The last two years in the Chicago Public School system for me, has been horrible at best. And I’m not even a student. I’m a parent of a student. One that is involved, and one that CAN be at the school for assemblies, after school activities and family building. Too bad it isn’t happening.
Last year,at the beginning of the school year, our principal of six years moved on to a better job. For that, I hate him, in a not hell bound hatred, but one of knowing that he CARED for the children. The kids lost him in August. I mean, I’m happy for him, but I do hate him. I hate that the children didn’t have someone who cared for them and provided structure in their last year in the building that they called home. That principal and I still talk. He even wrote the cellist a letter of recommendation for high school that I am sure was fantastic. That’s because he was involved. Oh, he gave us parents a run for our money. He told us no and explained why. He may have kept principal type logistics out of our conversation, but he treated us as if we were a part of the school community.
I had my issues though. That’s expected when you’re a parent in the school system. Your voice may not be as influential as you think. Your concerns may not be met with the same type of urgency that it’s spoken. We learned to work together though.
However, moving into this new school building with this new principal has been a bit, trying. Our parents, teachers and students have requested a bookfair, and we haven’t had one because we don’t have the room for it. Nevermind the fact that our students who had been testing at the top level of the Chicago Public School System for the last EIGHT YEARS are now in a school on probation. Nevermind the fact that our
great CEO Barbar Byrd Bennett decided to up the ante of testing without providing the correct support to help guide those students properly. Nevermind the fact that these kids hadn’t had proper guidance for the last year or so. We just didn’t have the room. Meanwhile an empty assembly hall with a stage sits not in use during the day.
I may not know all of the inner workings of being a teacher or a principal, but I know this. The political game that is being played with our young people is tragic. I’ve attempted to stay in the fight for the last ten years, but with six months left of what is my oldest child’s elementary school career, I give up. Chicago Public Sc you win. You’ve sucked all of the fight from me, which I guess was the original plan. I’m going to be a silent voice, holding my head down until my son graduates.
I won’t participate in school activities, because my ideas are too big. My voice too loud. My vision too broad for kids like ours. I expect too much from our parents and think that our principals can and will work miracles for our children.
This is also the reason why you won’t be getting my youngest three for as long as I can manage to give them a great education. This is why we are looking at private school education for the cellist, because it’s been shown to us time and time again, that you don’t care about the students in neighborhoods like mine. The kids are numbers to be used in test score gain, and nothing more. We stifle independence and the love of learning for the highest points gained in standardized testing.
I can’t do this anymore, and as a parent, I feel like a big fat failure for subjecting my son to it this long.