A recent slate article proposed that if you send your kid to private school you are a bad person.
The thesis for this claim is that if every single child to public school they would improve.
No studies or data are presented to back this up.
And she might be right – but convince us!
Will putting more people into a bad system help? Maybe. But why didn’t it help from the previous generation? Or the one before that? Were those parents lazy? Didn’t they use their influence and connections to improve the education system? Is it better?
An alternate approach is creative destruction. In a system where bad actors (second rate phone companies, restaurants that get everyone sick) are allowed to fail and good actors (first rate phone companies, barf-free restaurants) are enabled to thrive, over time, the bias tends towards more good actors.
That is the private school system. A public school can be reformed but, until folks move away it can also continue to operate “as is”. Indeed, private schools put pressure on public schools to get better by their higher performance. I emotionally get the “we all need to go to public schools to improve it”. Then I think of the clogged roads and how teleworking is opting out and improves
my circumstances and enables more of a scare resource (roads) to be more available to those who need it.
We can do better than sacrificing a child’s education in the hopes that doing so might improve the over all system. A better use of these energies is to educate the children who need it now and thereby raising the standard upon which all schools are evaluated.
March 3, 2017 at 9:50 am
Sex, Drugs, Bullying, Suicide and a less than average education – why would I do that?!?
We homeschooled and then sent our kids to a private school through Junior high. They are going to a small, public, charter high school. Is any education perfect? Of course not, but for us the private school provided an education that matched our world view and gave them a great foundation for dealing with high school. Keeping them in a smaller school minimizes, but does not eliminate the problems that public schools face.
Public schools need to get their house in order if they want to return to being a strong foundation in the community. First and foremost, character counts. Second, teach what is important instead of getting fixated on politics and orientations. And of course, finally, teaching excellence and rewarding such instead of worrying about how Johnny is going to feel because there is too much red on his paper.
March 3, 2017 at 10:15 am
ChrisCD – I appreciate your observations and sharing your experiences! For us too private school is more about a value systems match rather than an academic motivation. Thanks again for your great insights!