How 2 Pick 1 School

The Blair family are an upper middle class (or maybe just upper? not sure — they’re doing ok) white family with six kids. The dad, Ben, runs a company that makes homeschooling software or something, the mom, Gabrielle, is this super design blog world entrepreneur (she also writes a blog about their life). The family spent the past few years living in France and they just moved to Oakland and decided to send their two oldest kids to the local public high school. You know, the one they were assigned to. The one that is 30% black, 30% Hispanic, 30% Asian, and 10% white. The one that the other families in their neighborhood vowed never to send their kids to. The school is scored a 2 out of 10 on GreatSchools, a site that scores schools based on a variety of criteria but probably mostly test scores, and neighbors warned them away from it, but the school year is a few weeks in and the family is happy with the choice.

I was so surprised as I read the post — after she looked up the school, I though she would surely flex her mama muscles and get her kids into a charter school or a private school — that’s the normal narrative about upper-middle class white families assigned to underperforming schools. But instead she writes: “There’s a list on the school website of the universities where graduates of the class of 2013 were accepted. Pretty much every top university is on the list. (Yes, even Harvard.) This tells me no doors close for my kids by attending this school. And details like the dancing at the lunch? [She wrote earlier that the kids reported that during lunch, music is blasted and kids dance on the tables] They tell me that attending this school will be every bit as mind-opening as living in France was.”

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