Public Education in the US… Gotta love it. Signed, a poor immigrant kid

So there are a number of us who lived through and thrived in the public education system in a small, redneck town in Oregon. In one generation, my family went from non-English speaking, immigrant, poor working class to solidly middle and, dare I say, upper middle class. How could that happen in a system that is reportedly so messed up? Was it because I entered elementary school in the 60’s and the 60’s were just better? Am I just a VERY scaled-down version of the Oprah success story and just another anecdotal outlier? At some level, it doesn’t matter to me, because the fact of the matter is that I learned to read and write well through the public school system. I learned to use my brain and though sometimes challenged and sometimes, not, I planned to be successful. I didn’t have the luxury of being bored with the whole situation and deciding to “opt out” because it wasn’t what I thought was most important to me…

I sometimes see newly immigrated families riding around with more kids in the car than is safe if applying today’s standards for automobile passenger safety. The kids are wearing hand-me-down clothes, smell like fried food, and have giant smiles on their faces. I see a reflection of myself in their eyes. I’m hoping those children and their parents will have access to what I was able to enjoy– a modicum of success in a country where it is still possible to start with nothing and end with more than you ever dreamed of. I still believe in the dream and I am ever hopeful.

About helvetius59

Lifelong learner, loyal friend, setting out to take over the world-- but only for the powers of good!
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