Choosing public school
or at least hoping to
School starts in Oakland, at least for OUSD
, next Monday. A time of excitement and anxiety, eagerness and trepidation. In our own family our youngest will start kindergarten and has been instensly preparing though play for the big day. Yet public school, or the challenge of choosing it in the urban jungle of the Bay Area, and Oakland in particular, is one of the things that drives Oaklandites away. In our own travails of trying to get into a public school, other than the just-above-failing one around the corner from our home in East Oakland, led us to question staying in Oakland, our commitment to the city, public education and our children. The problems facing urban schools are not black and white. They can't merely be solved by throwing more money at them. It won't change overnight. And yet the cost of change isn't just money and time, but one's children. The tension of being committed to your children and your city/public schools is one that goes all too often under the radar. What happens to the middle-class, lower creative-class families in our urban areas that are too monied for help, but too poor for private school, unlucky for a charter school spot or stuck for a move to the burbs?