Back in March Portland Public Schools opened their lottery for both charter schools as well as the opportunity to try to send your child to one of the better public schools. I submitted Max for two charter schools (one by our house - just 2 blocks away!) as the public school that he is zoned for is a great school but due to being a great school its over crowded because everyone moves to the district to go to said great school. Meaning 30+ kids in a kindergarten class with ONE teacher.
I head from the first school two weeks ago (Max is #45) and the second school on Saturday (#66). What frustrates me is that this "lottery" isn't a true lottery. If it was they wouldn't ask the name and gender of child - you would show up and get a number during the period and give them your contact information to call you if your child was chosen. More specifically the application should not call out the question "why your child wants to go to our school" - In fact I would say that is the farthest thing from a lottery.
Whats more frustrating is that out of the kids going to these schools, inevitably there will be a percentage that drops off and leaves before 3rd grade to go to another school and Max will forever have lost this spot as after 1st grade they do not offer spots into the program.
A better idea for PPS? How about parents PAY to send their kid to the specific school that they want to send them to? Full day Kindergarten is already $300 a month + after school program fees. I would gladly pay $500-$750 a month to send Max to the charter in our neighborhood. With the demand PPS would make the much needed funds they need to avoid budget cuts and parents could get their kids into the school that they want to go to.
Personally I have never loved public school though I went my entire education. I felt that in public school beyond my 2nd grade teacher I got lost in the system, never found true passion and failed miserably in foreign language and math ironically two subjects that I find in my daily life that are needed.