What you're identifying is a common criticism of HSing, acs, and one that would bother me a lot if it were true in our case. I detest racism and classism. Period.

But since the school DS6 was attending is more white-bread-and-middle-class than our HSing group, I feel pretty okay about our choice.

But, frankly, even if this weren't the demographics at our school, I still think each parent must do what s/he feels to be the right thing for his/her own kids. I cannot stay at a school for the good of the school. I just can't. My priority MUST be my child. If the school is bad for my child, then he must not be in it, even if his absence looks like it's part of some wrong-headed "white flight" nonsense.

If our HSing screws up the schools, then the schools should do a better job of taking care of our child. Ultimately, the schools owe my child an education; OTOH, I do not owe the schools anything but my tax dollars, which they get even when my child is not attending, not even for the "extras" that we would dearly love for him to get at the school, but which he is not allowed to take.

This is one area in which I feel very defensive, I'm afraid. I know you excused us from the people you're talking about, but you'd be amazed how often I hear that we "owe" the school our son's high test scores or such nonsense. I owe the school nothing they're not already getting, whereas they owed my DS an education which he was never going to get there! The let-down party is us, not the schools.

I want strong public schools because I want a strong, educated, productive community. But I cannot sacrifice my son to that goal.


I just cut a bunch out of this post before I put it up because, like I said, I'm defensive about this one. Sorry.

Mostly what I'm trying to say (sans defensiveness!) is that it is very dangerous to believe that people owe something to a system. Systems are meant to work for people, not the other way around. When systems stop working for people--or are perceived as no longer working for people--people leave the system. The solution is to improve the system (or get better PR), not to blame the people who left it.