The Happy Slave

This is my surrender to the Powers that Be, who wish we all were just happy little slaves, tooling along without a care in the world, doing what our better-educated masters tell us to do, not daring to step out of line. I'm so bad at surrender...

Name:
Location: Indianapolis, United States

I'm an old-fashioned Get-out-of-my-face-atarian. So long as the gubmint left me alone, I had no problems with it. Gubmint wants to run my life, so I'm doing something about it. (Not just blogging, either.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Education" for the convenience of the bureaucracy

We receive a letter a month or two ago stating that we have the option to have our eldest son sent to a different middle school because the school he is in (the worst middle school in the district, by the way), has managed to flop standards two years running. We decide to go for it and put in our request. We made the mistake of sending it via US mail, so I ended up FAXing in another copy of the request.

Okay, so over the phone, I'm told that School B is full in 7th grade, so he'll have to go to School A. No problem, so long as it isn't school F-. School A is a better school. Anyway, A few weeks later, I call the school district to ask if my son has been transferred to School A. He hasn't, but they do the necessary transfer on the spot. Then I get notice from district transportation. He's still scheduled to be transported to School F-.

So, I get on the horn to the district's transportation office. First, they say they'll call me back that day. They don't. So I call them back the next day. Then, they say they'll call me back the day after. They don't--instead, I get a call from a high-ranking administrator (basically, the guy in charge of all scheduling).

He tells me that the district cannot send my son to School A, because it would cost them a hundred dollars a day to get him there. Under No Child Left Behind, a student who gets an in-district transfer because his previous school is such a stinkeroo as to not even meet those minimal standards has to be transported at school district expense. However, the school district does get to pick the non-flopping school.

So, after some somewhat terse statements on my part regarding the absurdity of being told that School B was impossible but now School B is mandatory, we agreed to send the boy to School B. Everything's set, right?

The first thing that any parent needs to learn about public school systems is that they are of the bureaucracy, by the bureaucracy, and for the bureaucracy. My eldest was brought in for class registration, and he even got the two electives he wanted. Then, after we thought it was all finally handled for the year, we got a phone call. It seems that, even after the administrator told me (and I'm quoting) "We'll have to make room.", the 7th grade at School B is full, so he can't attend school B. However, we were already told that he couldn't attend School A, because it would cost the school district too much. We weren't told what the only alternative would be, but I don't need to be told that I'm at a sewage plant to smell what's going on.

So, I left a phone message with said ranking administrator, and now I'm waiting. We'll see just how this little dog and pony show plays out. This is not a situation of us just dropping in on school B, unannounced. I had spoken with "Director" of the administrative department that handles all these issues, and I had accepted his statement regarding where my son would attend. He said "School B", and I took his word for it. Now that things come down to the wire, we're told by a bureaucrat that attendance at "School B" is not possible--they're "full".

We'll see how this pans out.