What is Giving Compass?
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Giving Compass' Take:
• Amy Stuart Wells, writing for The Hechinger Report, argues that white parents should pick what school would be best for their children based on their child's needs, and not pick schools based on selectivity.
• How can parents make more informed choices that promote integrated school districts and diversity?
• Read about how schools must be accountable for diversity to achieve integration.
As a former public school parent and a white woman with a white son who performs well on the metrics that get students into the most selective public schools, I know the peer pressure that white parents feel to get their children into these high-status schools. I remember another white parent, when she learned that my son was not going to the most selective, predominantly white middle school in our district, looking at me in disbelief and saying, “I thought he had high tests scores?”
Yes, he did have high test scores and, yes, he most likely would have been accepted to the selective middle school, which many of his friends’ parents were determined to get their children into. But he did not want to go to that school.
He thought the students there looked bored when he toured it. I did not want him to go there either, because he was a sensitive kid who needed a school with a strong sense of community and care, which that school lacked. We were both upset by the almost completely white student body in this selective school located in the center of a racially and ethnically diverse community school district.
Thus, as white parents navigate the shifting terrain of school choice and enrollment, they need to understand that having one’s child at the top of a rigid and segregated hierarchy of schools is not always the best parenting decision on several levels.
Taking a deep breath and paying less attention to what other white parents say and more attention to your child and their teachers will enable you to make choices that can not only better fit their learning styles, but also do more to make our public school system more integrated and better.
Read the full article about selectively picking schoools by Amy Stuart Wells at The Hechinger Report