Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I registered my son for school yesterday. My husband took an hour or so off and when I say he took it off, I mean he worked from home before driving our son to school and then going into work. My friend came over with her kids and hung out with River while I loitered at the school waiting for registration to begin.

I got there pretty early. That seemed like the thing to do. I was 7th in line which felt like a good place to be. This one school accepts registration for two school so while my son wouldn't (hopefully) go here, it was super fun to stand in front as the kids gathered to go in and listen to the way kids talk to one another. I'm shocked the "Did you get your jeans from Walmart" line is still in use after all these years. One chunky girl kept asking me if she could see my phone. Ummm, no.

I was thankfully able to specify which school out of the two I would like him to go to. It doesn't mean that he'll go to that one or even that he'll be accepted into either. Our public school system is such a cluster fuck that I wouldn't be shocked if I got a letter telling me he was accepted into the University of Mars.

As much trouble as I've had with the county school in the last few weeks, registration was pretty simple. As I said I was the 7th person in line but ended up being the first to register because I had all my paperwork and I spoke clear English. It must suck when doing something like this to not be able to understand what you're reading or being asked. All of the people in line before me who were registering their kids were doing so because it was need based. I could tell because they had a ton of paperwork to prove WIC, food stamps and annual income. Need based kids get in before those with an IEP (learning disability) and I for one think this is total bullshit. I don't need anyone to tell me what it's like to be in need and I believe those kids clearly have a right to schooling but you show me a parent who would rather be rich and have a kid with a learning disability as opposed to being poor and have a regularly developing four year old and I'll show you a shitty parent. My kid is in need, just not financially. It's a shitty system and I challenge anyone to tell me different. It's a revolving door of federal money, test scores and the rest of that shit but none of that means anything to me unless it benefits my son and this song and dance does nothing for him. I'm still on the fence as to if I'd send him there if he even got in. I could keep him out of public schools for one more year if I chose to. That's one more year before he starts getting beaten down by the system and shaped into a mold of their choosing. One more year before I put on my boxing gloves to demand he get the things he needs to succeed. We're still mulling it over. Hopefully with some distance from school visits that never happened, phone calls that weren't returned and some of the dumbest answers to questions that I've ever heard, I will be able to see some benefit to public schools again. I need breathing room from the Anne Arundle County Public School System and time to remember the excellent teachers he's had and has now to remember that they aren't all as worthless as I encountered in the last couple of weeks.

After registration and waiting out the monsoon that waited for me outside, I drove over to the school I want him to return to next year which is the same one I was registering him in this morning and was able to observe a Pre-K class. You'd think that's a no brainer but because of the discrimination against kids coming into Pre-K with an IEP, I've only been allowed to observe one other Pre-K out of the 5 I called so it was nice to be accepted as opposed to pushed aside because schools think your kid is stupid and is not worthy of their time. Refreshing actually and I can tell you this, schools that have nothing to hide are generally the ones with excellent teachers. The teachers I observed clearly liked children and had a level of respect for them that I think is essential. The schools that refused to let me visit are the ones that had the Pre-K teacher call me and offered no info other than the fact that they have "a basic run of the mill square classroom." Can I see a show of fucking hands, who went to school in a round classroom? Oval? Oblong? Pentagon? Anyone?

Sure some of the schools have better test scores but do you ever wonder how they do that? THEY DO IT BY DISCRIMINATING AGAINST CHILDREN THEY THINK WON'T DO WELL ON THOSE TESTS BY KEEPING THEM OUT OF THEIR SCHOOL!!!!! So, think about that the next time you praise yourself for having your kid in the best school and then bend over and kiss your own ass that your kid is a regularly developing kid, cause not all are and some parents have to fight for their kid just to be able to learn. From now on when I hear that a school has excellent test scores I am going to envision all the horrible discriminatory things they did to get those scores and then I will question your sanity for believing otherwise.

Ahhhhh, America, where all men are created equal...unless you have a learning disability, are born with a deformity, are gay, or an immigrant (legal or not), have a speech impediment, are a boy with long hair..... One thing America doesn't do well is accept things that are different. Such an arrogant country.

Now we wait until August to find out if he even got in, another downside to the shitty system.

If Pre-K is this bad, how much ass am I going to have to kick when he's in high school? I shudder to think but I have one thing going for me, I don't give two shits if the people at his school hate me. I love my kid enough to be totally at peace with people running when they see me coming. I was always told that it's good when people like you but if everyone likes you , you're doing something wrong. So surely it must be OK if some people like me while I have a few haters. Sounds like I'm ahead of the game, right?

It seems like just yesterday I was worried about burp cloths and sippy cups. Now I'm fighting for my baby to get the education every kid deserves. My how the times have changed....


  1. Michelle, fist I just love the slide show of pictures of Owen. Where has time gone? Second is you hit it right on with teaching and teachers in school with not the greatest test scores. Most of my teaching has been in a "challenging" school. When I switched to the "good" school I will have to say that it was eye opening. The teachers from the "challenging" school could teach circles around the ones from the "good" school. You can't judge a book from its cover. That is all I have to say. Good luck with Pre K

  2. I would say that we have a very different situation. My children are remarkably average... probably slightly above average but definitely not "gifted" or special needs (and I use special needs because I have no other term to use. Will gladly use a different one if there is something less offensive). And they are completely ignored. We are in a school system that always does well on the testing. And they really want it to stay that way, so they focus on the gifted children to really raise the scores and focus on the special needs children to not drag it down. The rest of the kids, who do well enough, only get what little time is left over. My kids are amazing and wonderfully well-rounded... and so in need of getting more out of school. They are constantly in a state of boredom or confusion with little assistance given to them on either end. It is endlessly frustrating. Of all the teachers the kids have had, I can only think of two that would have been really good to them... and even they were stretched for time to really let my kids get the education that they deserve.

  3. Michelle, the slideshow of Owen is so beautiful. I was teary-eyed through the whole thing. Owen is a wonderful, loving that guy. I cannot believe sometimes how quickly they've gotten to this point.

    You may want to check on this but I think kids with an IEP are excluded from a school's general test scores so there shouldn't be any room for discrimination against any of these kids.

    Laura B

  4. Hi!!! I'm stopping by and following from Lucas's Journey Sensational Weekend Social. I hope you'll check out my blog Frazzled Mama at and follow me back. Have a great day.

  5. Relatively speaking, I'm still in the burpy-cloth phase of motherhood, but I DO think about my child's education. And, I'm already starting to worry!

    I don't know where Maryland's public schools are ranked nationally, but South Carolina's are NOT GOOD!

    Needless to say, GOOD LUCK fighting your pre-k battles. I hope all goes well!

    Newly following through Tara's Weekend Hop.

    Baby Talk without the Babble

  6. I love your blog! I am new follower from Saturday Stalks! I wish you the best of luck with your little guy. My fellow is on an IEP and we have been so very lucky so far. You have a wonderful sense of humor, that helps everything seem a little bit better.
    I hope you come visit me and follow me back!

  7. Hi! New follower stopping by from the blog hop. Have a great day! :-)

  8. New follower on Networked Blogs. I'm new to your blog and you clearly know how to speak your mind. I am also a former teacher in the public schools so I can totally relate to where you are coming from. Best of luck on your child's placement and thanks for being an involved parent. It will be a real asset to your child's teacher.


  9. Hello! I am stopping by from the Friday Blog Hop! I am your newest follower! I cannot wait to read more. I hope you will stop by and follow me back :)

  10. I couldn't find the post about the Boost my

    Blog Friday Blog Hop, so I am leaving my note


    BLOG HOPping around - I am now a follower of

    your blog, wont you also follow me?? ~KM
    Krafty Max Originals