Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Ten Questions Parents Should Frantically Ask About Schooling

This coming weekend, the New York Times magazine looks at our children and what private and charter schools are doing for/to them! It raises so many questions for those of us who are concerned about our babies and if they will go to top-tier colleges after top-tier primary and secondary education, which is something you really do worry about especially if you're dropping half a million on K-12 and then having to make a sizable donation to an Ivy League to make sure that little Crayson, Effexor and Randomly get to go to the right college! Here's the top ten questions that a parent may form whilst reading this expose about the rise of "character evaluation" at… two schools. (One of whom is a charter, with a 33% college graduation rate of their first two classes.)

• What If Testing Well Means You've Failed the Real Test, Which Is Life?

• What If the 800 Is Actually a "Life Zero" on the SAT?

• What If America Has Lost Its Gumption from Competing Too Hard?

• What If Rewards are Actually Demerits, and We're Also Punishing The Successful, Who Are Actually Cutthroat and Only Barely Empathetic?

• What If Everything We Value Is Wrong, and Years of Test Prep Are Holding MY BABY Back?

• What If Expensive Schools Are Hurting Our Baaaaabies???

• What If My Parenting Is Totally Broken But It's Too Late???

• What If MY BABY Has to Choose Between Being Nice and Being Successful???

• What If My Child's Charter School Is a Cult???

• What If We're Raising a Generation of Horrible Robot Narcs??????

41 Comments / Post A Comment

C_Webb (#855)

As a parent and an educator, my general approach to everything is "Do the opposite of whatever the NYT thinks is important." If that now means "succeed," so be it.

What if "C-A-T" really spelled "dog"?

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@Clarence Rosario That would be dogastrophic.

C_Webb (#855)

@Clarence Rosario You've rendered me dogatonic.

@boyofdestiny Don't be so catmatic.

C_Webb (#855)

@Clarence Rosario Catgone it, Rosario. Cut it out.

hockeymom (#143)

@Clarence Rosario You really screwed the pooch this time, Rosario.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@hockeymom Cat my dogs.

DMcK (#5,027)

@Clarence Rosario I pray to Tac this isn't so.

SeanP (#4,058)

@boyofdestiny dogaclysmic, even.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

I believe that children are our future. Sources of dietary protein.

hockeymom (#143)

@SidAndFinancy Soylent Green is children?

keisertroll (#1,117)

@SidAndFinancy To a pedophile, does that count as Sexual Chocolate?

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@keisertroll: Not sure. Ask saythatscool.

flossy (#1,402)


flossy (#1,402)

In all seriousness though, shouldn't we just be asking What Would Perez Hilton do?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

You can't spell anxiety without NYT.

jfruh (#713)

The day I read someone quoted in the NYT as saying "Like most people, I assumed I would send my son to private school" is the day I realized that the NYT's educational coverage was not aimed at anyone I knew.

amuselouche (#448)

And that's when I hit close: "The most critical missing piece, Randolph explained as we sat in his office last fall, is character — those essential traits of mind and habit that were drilled into him at boarding school in England"

C_Webb (#855)

@amuselouche Yay! Bring back beatings and bullying! The latter never left, so that part's easy!

Lemonnier (#14,611)

@amuselouche "Drilled" — HEY-OOOO!

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@C_Webb: Someone has to teach them that they can't have any pudding if they don't eat their meat.

@amuselouche Please excuse me from gym, I've got this terrible cold coming on. :(

C_Webb (#855)

@SidAndFinancy Of course, these days and in this country, it's they can't have their roof-raised Alice-Waters approved carrots if they don't eat their baked breaded free-range chicken strips with quinoa and yellow tomato coulis.

C_Webb (#855)

@C_Webb P.S. I don't actually know what "coulis" is.

hman (#53)

What if my child never learns how to correctly use the word 'whilst'?

lawyergay (#220)

This off-the-charts insane school anxiety shouldn't be why, but it could be why, kids who are gay will start coming out earlier. No amount of tiny bagpipe playing, tween lifestyle blogging, or Junior Olympic caliber biathlon winning can compete with being a proto-second class citizen!

P.S. Honestly, crazy NYC parents: This IS NOT WORTH IT. Move to the Berkshires/Litchfield County/Duchess County and raise your kid to be less neurotic than you are.

C_Webb (#855)

@lawyergay Not sure that's far enough. You can order your anxiety over the interwebs and have it delivered next day.

lawyergay (#220)

@C_Webb You're probably right. I hear Labrador is beautiful this time of year.

IBentMyWookie (#133)

All this talk of cats and babies–what about the anxieties I face as the mother to a lovely dog who has taken up with a girlfriend of whom I most certainly do not approve? WHERE'S MY LIFESTYLE PIECE?

@IBentMyWookie Where's your gumption and moxie? Write it yourself and send it to Modern Love!!

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@IBentMyWookie: Sometimes you just have to call a spayed a spayed. Is your dog neuter the area?

This is why I got our little Wexly a gumption coach.

It seems as if every paragraph it's a pre-requisite for a NYT education article:
1st para: Reference to random website where parents can freak out over children
2nd: TED talks.
3rd: Question the system! Are aptitude tests even cool anymore?
etc etc etc

flatfootafleet (#5,753)

11. Am I douche of a parent

Bittersweet (#765)

"to make sure that little Crayson, Effexor and Randomly get to go to the right college!"

+5,672 for starting the trend of naming your kid after major pharmaceutical products. Hoping to see hundreds of little Xanaxes and Cialises on the Social Security lists in 2012.

laurel (#4,035)

@Bittersweet: Sadly, little Cialis and Viagra will be born to elderly parents who won't be around to obsessively monitor their children's education.

SeanP (#4,058)

@Bittersweet and popular "food" items. I swear this is true: I used to work with a woman named "Velveeta".

Looking back from the golden fields of post-fertility, I'm so glad I decided that I had better things to do with my pussy than spawn.

lawyergay (#220)

One final note: The people who went to boarding school with me who are the most "successful" in terms of gross income are the B+/A- students who played a shitload of sports at a high level and then went on to colleges like Hamilton and Bates and Georgetown. This doesn't include the kids whose parents were already rich as hell. Those kids are doing the best, gross income-wise, natch.

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