What Lengths Will You Take to Get Your Child in A “Good” School?
Although uncommon, it is not a new occurrence for teachers or administrators employed at private schools or charter schools to bend the rules for the benefit of their children. They often use underhanded methods to increase their child’s chances of attendance. We are quick to judge their actions, but what would you do in their place?
If you had an opportunity to advance your child’s education, would you take it? Or would you let them remain in a public school or “second-class” school? It’s hard to determine what your actions would be unless placed in that situation. Imagine watching other students have their educational careers guaranteed, while your child is working twice as hard for half the chance for entry to a top-tier college?
Unfair is label often applied to these parents, or selfish. These programs have entrance requirements for a reason, and for a teacher or administrator to bypass them is unprofessional and biased. As educators, they have failed their students, but as parents, they show just how desperate some are to get their child into a good school.
Exclusive Educational Opportunities
Educators that skip steps are only attempting to do what any other parent would do: provide the best opportunity for their children to succeed. Students who attend private or charter schools often have a higher acceptance rate when applying for college. However, some public schools will be entirely ignored if the college is high-ranking and the school is in a rural or low-income area. As the entry requirements are intensive, often requiring an application, minimum GPA or test scores, and a fee. Even so, the most significant deterrent is location.
Location has played a significant role in where students have gone to school since schools were first founded. The school a student will attend will be determined by the school zones with the district. Unfortunately, public schools are funded by the taxes gathered within their districts, leaving the wealthy districts with a better education system than the low-income districts as well as preventing students from leaving their designated district.
Income also serves as a common precedent in the application process. Better schools commonly require an additional fee, or application fee, that most parents cannot afford. They struggle to gain access to the waiting list for these schools, let alone actually get in. Students with parents that have money and a greater social influence easily surpass those who are pinching pennies to enter.
Wealth has such a heavy influence that test scores can be predicted. The scores are surprisingly accurate and take into consideration prior scores, location, and family income. These scores serve as proof of the impact that an entrance into a wealthy educational opportunity can have on students.
Should we fault those who try and bend the rules for their child’s school acceptance? Absolutely. But should we judge them? Not necessarily. We don’t know what type of drastic measures that we would be willing to take in the same situation.
There are plenty of reasons why parents working the system is not as bad as it seems. The public education system has supported housing discrimination for decades. It keeps low-income families in low-income districts preventing educational growth and development while high-income areas are thriving. There is the continuous pressure of racial segregation to maintain a perfect or “good” school.
We need to call out those who attempt to bypass the requirements set in place and are skipping by those who have rightfully earned spots, but we must also recognize the issues within our society and an educational system that is pushing these parents to the limit. If educators are willing to risk their careers for their child’s entrance, why are we judging them without looking into the underlying issue?