Public Schools

There is something to be said for public schools . . . if your family is stable and financially well off, your child is well-adjusted, they don’t have any neurological/physical/emotional problems, are well-coordinated, likable, aural/verbal learners, calm, confident, talented, somewhat intelligent, has siblings to watch out for them, has parents that will fight for them, has some common sense (but not too much), a tiny bit lucky in which teachers they get, and follows all of the stereotypical norms for development.

That’s all.

I had a lot of classmates like this. If I remember correctly, a lot of them ended up pregnant in high school–or shortly thereafter.

Did you ever see the IDEA report card for how well the states did on following its guidelines correctly?

Big surprise; my home state didn’t pass.

In fact, all in all, very few states passed: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming.

Oh, and it mentions on the report that:

Every State was out of compliance with IDEA requirements to some degree; in the sampling of states studied, noncompliance persisted over many years.

That’s comforting.


My own high school is probably one of the better ones on the list. I don’t know why I suspect this, because they didn’t do shit for any of the people I was in class with. And I know that they didn’t do shit for me, but I do know that they have a generally good reputation. I found my high school on the website for great schools (supposedly), but beyond finding it on the site, they don’t actually list anything about the school that’s actually of any use to anyone.

I did discover through Google that you can now buy their t-shirts online though. In the words of one of my favorite professors in undergrad: “Yippee Skippee.”

You can find slightly more information on the School Digger site (well, at least I can), but none of it is related to IDEA or anything at all other than statistics of race/ethnicity and test scores.

I discovered through this last perusal of Google pages that my high school has a myspace page. That also disturbs me somewhat. Although, I can’t really say too much. My high school has a group on facebook and I’m the admin for that, strange as it may seem. I guess I just wanted to do it before someone else did it and screwed it up somehow. Hah.

It does slightly terrify me that the town just next to me (when I’m home) has a page on wikipedia.

Speaking of truly freaky things, there’s a guy that I graduated high school with who has been nominated for a grammy. Good lord. I remember his singing voice. You can get nominated with that kind of voice??? *shudders*

Meanwhile, the homepage for the schools in my county keeps timing out (might I mention that I have a really good connection where I’m at currently?).

Well, I found the school also via the Public School Review site, but the only extra information I know now is the average number of rooms per households for the students at my high school. Whee. *headdesk* Oh, that and I know now that the dropout rate has dropped to 30%, down from the 50% it was at when I was in school. Seriously. My freshman class has 498. We graduated 258. Contemplate that one for a bit.

Okay, so I’m actually finding information (of a sort) at the NC Public Schools site, which is probably where I should have started, but since I didn’t know the page existed, that made that a little difficult. I also found a “report card” for my home county from ten years ago. That’s helpful.

*rolls eyes*

I’ll tell you what year of school I was in for 97-98 if you promise not to laugh.

8th grade.

Okay, I changed my mind. You can laugh. Like I always say, you can only encounter so much shit before you hit a point where you either cry or laugh. I choose to laugh.

Now, check out this: Local School Directory. What is it that they always say in those bad crime movies? Oh yeah, “follow the money.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I could really use one of those “help me understand what I’m looking at” buttons. All I can tell is that there is a big fat zero next to the section called “Children with Disabilities IDEA.” Now either, that’s a big deal that there’s nothing there, or else I’m going to raise a stink about the incomprehensible way that this data is laid out. It’s like they’re say, “look, here it is! That’s all we’re responsible for. Bye.”

And you wonder why parents get confused.

I found one of the forms that they use for the testing criteria. It included the usual categories; starting with the “simple” stuff like copying letters, following instructions and goes through mathematical language and expository writing, etc. One of the things that caught my eye while I perusing this list, was that it mentioned “grammar.”  I don’t know why they’re listing that as a criteria in North Carolina.  I know for a fact that I never had a single lesson in grammar while I was a student in NC.  And I have a feeling that the only reason that no one here has ever said anything to me about it is because I’m doing better than the average of most web denizens.

Just like certain types of music theory, I write not because I know the rules, but because I know the rhythm of how the words are supposed to go.  I know what it’s supposed to do and I know some what not to do, but I don’t actually know the reasons why.  I can’t explain it with those high-class words like “adjectives” and “prepositions” yada yada.  It’s just that I’ve read enough to be able to figure out my own rules; like when I have the urge to use a dash “-“, it’s usually a good place for a semi-colon (the same goes for when I use ellipsis dots “. . .”; probably a good place to use the semi-colon).  Then again, I’m good at coming up with my own rules for incomprehensible situations . . . remind anyone else of aspies in social situations?

All this to say, things are real fucked up all over.  I’ve got more to say on this subject, but I’m already over a thousand words, and I know that my attention span has a tendency to zone out right about–oh look.  Something shiny.  *wanders off*


~ by lastcrazyhorn on March 18, 2008.

9 Responses to “Public Schools”

  1. lastcrazyhorn, the way you write and what you say describes so much of my same thoughts and feelings! It’s such a comfort to know that there are others who seem to ‘get’ (see and understand) those things that really count, especially when they’re younger and have more time in life to do more with the insights they have.

    I’m just like you when it comes to grammar . . . writing more by how things sound and feel rather than the rules. My problem is that I have the most difficult time remembering things that seem “dry.” Grammar is one of those things.

    I’m not quite sure how to describe the rules I go by in incomprehensible social situations, but I’ll give it a shot.
    First off, I try to figure out what ‘game’ is being played. Then, I analyze what rules others are playing by (which is usually a ‘double-standard’). This is tough because then I have to do some soul-searching to find the balance between not sacrificing my integrity, while at the same time, staying in the game. It seems like those kinds of situations are like an art canvas in that they require talent, skill, and creative abilities; plus, no two situations are alike.

  2. You mean like Eton and H”e”rrow, Winchester and Rugby where the elite of the land are educated? Thus does what is a public and a private school divide our two sides of the pond as much as if I went out in town wearing pants and vest might 🙂

  3. I moved my son to a supposed “awesome school district” and am having all sorts of issues- mostly with discrimination. It’s really sad that in 2008, people are still so intolerant of disabilities. My son is 6 for cryin’ out loud! He’s just a kid! If this district is supposed to be so great, my hope in a good education for him is quickly wasting away.

  4. I just checked the IDEA report card…my state passed. Could’ve fooled me.

  5. My son and I have lucked out with our local school amazingly enough (we’re in Canada, which makes a bit of difference but not much, I’ve heard some terrible horror stories from parents). But I think you’re spot on about the state of most schools these days.

    I love how your words…flow. 🙂

  6. Sheila – Trust me I understand you on the whole “game” thing. The situations that really drive me nuts are the ones where in things like classes or seminars, the teacher has favorites; so the rules are like this for some and different for others . . . *rolls eyes and sighs heavily*

    Larry – You got it.

    mommy_dearest – Yours is more of an active persecution, whereas when I was 6, I was just completely ignored and excluded. After all these years, I’ve come to the conclusion that while both situations are terrible, at lease when you’re being persecuted you know that they haven’t forgotten you.

    mumkeepingsane – Well I’m glad that you hit the jackpot. 🙂 I hope that continues to be the case. And thanks. 😀

  7. Interesting.

  8. I really enjoyed school up until high school. I can’t say any of my daughter’s school experiences were very positive. Interesting to read your experiences.

  9. I liked the 2nd grade . . .

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