Later this week, the San Francisco Unified School District will notify expectant parents of the kindergarten to which our darling children have been assigned. Since San Francisco now has more dogs than children, this looming moment of truth is irrelevant to most people. The pre-k parent minority is beside ourselves with anticipation, while the blissfully-childless or already-matriculated frolic their days away.
If you don't know, the pending letters are not the end of the journey. They're only round one assignments, which are generated by a mainframe in a portable bungalow in an undisclosed location. They're allegedly based on the preferences expressed by the parents, but legend holds that schools are assigned by magic 8-ball.
School placements are like Super Mario Brothers, but in this game, you advance to the next level using white privilege. If your offspring tragically land in a scorched hellscape school instead of a cornucopia of learning, don't worry. You can keep acting the nuisance from March all the way into the school year to try to switch. Irritating bureaucrats until you are given a better option is a central feature of white privilege, and your child should appreciate its importance before they set foot in kindergarten.
To help other parents sharing my predicament, here's my list of Top 10 Ways for Parents to Cope with Waiting for Public Kindergarten Assignments:
- Get blackout drunk with other parents. The cocktail of choice, which is obviously called the Pre-K, is a juice box and gin with an orange peel and crumbled granola bars.
- Get an early start on being a successful public school parent by mastering the art of blaming teachers for every real and imagined disappointment in your child's life.
- Investigate the price of private school tuition, which is larger than the average rent, which in turn is larger than the combined GDP of the island nations of Micronesia. Sob, repeat.
- Invent a mathematical formula based on historical enrollment and admission trends to determine the probability of various assignment scenarios. Extra credit for inventing a nicer word for "statistical mean," so that everyone can be a winner.
- Hit the heavy bag to practice punching out other bilingual, feminist, community-oriented, white dads for remaining spots at the most nurturing school.
- Talk to my dad, who will tell you that, statistically-speaking, the biggest determinant of educational attainment is the education level of the parents. So, a crap school may make my kids miserable, it is unlikely to diminish their long-term life chances. Statistically speaking...
- Drive by Alvarado or Miraloma and gaze longingly. Caution: may get marked by school staff as a predator.
- Make a list of pros and cons of good teachers in a school that looks like a gulag versus a bad teacher in a sparkling manse.
- Check out library books on homeschooling. Find that they're all checked out by other parents, except for Reading, Writing, & Revelation: Evangelical Homeschooling for Dummies.
- Wonder why we can't just have good schools? Oh, that would be socialism. Silly me.