Hubby and I send our twin daughters to two different Chicago Public Schools (CPS). It's a long story, and one I'm not going to tell now.
But over the last few days, I've been thinking about what we've gained by sticking with that decision. As a family, we've been exposed to diverse educational experiences; our daughters to a broader curriculum. We've found more friends, had more fun, worked with more teachers and teaching styles, and learned about the politics of different neighborhoods. Double-everything hasn't always been easy. (Truthfully, at times, it's been downright difficult.)
But I'm fond of saying that difficult things are worth doing. In this case, our decision forced Hubby and I to keep the big educational picture in mind. We could never just focus on one school, one set of issues. And that was worth it, because slowly we've come to see how all the CPS children and CPS educators and CPS schools are connected.
The downside of our experience is that we've come to realize the problems CPS faces are just too vast. Each year I ask myself, what program/
teacher/school won't be around next year? And now, after the CPS week we've had, I'm quickly losing confidence in our ability as a city and as a society to solve these problems at all.
If this is how I feel, as a parent, imagine how the teachers feel.