I frankly don’t get it.
We live in a fairly new neighborhood with a K-8 public elementary/middle school in it. My kids walk the half a mile to and from school every day. Starting this year all four of them will go to and fro together. I think it is great. The kids are flourishing socially and academically (as they have in every school they’ve attended.)
But we know lots of people in the neighborhood (and ward) who choose to send their children to other elementary schools. Sometimes it is a school in a neighboring district, sometimes it is a charter school in town. In each of these cases it means driving the children to and from school every day.
What is the point? Our local public school is plenty safe. It is not like the choice of elementary school is going to get a kid into Harvard (or whatever college these parents are angling for). Smart kids with attentive parents will do well academically and socially at the local elementary or at the less-local school. Academically struggling kids will struggle at both. Kids who get picked on or are socially ungraceful here will get picked on and be socially ungraceful there.
I am baffled by this anxiety over elementary schools. A big part of me thinks it is caused by a little bit of a Chicken Little mentality meeting a Lemming mentality. It seems to me that it comes down like this: A rumor starts circulating that the local public school is “bad” and the Chicken Little virus spreads. Then some parent decides that since the sky is falling at the local school and all they had better withdraw their children and put them in school X. A whole bunch of lemming parents decide they better do that too. Next thing you know, the mom taxi service is in overdrive driving children to and from schools X, Y, or Z.
Yes, yes; I know that is an uncharitable analysis of the situation. There may be very good reasons to spurn the public school in the neighborhood and drive children to and from distant schools every day. I just don’t know what those reasons would be. Maybe all y’all can enlighten me.