All That’s Shiny Isn’t Gold, and that Includes Schools
Are you satisfied with your child’s school? My grandma used to say: All that’s shiny ‘s not gold’. When she said this to me it was a gentle nudge reminding me to take a second look at something or someone again. Under her belief, if I were to take a real good second look I would see that beneath a gold plated sheath I would probably find a hot mess. I think about this when I used to call the school my oldest used to attend. Before I could even get to punch in the numbers for the extension I had to listen to a list of awards and honors the school received, not just the current school year, but the last two or three as well. Instead of feeling impressed, I became more under the impression that I was looking into the eyes of a grinning Cheshire cat. As a former teacher I know that just because the school may look clean and the school walls are lined with student work and awards this does not mean that all is well. I would place a safe bet that I am not the only one that sees past the glimmer of school awards. Most parents are not overly satisfied with the type of schools their child may have to attend. A recent survey by Education Post polled individuals with either children or grandchildren ages 3-18. The survey found that
- 54% of Blacks and 49% of Latinos are somewhat satisfied with their child/grandchild’s school.
- 60% of Blacks and 61% of Latinos believe their child/grandchild’s school needs to get better.
- 38% of Blacks and 54% of Latinos are somewhat worried their child//grandchild’s education won’t prepare them for success in today’s world. [Note: 26% of Blacks and 25% of Latinos are ‘very worried’]
Personally I’ve stopped putting a lot of stock into the plaques and certificates that adorn a school’s wall (whether I have a child who attends that school or not). Principals who camp out on the roof to raise money or the announcement that a school received a new grant so that every student can have a tablet is nice to hear, but such news doesn’t really impress me. I am more interested in whether or not a school has made gains in closing the academic achievement gap. Or do they have equal representation of all students in gifted and talented or AP classes. At this point I am looking past the shiny on the surface and trying to see if there is gold underneath.
How do you like your child’s school?