This has been a recent hot topic for me as I battle for the education of all children in my neighborhood. SLPS has chosen to close Sherman elementary school, a walkable neighborhood school and will probably relocate our children to schools too far to walk, they will have to be bused, which opens up a whole can of dysfunction. A lot of my frustration is the complacency of the neighborhood association and other groups to rally around “the children” and demand better for them. These groups are quick to blame crime and safety issues on the youth but not work for inclusive community change. I believe it stems from 2 charter schools that are on the outskirts of our neighborhood – South City Prep academy and CityGarden. IMO, these schools assuage the guilt of well meaning parents who want to live the urban hipster lifestyle but are still afraid of committing wholeheartedly to their community. I have had discussions with my neighbors and am so so careful not to make any personal judgements on their choices. I just assume they don’t know any better, and try to educate them about how charters are destructive and how they polarize a community into haves and have nots. But I have gotten personally attacked – “how can a parent use their child as a guinea pig” (for putting them in the SLPS), “you could say magnets are destroying the schools since they have a lottery too” (my kids are in magnet public), “I just want to do what’s best for my child” (assuming I don’t?). Sigh. I know that guilt can make people defensive and lash out and so I guess I can’t blame the person, they need to see it in their own hearts. All I can do is educate. And rinse and repeat.