Monday, November 15, 2010

Life in "Progress" City - Cincinnati edition

If you look at the photo to the right, you might guess that it's a shot of a homeless encampment.

It's not. This is an encampment of families waiting in line in the hopes of enrolling their kids into one of the better Cincinnati magnet schools..........

Rodrigo Coronel had originally planned to set up his tent Saturday at the Fairview Clifton German Language School.

The West End man figured he would be there in plenty of time to snag his son a spot on the enrollment list for the school’s pre-kindergarten program. After all, the school won’t take applications until 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

He figured wrong.

“I went to work (Friday) and a co-worker said ‘aren’t you supposed to be at school? I heard there was about 70 people already!’” he said.

So Coronel, who works in marketing at Procter & Gamble, canceled his day of meetings, hailed a cab and rushed over.

He managed to snag spot No. 67 in line – a low enough number to guarantee his child’s enrollment.
Waiting in line for days in the hopes of getting your kids into a decent school.

Now that's "progressive"!



Anonymous said...

There is an economics lesson here. When a quality product comes out in the private sector, like the iPhone for example, people will wait in line to get them. The producer will respond by increasing production until demand is satisfied. This benefits producer and consumer.

With magnet schools it is a case of the public sector creating a quality product (relatively speaking). Lines form. Difference is the public sector will not respond to the demand. How many decades have parents been camping out for this product?

Since parents are forgoing work hours or vacation to do this, they are, in effect, paying real money to go to these schools. It's called opportunity cost. The public school system has become defacto-private with magnets.

Bbeq said...

My sister is a teacher at a fundamental school in California. It used to be the same, with parents camping out 3 days to get a spot at the school. Someone thought this was unfair to those parents who couldn't take the time, so they changed it to a lottery system.

It's been a few years, but my sister says the quality of the students has decreased mainly because the parents aren't as involved. It is very difficult for her to get parent volunteers, or even have parents check homework. The difference is, with a lottery system, anyone can toss their name in the hat. When a parent had to take the time to get a spot, they were more likely to be involved and interested in their child's education, and therefore the student achieved more.