Thursday, January 21, 2010

Colour Blindness

We're in the process of looking at schools for Anna.


California schools are ranked 48/49/50th (depending on your sources) out of 50 states, and the school that Anna should, geographically, be going to is ranked in the bottom 10th percentile of California schools. I have been lying awake thinking about this.

As awful as that sounds, it turns out it could play to our advantage, because her district school is a 'failing' school and that gives us a bump up the transfer list to a choice of other Santa Barbara schools. This is according to the School District, and against a barrage of heartfelt advice telling us to lie about our address, we are playing by the rules and attempting to legally transfer in to a good school.

No, I don't know what we're going to do if the transfer fails. We don't have a plan B, other than move to England where Anna would already be a year behind in school.


Now, there are many schools to choose from in Santa Barbara; dual-language immersion schools, charter schools, alternative schools, religious schools, crap schools, bad schools, failing schools and awful schools, but they mostly fall in to two camps; rich and white, and poor and hispanic. This makes me angry.

I don't want to purge all this vitriol your way as you are most likely reading this looking forward to a nice weekend, so I will tell you the story of Anna's perspective.

Thank God for Anna.

We have been trying to keep Anna out of the school discussions, because, should the worst happen and she end up going to a sub-par school we would like her to be oblivious of that fact. We were talking the issue over with a hispanic friend of ours who happened to go to the school we would like Anna to go to. Anna was quietly crayoning in the corner. I said 'the bottom line is I have as much fear of her going to a Montecito school as a barrio school. I don't want her growing up thinking the whole world is white'. Quick as a flash, Anna butted in:

"Mom! (eye roll) I know the whole world isn't white! It's mostly green and blue, the only white bits are the Arctic and the Antarctic".

Can I put that on her application?


Ali said...

Oh dear, it's hard enough choosing a school without all of that you've just described to factor in. I don't envy you.

Even though I know that moving to the UK probably isn't an option really at all, you should know that several studies (done in the UK about their education system) have demonstrated fairly well that children who begin later fare equally well, if not better than those who begin at the "normal" age. At six they are all on a par and those who started later even do better in some areas. Chances are there would be very little real difference between her and her peers.
Good luck.

itsgrimupnorth said...

Oh dear god, another Geographer!

Anonymous said...

I'm right there with you with my little one. I didn't realise the severity of some of the educational stresses for elementary schools. Just know that my eldest is in high school and the experience is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

p.s. the last comment was from Becs, your Santa Barbara neighbor~

Anonymous said...

I say Hooray for another Geographer!! S xx

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Muddling Along Mummy said...

I love her comments - isn't it great the colour blindness that children have, if only we could stay that way

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jenn said...

I think she'll be just fine! She sounds like a sharp one. :)

Hyphen Mama said...

1) I'd definitely take the Chinese advice. It's GOOD.
2) I cannot tell you how many times we've considered in the past few months pulling Wynnie from the school she goes to (it's right behind our house) and putting her back into the Montessori school she went to for preschool, and take out a second mortgage to pay for it, or sell off our spare organs. School and our children is OMG so stressful. For now we've opted to keep her where she's at... at least until she comes home talking about the 4th grader who shanked another kid at recess.

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