I am very frustrated that my daughter became sad and angry because I couldn't give her a big fundraiser check like the parents of her friends. The overemphasis on fundraising and using our kids as pawns to earn money for the school is very disturbing. Our kids should not be put in positions of earning prizes by who can get the most money. It is shocking that an educated community like ours at Tanglewood would allow this to continue. We need to put a stop to this destructive method of exploitation that has continued for too long at Tanglewood.
A sad truth that this school has no middle ground. Each child is labeled "winner or loser" depending on a single standardized test score. The focus on control and rigid scheduling has no opportunity for children to use their curiosity and imaginations for self discovery, which is the authentic way children learn. No opportunities for social and emotional connections of project based learning, since everything is teacher directed and the children work in isolation. The size and structure of this school is much too large, and causes children to be managed with rigid punitive methods and boring inflexible curriculum, rather than providing an environment of relaxed and inspirational learning that motivates children to love learning, and causes them to develop healthy self esteem. My overall perception of this school after two years is that it is more like a business than a school, where children survive by learning to cope with ongoing stress from fear of disappointing teachers and parents, rather than thriving and growing socially and emotionally. Adaptability, the best prediction of future success and learned via social and emotional development, is neglected in this school.
The curriculum maintains high standards but is dated, and there is WAY too much emphasis on testing. The social dynamics (particularly among the parents) are terrible. A group of insiders run the PTA, which emphasizes fundraising and excludes newcomers and minorities. In a city of great diversity, parents fight to maintain this school's exclusivity. Redistricting may be the only way to change things for the better.
TES claims that all our students are Gifted & Talented. However, research shows that students who are intellectually gifted need more emphasis on social and emotional needs since that is their area of deficit. TES is doing the opposite by providing dumbing down drill and kill performance based learning jn a rigid and oppressive environment which does not inspire students to love learning and to think for themselves. They are being taught NOT to think for independently. Instead of self directed project based learning which involves social interaction and emotional connections and relationship building, the students are being bullied by teachers into absolute compliance of what they want them to learn. My intellectually gifted son became so bored after two years that he developed ADHD in 3rd grade from being forced to sit still all day and bored to death. His behavior regressed and he lost interest in creative and imaginative activities as in the past. TES is producing Stepford like children - robots who have lost their spirit. The program at TES will prepare children for 3 things: 1. Workaholics w/ no relationships 2. Narcissists 3. Institution dependance Prison or Military
Our child is at at Tanglewood, and he struggles with various processing disorders which can lead to him having a hard time in a school setting. While we are getting him support outside of school, the school has been very involved in helping him succeed. The counselor, which the school DOES HAVE, along with the vice principal and his teacher were more than willing to set down before the year started so we could voice our experiences and concerns. The vice principal made sure he was placed with the most appropriate teacher and so far the year has been great! He has been challenged since day one, coming home with art projects, stories of the science and computer labs, games, songs, but importantly PRIDE in being a scholar. While the realities of being a public school in Texas influence the school, hence the focus on mastering the STAAR test and strict attendance policies, Tanglewood is striving to be the very best by providing the very best. And considering the cost of a comparable education at a private school, we are more than willing to do some fund-raising for our kids. No school is perfect but we have found Tanglewood to be welcoming and supportive even to a unique child.
The tellings of an excellent school are challenging, progressive curriculum, and tailoring instruction to the needs of the students listed as the top priority. Unfortunately, I found no trace of this in my experience with Tanglewood. There was way too much emphasis on fund raising and, contrary to what I have learned as an educator myself and am constantly being reminded by my principal, the teachers DO NOT individualize instruction based on students and how they learn best. A school's success can not be judged solely by the results of state testing. When a school's population consists completely of students who come from high socio-economic households with both parents, often highly educated, exemplary test results should be expected. It is NOT necessarily a testament to the quality of teachers at the school. I would love to see how well the teachers at Tanglewood would perform if they taught students that come from less than conventional households from the less desirable neighborhoods.
Tanglewood remains the best elementary school in Fort Worth, public or private. As with any group of several hundred students you will find a handful of parents who are just not satisfied. Maybe they would be happier elsewhere, but I suspect they would rather complain and are just good at finding fault and laying blame. For every negative review I'm sure there are 99 parents who LOVE this school, the teachers and the staff but have not taken the time to post a review. For the parent saying there is not a counselor, I guess her office is hard to find, since it is the FIRST DOOR when you walk into the main office and is clearly marked. Public school is a place to get an education, there is not enough money to have a team of counselors to handle severe mental health issues that should be handled by a private psychologist, social worker or minister. Also, if your child is doing 2 hours of homework a night you child probably needs a tutor, we have a 5th grader and he has never had more than an hour except when rare special projects are due.