Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Springsteen tickets?...no, wait it's for Kindergarten

What does it say about our education system when parents have to camp out to score a coveted spot for their child in KINDERGARTEN? Apparently only 36 spots were available at this Brooklyn elementary school and after that the little ones would be shipped off to another school.

I have so many issues with this that I don't know where to start. So in no particular order:

  • Who did the district planning and didn't realize there would be more than 36 kindergartner?
  • And if they did, why not hire another teacher?
  • Who thinks that 36 five year olds is a good class size? Is this what class size is like in Brooklyn?
  • Wouldn't the cost of the busing (and insurance) of however many more kindergartners there are offset the cost of another teacher?

I also went digging around to find out more about this and when I did a search for "parents camp out for kindergarten" I was appalled to find other instances of it here and here. GEEZ. What is this country coming to when parents have to go to these measures to get their child into freakin' Kindergarten??

I truly feel for these parents. I don't know what I would do in their place....no, I take that back. Sadly, I'd be exactly where they were.... with my blanket and a chair and hot cup of coffee.

5 comments:

Vinny said...

A few things-

- I believe it's Pre-K, not K. That's why there is a line. They are not required to take all students. K students must all be accepted. Pre-K is optional as of now.
- 36 is 2 sessions of 18 each, most likely(morning and afternoon). Probably they have a teacher and a room.
- What is awful is there was more than enough money for Pre-K last year. So much so, that during the year, MORE money was given to districts who had Pre-K programs. Apparently there was money LEFT OVER!

For some schools, it's about space. For others, it's staffing. Many districts, left with no room, have to contract out the services to local private Pre-K's. They are supposed to supervise them closely, but that's a hit-and-miss thing.

I agree that it IS a shame that folks should have to camp out to get a spot in a district-run program. However, I CAN tell you that the push is on now to require districts to run Pre-K's for all. When it will happen? Who knows.

wordgirl said...

People camp out to get a spot in our high school...the largest in the city but it also produces a phenomenal number of Natinal Merit Scholars. Why can't all schools be like this? Good question.

wordgirl said...

People camp out to get a spot in our high school...the largest in the city but it also produces a phenomenal number of Natinal Merit Scholars. Why can't all schools be like this? Good question.

wordgirl said...

People camp out to get a spot in our high school...the largest in the city but it also produces a phenomenal number of Natinal Merit Scholars. Why can't all schools be like this? Good question.

The Contessa said...

I am always disturbed by this.

Honestly, there is a Frasier episode in which Daphne and Niles unborn child is on the waitlist at such an establishment which generated a fight about unborn baby's fictious name on said application.

Another instance thats even older in the media is the preparation that is done for the pre-k program on three men and a little lady. Ted Danson And steve Guttenburg make fun of Tom Selleck as the interview approaches for them as he has been prepping since the baby was dropped on the doorstep.

So this is unfortunately not a new scenario, but one that seemingly gets worse year after year.

I hope, like Vinny, that this becomes mandated in our state soon.

And Bravo to wordgirl and I agree with her too - why can't more schools be like that?

I live in a district where they successfully lobbied for an elementary school math and science grant. We don't need an elementary level grant, we need it in secondary school where we have a ludicrously low number of kids who can't read and kids who can't even speak english.

Education, which is career choice for me though I use non traditional methods, still makes me crazy. It's about kids!!!

It's abouot helping kids find what they are good at and helping them grow at things that are tougher. Its the business of grooming smart, logical, intelligent, sensitve adults. I tend to see the educational system as a whole forgetting about this.

Sorry for the rant It's such a touchy subject for me! I am the child of three educators of varying degrees and career paths. I've been listening to this stuff my whole life.