How to recognize a good school.
Last week the kids started school, the first full year in New York. They had gone to school for ~6 weeks at the end of last year, which gave them some familiarity and contacts. But they were quite nervous because they still missed their friends and Mass was the only home they had ever known.
My wife had worked in the middle school for about a year and a half before we moved, and knew that it was an absolute mess, and we were glad not to be sending our older son there. When she talked to a friend the other day, my wife was told that someone else they both knew had looked into the middle school and that with the change in administration everything was great. But my wife got the last laugh in here ...
Because on the first day of school she got a call on her cell phone wondering why our older son wasn't in school. Of course he was, and she had walked with him to school that morning. The other person insisted, but then something dawned on my wife and she asked 'what school are you calling from'?
It turns out that it was from Massachusetts and for some reason he was on their list after 5 months of us being out of state. They claimed it was the elementary school's fault for not processing the records, but mysteriously we had no problem with our younger son, and we had records from them about our older son clearly showing his transfer to New York.
So it ends up that things really are still every bit as crappy at that school ... and we continue to be thankful for getting out of a school system (and state) that was excellent 15 years ago but in a severe state of decline.