For many urban, middle-class parents, sending kids to public school is a terrifying prospect. If you’re among that fretting class, Sandra Tsing Loh has a message: Chill out. In Mother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting, Loh recounts her own journey through the school conundrum, and realizes that public school isn’t evil after all—then analyzes her quest with Salon’s Amy Reiter.
Loh likens public schools to Costco—“hellacious lighting,” but dig in and you’ll find value. Most parents, she notes, haven’t even visited these places they fear. But by building a community, parents can improve their schools, save money and crack their isolation. Loh started a music and after-school program at her school. “For me it was sort of fun,” she says.