What’s the Benefit of School Choice?

does having school choice really give you freedom?

I remember the days when the only school choice was public or private, and the “neighborhood” school that we attended was really good.  Either that, or I was not old enough to understand.  But what I do remember is attending school, participating in extracurricular activities, having teachers that challenged you…and most importantly, I learned something.

I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not learned anything.  Even today I remember a few favorite teachers…not because they had easy classes…but because I received something of value.  A life lesson I will never forget. One of my favorite high school teachers just so happened to be Ginger Littleton – and by now we all know Mrs. Littleton, if by nothing more than her infamous purse.

That woman had great courage to do what she did.  She has the stuff that made for a good teacher. I am sure there are many more like her, but I fear those who aren’t heavily outweigh.

But I digress, and fast forward to my days post secondary – past the days I could care less about how the school system functioned, to the day I became a parent and education mattered again. Even more than before.

As a parent I believe I am faced with many more challenges, er school choice options than mine faced.  And you would think that entering my 8th year of ‘school choice’, I would have this notion conquered. But I don’t.  I am as confused today as I was 8 school years ago.  School choice sux (excuse my language).

Rather than the perceived freedom of school choice, I feel bound by making the ‘right’ decision.  Choosing the perfect neighborhood and the ‘best’ school option hoping my children are afforded every luxury in secondary education. You see, I don’t feel free.  I don’t feel like a parent who can give my children the world because I am stuck wading through school grades, standardized test scores, zones, magnet programs, websites, online reviews, school tours, friendly chats with other parents hoping to make the same ‘great’ choice for their child(ren).

Maybe I have this idea about school choice all wrong – but as I sit here at the beginning of this calendar year, planning to find a ‘great’ school for my children I can’t help but wonder…school choice, where’s the freedom in that?

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Family Kitchen Contest

I did it. I entered into a contest with a simple dish.  Participating was totally spontaneous….well almost.  I learned of the contest on Twitter after following a new group @kitchendishin. They posted a link to a contest, and I thought it was a neat idea, primarily because the kids often spend time with me in the kitchen.  They are great helpers.

Super EZ Cheezy Ziti

The most entertaining thing about our video is the fact that there was no rehearsal, no prompting of “lines”, I grabbed my new phone, called the kids into the kitchen, and began with our normally scheduled dinner plan. What was on the menu?  Baked Ziti, one of the kids favorite!

I’m not sure how many people entered, but we made it to the semi-finals.  In this stage of the contest, the winner is determined by public vote.  So, you guessed it…we need your vote!  Thanks!  and look forward to changes soon, incorporating more of the kids with me in the kitchen 🙂

Check out our video and cast your vote!  THANKS!!


Tonisha’s Pretzel-crusted Tilapia

What do you do when you are out of breadcrumbs and crackers, but you want crunchy pan-seared fish?  Well, you invent something.  Tonight, I used my creative skills and made pretzels the crumb for the tilapia. I didn’t quite know what to expect, but we ended up more than pleased!  Again, there is no formal recipe for this, but here goes…

1 pound tilapia fillets (about 2-3) ~ (on sale $4.99)

1/2 cup pretzels, crushed (about $2.o0)

1-2 tablespoons flour

heavy cream (about $1.20)

salt, pepper, paprika

canola oil

Rinse the fish and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Crush the pretzels in a plastic bag and add flour, then shake.  Pour the pretzel mixture on a plate and about 1/4 of heavy cream in a bowl.  Heat about 3-4 tablespoons oil in a pan.

Dip seasoned fish in cream, then lay on pretzel mixture.  Press pretzel mixture into fish on both sides.  Place in pan with hot oil.  Cook for 4 minutes, then carefully flip with spatula. Cook about 4 minutes longer, then remove from pan.  Serve immediately.

I prepared this meal tonight with steamed carrots & broccoli ($2.00) and Parmesan couscous ($2.20), in about 30 minutes, and it cost roughly $15.00

Pretzel-crusted Tilapia with Parmesan Couscous

Mom invented recycling

I truly believe a mother invented recycling. Sure someone with a nature loving attitude and clear compassion for the earth coined the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle”, but it all began with mom making you wear that shirt that your older sibling wore about 3-4 years back.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Image by bitzcelt via Flickr

Come to think of it…mom was saving those clothes way before she knew a second child was on the horizon. She planned for it, and wasn’t about to let her hard earned money go to waste. Whether it was clothes, shoes, or a plastic bottle, or even a leftover piece of chicken…mom saved that item for another time. She planned to use it again.

So what happened to mom’s zeal for re-using items??

Convenience perhaps. A curse of a modern and evolving society. Funny though…the more things change, the more things stay the same. I could take this story a number of places. But I will stay in one lane, and hopefully arrive on one destination. This is a blog about ‘marketing’ after all.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]When it comes to promoting a product or service, communicating a message, or looking for a topic to blog about, we have all become stuck in a rut trying to figure out what to say.  Well, if nothing has changed, why not simply talk about it differently?  That’s what happens on Twitter and Facebook…perhaps any and all of the social networks out there.  There are a number of versions of  soap; a number of ways to squirt, smooth, & lather soap – but the bottom line is to make sure we or it is clean.  We will always be an opinionated people, so why not tell your version and get your story out there.  Go back to what your mom taught you…”there’s nothing wrong with that shirt, you can wear it again”.