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Suburban Mom Wants To Sue

    Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999
    To: Illinois Loop newslist
    Subject: Parent needs help and advice

    This posting was written by an angry parent who has pulled out her three children from the public schools and now watches them struggle trying to catch up in a private Lutheran School. This year her straight "A" middle school daughter in our local school district transferred to the private school and has met the reality of tests, heavier reading demands, and expectations to write without errors. This mom's -and dad's- struggle began four years ago when these parents realized that they were taking their children to tutoring classes after school because the school district had adopted the U of Chicago Everyday Math Program. Their children were not learning basic computational skills. Eventually they realized how much the years of Whole Language instruction had also impacted their children's reading and writing. I have watched this mom who was once the most eager "volunteer" mother at her children's school start out three years ago by first:
    1. meeting with her children's teachers,
    2. meeting with the school administration
    3. seeking out research support and attempting to share data with the school district
    4. attending endless board meetings, often speaking up using research data as support
    5. writing letters to the local newspapers
    6. meeting with local reporters and talking about her children's work (or rather, lack of it)
    7. running for the school board with her husband..and almost winning after a nasty campaign

    Throughout the process, she has remained level headed and professional in her attempt to rationally convince the school district about how deleterious the "teaching naturally" fads were for children in the district. At each step as she tried to have some impact on the school district, she was discounted and spurned. Mary

    >Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 00:49:36 EDT
    >I have reached my breaking point on what my children 
    >have not been taught in this stinking school district (CUSD 303). I am 
    >wondering what you think of this idea.....I want to sue the district for not 
    >teaching my two children to read and to do math.  For all the anguish that it 
    >has caused them and our family... For all the stress that [my son] still is 
    >dealing with not being able to comprehend things that he reads. 
    >I really wanted to go start smacking people, of course you know that would get me 
    >arrested for assault and that is a felony and then maybe I would have to 
    >share a jail cell with the psycho woman from Wasco.
    >Then I thought that suing them would keep me out of jail and perhaps help produce 
    >more change?? How would I begin? You are the 411 in our book when it comes to 
    >school district questions! I just can't believe what my children don't know 
    >that the other kids in their class do and that they are still struggling, 
    >[my son] the 5th grader more than [my daughter] the 7th grader. Well, anyway, ...
    >... when you get a chance and I know you are busy, so 
    >I don't need it right now, next week or something would be great. Just let me 
    >know your thoughts on my new idea to have closure with this damn district.
    >Thanks again,

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