Fete Lifestyle Magazine September 2017 Family Issue - Page 57

By Shermin Kruse

Dreaming of a Better Education

hat school are your kids going to?”

This is the question parents of kindergarteners and first graders on the north side of Chicago most frequently ask. We debate the virtues of a public school education versus the academic enrichment of private school. We talk about the overcrowding but great test scores of kids in the gifted schools, or “selective enrollment” as they are called here. We drink wine, eat cheese, and debate whether to get our five-year-olds tested, what to do if they get in but their siblings do not, and whether we are contributing to the “brain drain” and “support withdrawal” that afflicts some of the public schools. I, with my tabbed, highlighted, single-spaced binder of school evaluations, am among the worst offenders. And yet, what is the offense? We love our children and are committed to caring for our community. These are, of course, among the best of traits.