parents somewhat satisfied with schools

All That’s Shiny Isn’t Gold, and that Includes Schools

Posted on Posted in Blog, School Me on Research, School Rules and Processes

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?


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