by Jessica Mokhiber
The following is a letter to the editor that was submitted to but not published in the Albany Times Union.
I’m an Albany native, born and raised here, and proud Albany High School graduate. I went through the city school system from K-12. I had some great teachers, and some not great teachers, but my parents were determined to send my two sisters and me to schools that would prepare us for the real world. I’ll never forget them saying, though, that we got out by the skin of our teeth and they wouldn’t send another child to the city schools if they had a fourth. That was in the late '90s and early 2000s.
Things have gotten much worse since then. We're deeply disappointed about the school system and what it has become.
As an adult still living here, I question what I would do if I had children in the Albany City School District.
That question hit home for me recently when my dad called me from his office. He has a colleague, a father, whose daughter is preparing for the start of the school year. She is supposed to attend Hackett Middle School.
He does not want to send his daughter to a school that’s not only failing (and has been for years) but is also dangerous. Can you blame him? I can’t. He is desperate to find out if there’s any room for his daughter in any of the local charter middle schools. If there isn’t, he doesn’t know what he will do.
Two charter middle schools closed earlier this year in Albany, and we can debate whether or not that was the right call – but the fact remains that as another school year starts, there are fewer quality schools for families than there were last year, and it’s their kids who are paying the price.
2015-09-06 23:26:02 -0400commentedJessica,
Your dad’s colleague is in the same pickle as everybody else. His options are 1/ bite the bullet 2/move or 3/private school. All three options are awful in different ways. 1/ involves compromising a kid’s safety and their academic options. 2/ Move? Costly, expensive and Albany would lose another stable family which further ghetto-izes everybody else. 3/ Private school – high economic cost, questionable academically, socially isolating to his kid. There is no way out in time for September or any September soon. The only way out is to make public schools work better, and the collective public roar isn’t loud enough yet.
2015-09-03 17:50:32 -0400commentedMy co-worker would probably attest to the comments, but it won’t change the fact that the TU is a lousy paper, in my opinion. Glad I stopped my subscription a while back