Test Drive

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Chad Horwedel

I spent a sunny Saturday afternoon test driving cars with a friend. He’s currently in the market and I just went along for the ride!

As he drove several cars his eyes were on the “big things.” Consumer report ratings, safety features, gas mileage, 2 wheel/4 wheel drive capabilities, car handling, and road noise, not to mention the knowledge and “welcomeness” of the sales person! I, on the other hand, looked at the amenities  such as USB ports, where would an iPod set, phone charging capabilities/ease, blue-tooth options, storage areas, comfort controls, etc… The whole experience reminded me of a child and their families school experiences.

In our material world, choice is all around us. How we spend our money is important to us. How many of us have read reviews of a product before purchasing? How many have tried out samples of products, test drove, and brought samples home to see if they match the decor of our homes? A lot of thought and effort goes in to purchasing the big-ticket items in our lives!

Yet, many times, the biggest ticket item – a child’s education is left to chance.  While some “shop around” for their child’s educational experiences, many do not have the luxury. For most,  the neighborhood or community a person chooses to live in aligns to the schools their children will attend.

How do our schools measure up? Would they be the place we’d choose if “test driving” was an option? What features would you look for? The big-ticket items are important, but so are the extra amenities. They all have a place in a child’s education.

Parents entrust the lives of their children to the schools they attend. ALL deserve ideal! ALL deserve the best of the line! ALL deserve quality, safety and high ratings! ALL deserve to feel welcomed and valued. And most of all they ALL deserve a bumper-to-bumper 13 year warranty, no matter the location or how many schools they attend along their educational journey, that their child is going to receive the BEST education experiences, year after year, teacher after teacher!

What would your ideal school be like? Would yours be the one you would choose after a test drive?

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”

~William A. Foster


  • Aviva (@grade1) 6 Mar

    What a great post! I’m interested in seeing how others respond. This is certainly a great question to pose educators and parents alike.

    I think for me, this school would include a great classroom and school community, lots of opportunities for collaboration and problem-solving, a variety of tools that ensure all children are successful (everything from lots of books and tons of manipulatives to iPads and computers), and a great teacher-parent partnership, with all stakeholders truly caring about the needs of the students, so that everyone can have the best education around!


    • Kathy Perret 6 Mar

      Thanks for the comments, Aviva! I always love your “take” on my blog posts! What a great school you describe! All the features you’ve mention would create a solid learning community for all.

      I, too, am anxious to hear from others!


  • Rich McGrath 6 Mar

    We have to make the “sale” and stand and deliver. Choice is usually for those with the resources. Good analogy. Glad I could help. Vrroooom! Rich

    • Kathy Perret 6 Mar

      Thanks for taking me along for the ride! Enjoyed seeing all the new choices out there! Everyday is a day to make our “sales pitch” and to “stand and deliver” in the education business. We can’t afford to let a day in a child’s education go by or the opportunities to connect with parents!

      Does the picture help in your decision making?


  • pharesr 6 Mar

    HI Kathy,
    I am just like you. As long as it has four wheels and takes me from point A to point B, I want to know what “tech toys” a new car can offer me. I am a sick women. I am waiting for the iCar, complete with built in iEverything with a guarantee that I would get the latest and greatest updates!

    Anyway, back to school things. It is really a shame that parents do not have the opportunity to shop around and compare schools for their children. What could be more important; however, is their one school that can offer the entire package?

    I believe Kathy, if you and I and a couple of our other twitter friends were to get together, we would have the PERFECT school.

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