I have been on the both sides of this coin. First, I am a parent and have tried for three consecutive years to get my middle school son into a theme middle school in which its attendees were chosen through the lottery system. He did NOT get in to this school either of the three years. We were that family sitting at the end of the lottery with a disappointed son, upset, not knowing what we were going to do. He is a very smart young man and we did what we needed to do to get him to attend a school where he is involved in the magnet program. While watching the movie, my heart broke and tears streamed down my face because I knew, firsthand, what the families in the movie were going through. All because they simply wanted better for their kids....
As an educator, I totally understand the lottery process but it can't help but to make me think. If ALL schools were operating at a level of excellence, we wouldn't need theme schools and magnet programs, etc. If ALL schools were operating at a level of excellence, we wouldn't have to have lotteries for enrollment into our "good" schools. Parents wouldn't have to consider moving (I am guilty of this as we speak!!!!) to ensure that their kids would go to a "good" public school because ALL public schools would be "good" schools.
I have heard over my years as an educator that parents blame the schools and schools blame the parents for the lack of motivation on the students part. The students want things handed to them. It's an entitled generation of kids....blah blah blah. While I personally may agree with some of these things I also understand that as a human being we must STOP placing the blame on each other and simply hold each other to higher standards and levels of accountability. Here's the solution!!!!!
- Parents-DEMAND better schools for your students WHILE holding your students accountable. It starts at home. Demand excellence from your children in ALL aspects of their lives.
- Administrators-DON'T hire mediocre teachers! Only hire the types of teachers that you would want to teach your own children!
- Teachers-Set HIGH expectations for your students and don't let any of them fail! DEMAND excellence from ALL of them...not just your favorite students or the ones that you feel can do it....ALL OF THEM!!!