From a story on people who moved out of New York City in order to send their children to superior public schools, but were dissappointed.
"Susan Drews, 49, who lives in Yorktown Heights, in Westchester, said that art in the first grade at her son’s public school, for instance, involved “half-baked projects” like gold-sprayed macaroni glued to paper plates. “People went through the motions, they could claim there was an art program, but I didn’t feel it was very rich,” she said."
Macaroni Pictures? In first grade? Criminal! He should be learning to mix his own egg tempera for frescoes, preferably with historically appropriate yet completely secular contextual references to the cloistered Italian monks who developed the technique. He's six years old, after all.
"Diane Morash, 42, said she switched her three teenage daughters to the Pingry School, in northern New Jersey, after the oldest, Katie, a straight-A student who was not into clothes or makeup, became excluded from social cliques at her public school. Mrs. Morash said that complaining to officials there did not help."
So she complained to the administration because her daughter didn't have any friends (or enough friends, or the right friends...) and they didn't do anything about it. Tragic. I wonder what her reaction would be if her daughter were confronted by an authority figure over her choice of friends.
This quote seems to be a more rational complaint:
'“He didn’t learn anything — I was a neurotic mess,” she said. “He was developing all sorts of bad habits. He thought school was playtime. He didn’t want to apply himself.”'
Until you realize that the student in question is a kindergartener. For a five year old, the best possible result is to think that school is playtime. I'd be terrified if he did want to apply himself. I wonder how this mother came to realize that her son was failing to work hard and press his little nose to the grindstone; did she interrogate him when he got home? Parse crayon drawings for meaning and progress?
Parents "complained about what they considered rigid curriculums, excessive standardized testing", which ought to be no surprise when they chose the school systems they did because it was a "relatively well-off district whose students consistently outscore their peers on state tests."