Jen and I have been braving the BPS lottery. The way it works is that the city is divided into zones. You go to these informational meetings, and then you run around your zone checking all of the schools out. In January, you list your top choices, and then a lottery decides where your kid goes to school.
It’s high stakes. Some public schools are fabulous and some are disasters. The other fun thing about is that it requires a lot of work to do properly but at the same time, the result is totally random.
Whenever Jen and I go to the meetings and tours, we’ve noticed the tension as thick as Charles’ muddy water.
We are in a good zone. Our house is at an intersection of a really wealthy neighborhood and one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. I really want to tell you that the neighborhood doesn’t matter, but of course, the schools in the wealthy neighborhood are much better.
We have noticed that there is no difference in the mood at the good or bad neighborhoods. Everyone is anxious. Everyone cross-examines the teachers and the principals with the same probative questions. Jen and I just sit back and watch.
Most amusingly, everyone seems to think their kid is gifted. No one asks, “How are you going to help my delayed and troubled child succeed?” The question is always, “How do you handle gifted children?” This question gets repeatedly ask at every single tour.
Last time this happened, after yet another woman asked the principal this, Jen turned to me and said, “Does she mean that kid who just fell out of her chair and onto her ass?” Yep. That’s the gifted kid she was talking about.
Apparently, we have a whole lot of gifted kids in our zone.