I guess I'm glad I graduated before all those statistics were everywhere. I'm pretty sure my high school had a laughable record by some standards, but I would not laugh to think of anyone graduating from there and doing well. Heck, my uncle graduated in an inner city reform school and ended up a successful doctor. Never say never.
Oh, good gravy! I'm not saying never (although I have lived in this town for almost my entire life, and we have never in those 40+ years had a graduate of the public schools attend an Ivy League). I am saying when the average to good school district has almost 1/3 in the lowest level of achievement and only 2% in the highest level, where do you think the focus is? It is NOT on helping those 2% achieve everything they possibly could. What about the school district next to me that has even worse stats - you better believe their focus isn't on those few kids who may "make it".
I applied to, was accepted, attended, and graduated from a state-wide public school for gifted students after my Freshman year in this same school my kids are now zoned for. This public school didn't even congratulate me; heck, they didn't even recognize me as the top student in my Freshman year. And then...I was considered "high-risk" in this new school because surprise! despite having been tracked for 4 years in the top-most options of classes, I was woefully behind other students in my new school. As a high risk student, I attended summer school, mandatory tutoring, mandatory study hours, and social and educational meetings throughout the next 3 years in order to stay in my new school.
I am a success story (although I am low income because I am homeschooling, not working for pay); success stories are out there, and I celebrate each and every one. HOWEVER, I believe they are getting rarer than ye olden days and we need to look at how we can even the playing field - not sit around and tell people, "Well, I did it, and at least you have a house/ a car/ public transportation/ clean water/ whatever." Yes, it may be a first world problem, but you know what, I live in the first world, so to me, it's still a problem.
And yes, I am happy in my life. I love my kids; I love my husband; all that jazz. That doesn't mean I don't want more for my kids. And I fully realize that they are getting a huge advantage over many people because they are bright, they have an intact household, they have very involved parents, grandparents, and uncles and aunts, etc. Still doesn't mean I don't want more for my kids.