The first thing I put was that I HATE public schools. While this is true, I didn't mean for it to be so bold by the space after the first line. I still haven't figured out why that happens every time I post. So the explanation is...
I don't have anything against any school in particular, and definitely NOT again any teacher or assistant that works in the public school system. Not even against any administration or school board members (ok, I DON'T like the principal at one of my kids' school, but that's more of a personal issue. I just don't like HIM).
I feel that our school systems are totally mandated by state and federal regulations. There are so many benchmarks that need to be met to make sure that "no child is left behind" that ALL the children are being left behind due to a need to "teach to the test". To make sure that tests are passed, not lessons learned.
This was blatantly apparent last year when Conner was in 4th grade I was amazed at the amount of state testing that was performed. They would spend time learning what was going to be on the test, then taking pretests, then the real tests, if they didn't pass, then they would test again. Oh and then in February they have the big writing test. UGH! I NEVER saw homework that didn't relate to whatever subject they were "cramming" for for the next test.
Do I feel that this is because of bad teachers? Heck no. And I love the principal at Alia's school. She's very open and honest and very easy to talk too. She's also the first to admit that the system isn't made for every child to succeed. Also, while I wasn't impressed with either teacher that Conner had last year, I couldn't be happier with the teacher that Alia has this year. Her name is Michelle Leishman and she is one of the best teachers that we've ever had at North Marion. She loves what she does and she is trying to help each and every child succeed.
In Conner's situation last year, I felt that the school (no fault of their own) was spending all effort to have the lowest level of students rise up, however, if you were an average or above student, you were doing just fine. If you're passing the state tests, it's all good. We felt that Conner was totally overlooked. Is he a perfect child? Nope. Is he motivated to work to his full potential? Nope, not even close. But he wasn't expected to do any better than the "average" that he was doing.
As parents, we felt that he needed to be in an environment where he could have the attention that he needed and that he needed to be mentally stimulated at the level he was working at. I can't even tell you how much he is succeeding. I love the small feel of the private school that he is at. I love that his teacher takes it upon herself to find ways for him to succeed. Is he tested, yep. But I'll tell you what, that kid has learned more in the first 10 weeks of school than he did all year last year.
We are blessed to be in a situation that through sacrifice we will be able to send all the kids there next year. I know that I'm on my soapbox and I hope that I didn't offend anyone with my strong opinion, but I felt that I needed to clarify my position.
Off my soapbox now, carry on.