to you. I’ve never understood this attitude of CHOOSING to let your own child suffer for the perceived good of a public institution.

      One thing that needs to be considered when making these decisions is, “am I ok with my kid wanting to spend the night at the majority of his/her classmates homes?”. We can’t pick our kids’ friends, and we need to be ready for them to want to spend time in homes that are not the environments we want them in. And then what? This has been a big thing for us as we decide to go with our neighborhood school (truly the top in the state) or send them downtown for more diversity and social experience. We’ve chosen the neighborhood school after lots of discussions like the ones Noemi is describing. I’m not going to move my kid and tax dollars to a school because the school needs them, I’m going to move them if it’s best for my kid. That is my parenting right.

      1. Yes frankly I do think it’s ridiculous to suddenly move right before your kid turns five–uproot your house etc. I feel strongly about this having grown up in this exact area and knowing the town I live in and the town next door which has the “” better school district and I still can’t believe people are actually leaving my town and moving to the other. And I’m not I’m not some naïve Pollyanna either.

        And why do you assume that if your kid goes to school with nonwhites and or non-rich people that those children’s homes would not be somewhere you want your child to be?

        1. I’m not assuming that based on race or “rich enough,” I’m basing it on the neighborhoods that this PARTICULAR SCHOOL THAT WE ARE CONSIDERING services. I was not making a standard statement about suburbs versus urban, or rich versus poor, or white versus everything else. If you read my comment completely, you would have read that it was based on our very particular decision and that yes, where my kids would spend time with friends could be a very big issue. I don’t want my kids in the worst, most unsafe parts of town. If that makes me classist or whatever by YOUR view, I could care less.

          You and I never agree on these types of things, and I’m perfectly fine with that. But I’m not going to sit back and watch you accuse this writer of being racist or classist.

        2. People move all the time. Why are you so attached to the town you grew up in? Most people I know are not sending their kids to the school’s they went to. It seems like an odd thing to be so insistent on.

    4. I have now seen 2 children who had 3-4 disruptive students in their classrooms. REALLY made a HUGE negative impact on what the other students were learning. One of the two decided that it was not necessary to actually try…. despite education valuing parents and that made his 4th and 5th grade learning disastrous because being ‘bad and cool’ was the socially valued behavior among the boys. It took 4 months plus in a very different school to
      adjust the boy’s attitude to value learning for his 6th grade. This can happen in any school so not race or elitist, just reality. It is VERY hard in a class of 25-30 if you have disruptions and chaotic students for even the best and brightest to learn.
      And having said that I am not advocating for suburban versus urban schools……… I remember when my own children left Oakland Schools for very white suburban Chicago schools…. and ran into children who cared about gentile or not and really thought biracial children would be zebra striped……… so……. All options have downsides.

  6. I live in a neighborhood where there are a lot of families exactly like mine and I don’t really feel immersed in the community. Part of it is because we haven’t started school yet. Part of it is because people, including us, are busy with work and life. But part of it is also because my husband just isn’t that interested in it (at least not past a certain point) and it feels lonely and weird to pursue it alone. Moving to the suburbs may not be exactly what you are looking for.

    1. I think you may be right. If I thought I would definitely find community in the suburbs, I would probably fight hard to move there, but I recognize that we could be where you are. I don’t know if I even have an idea of what kind of community I’m looking for, what it would look like, any of that. I have undertaken a position that will require I do a lot more socializing with people I don’t know next year, and maybe being forced to do that, I’ll find what I’m looking for, or realize I’m actually looking for something else. We shall see.

  7. I get it. It’s very, very hard when the teachers are not able to give your child much attention, and there also isn’t a group of peers providing an academic challenge and modeling good behavior. Missing out on an academically motivated peer group is a major concern for us. We have decided to start our daughter at an inner-city elementary and put a lot of work into it, but it’s not easy and I definitely do feel uncomfortable that she’s paying the price for my ideals, both in her day-to-day and in her long-term future.

    As kids get older and are more influenced by their peers, these behavior issues become tougher to deal with. Little kids have little fights, big kids have big ones, and then you get into the onset of puberty and it becomes even more complicated. There is a lot of very problematic behavior surrounding the onset of dating relationships in middle school, and that is when the academics get real as well– and much harder to fill in at home with that age.

    We will likely move for similar reasons. You have given the city school a lot more of a chance than many families do and I don’t think there’s anything to feel bad about. You really tried, but you’re not required to put up with anything.

  8. I’m always fascinated by conversations in school choice because we (up until just now or in a few months) have no choice because of income and transportation. To us it has always been a matter of making do with the education provided because it’s what we have and fighting to get the kid’s needs met if necessary. I miss our super diverse school a lot and am tempted to find a less white part of town so she can have that more diverse experience. There wasn’t much economic diversity (everyone was broke) but with free breakfast for all, it evened things out some. I think it was less daunting to be in a very diverse ethnically but not economically school than it would be with a wider range of economic classes, precisely because the “this is my choice and I will save those heathen kids” types weren’t around (not that this is you, it was the other end of our old town at the mostly Hispanic elementary). Anyway, I keep thinking of the extreme privilege to choose your child’s school and how stinking lucky we are to be there. I’m not sure I could stomach inner city levels of desperation among the other families. Now we sit on our porch and watch the (look much like me except often older) neighbors walk by, and I don’t feel like we have much community but I do know the neighbors better than before. I guess there’s no solidarity built by the school because there’s no need for it as a support to families, plus this isn’t a place where people not from here stay, so we have nobody to connect with since most folks have their extended families as a social center.

  9. I had visions of sending my kid to the very ethnically diverse school where she would be BFF’s with the small girls with head-scarves and turbans et al. I rely on my parents alot for childcare (almost entirely at this point) and they weren’t having a bar of it, we did not migrate to send our grandkids to sub-standard schools. My daughter attends a public school that is completely elitist by virtue of zoning, only those who can afford to live in the area can send their kids there. She loves the school, its’ a fantastic school and at the end of the day I bite my tongue when they have their “diversity” on display with the token brown teacher or 2 students. It’ll work out, I remain very impressed by your commitment to spanish.

  10. I know I am late to this conversation. I have been reading, but haven’t had much chance to comment. However, this really hits close to home. On the verge of moving 400 miles away because of finances, 6 short months before my daughter turns 5, and into a completely different environment, I’m a mess. I could NEVER afford to own a home in this town/school district. In order to afford a home in this area at all I would have to save for years, thereby uprooting my children from their school and friends. Though the town over has the TOP RATED school district, I would happily have sent my children to this school district. I just wouldn’t be able to afford a home.

    When choosing a place to live in my new city, I only looked at schools with ratings of 8 or higher. I want my children to have the best opportunity in education and if I’m moving 400 miles away, it better be for a VERY GOOD REASON. These schools were inner city schools, or outer city schools and suburban schools. As it turns out, my children will be in attendance at a city school, on the out skirts of the city with an amazing rating and I believe a rather diverse population. Sure, if I could have afforded the home in the city proper, they would have more diversity.

    I find classism and racism to be a moot point here as I’m more concerned with the education my children will receive. I hope I am able to have my children remain “diversified” in their thoughts regarding anyone they meet, regardless of their skin color or economic standing. There are other ways of diversifying your children through activities outside of school. I am moving to a new city, a new neighborhood and a new school. I know literally no one in my new neighborhood. I am jumping in blind and I hope I am making the best decision for my children. At this point that is all I have.

    HUGS lady…this is hard stuff, parenting, with and with out a partner.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *