Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Elementary Schools, Charter and Otherwise

Regarding my feelings as a parent about charter and neighborhood schools, I've realized that I have a different attitude about this at different levels of schooling. I'm not that concerned that my children might go across town to get the right fit in a high school. Not only will they have a higher capacity to manage the commute themselves, but my children probably be a clear rationale for their decision. They'll be going across town for a reason, to attend a program that fits their specific needs.

In elementary school, you don't need a specialized academic program, although it is nice to find one that fits ones attitudes about parenting and learning. But what really bothers me is the aggregate inconvenience of getting elementary school kids to and from a school outside walking distance. CVS Highlander is a K-8 school two blocks from my house. If my children attend it, and we stay in our current house, which we certainly will unless we should have to leave Providence, that would be about eleven years of piling into the car or walking to the bus stop twice a day, or at least taking a longer and more dubious walk to more dubious schools across Broad Street, or, just skipping around the corner to Highlander. Having that come down to random chance is going to be excruciating. Unless we win the lottery, then it will be awesome.

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