23 votes

Political Confessional: I Think Private Schools Should Be Banned

16 comments

  1. [6]
    moonbathers
    Link
    I agree with the interviewee and would go a step farther and outright ban private schools of any kind. They further the divide between haves and have-nots and in some cases don't give kids a...

    I agree with the interviewee and would go a step farther and outright ban private schools of any kind. They further the divide between haves and have-nots and in some cases don't give kids a proper education (as C mentioned about religious schools). The better-off among us would often rather separate themselves but society as a whole would be more successful and better-educated if they put their resources toward making a better experience for everyone rather than just themselves.

    It's kind of outside the scope of the article, but on a similar note education would be more equal if funding was decoupled from property taxes and split more evenly. The same student can have a vastly different education and life outcomes depending on where they were born and that feels wrong to me.

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I often find myself wondering how many of my views are informed by the inclination to preserve the status quo, and I think you have got me with your view on banning private schools. On the other...

      I often find myself wondering how many of my views are informed by the inclination to preserve the status quo, and I think you have got me with your view on banning private schools.

      On the other hand, there are still plenty of reasons why it makes sense to keep private schools around. There are other types of schooling outside the model that public schools use which may be superior, and we will have no way to explore them within the existing US public education structure. Most public schools are 'one size fits all', but it doesn't actually help every child as well as it should.

      Personally speaking, I think public education would be much better if we spent the extra money on public boarding schools, where students can be taken away from bad situations and be put in an environment where their peers are their equals and money cannot buy advantages. It would do more than teach them math and reading, it would teach them how to take care of themselves in a social environment.

      5 votes
      1. Autoxidation
        Link Parent
        There are special public schools out there, like this one, with high requirements for entrance and extremely demanding coursework. I don't see why this model couldn't be more prolific for both...

        On the other hand, there are still plenty of reasons why it makes sense to keep private schools around. There are other types of schooling outside the model that public schools use which may be superior, and we will have no way to explore them within the existing US public education structure. Most public schools are 'one size fits all', but it doesn't actually help every child as well as it should.

        There are special public schools out there, like this one, with high requirements for entrance and extremely demanding coursework. I don't see why this model couldn't be more prolific for both gifted students and students with special needs.

        5 votes
      2. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        I agree that we need to be flexible with education. I don't know how to do that within the public school system / structure, but surely it would be better than letting rich people do their own...

        There are other types of schooling outside the model that public schools use which may be superior, and we will have no way to explore them within the existing US public education structure. Most public schools are 'one size fits all', but it doesn't actually help every child as well as it should.

        I agree that we need to be flexible with education. I don't know how to do that within the public school system / structure, but surely it would be better than letting rich people do their own thing separate from the rest of us.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      freestylesno
      Link Parent
      If we everyone is going to be in the same schools we need to also realize some people might just be smarter and some might learn differently. In my opinion no child left behind brought everyone to...

      If we everyone is going to be in the same schools we need to also realize some people might just be smarter and some might learn differently. In my opinion no child left behind brought everyone to the average it held back people that could have excelled and forced people to learn in a classroom in ways they don't learn well in.

      Banning private schools locks everyone into one system cutting down on options. I agree that private schools in some sense take away from public schools but it also gives options. We need different kinds of classrooms for some and pubic schools might not be the best option.

      4 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        I want public schools to be able to be flexible. I think the issue of how to educate people who learn differently or those who are gifted is a separate issue from private schools. Rather than...

        I want public schools to be able to be flexible. I think the issue of how to educate people who learn differently or those who are gifted is a separate issue from private schools. Rather than throwing our hands up and giving up on the public school system, I would like if everyone put their resources into making it better instead of starting their own exclusive club. It doesn't have to be as rigid as it is now.

        4 votes
  2. [3]
    eladnarra
    Link
    It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it would fix the problem alone. One of the main issues with public school funding is that it's based on property taxes, and thus schools in wealthier...

    It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it would fix the problem alone. One of the main issues with public school funding is that it's based on property taxes, and thus schools in wealthier neighborhoods get more funding. (Report finds $23 billion racial funding gap for schools) Even if private schools were abolished completely, there would still be disparities in school quality/funding, and the rich kids currently in private schools would just end up in super well-funded public schools, still segregated from kids in lower-income families.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Bingo. Inequality is baked into our educational system at a foundational level. Anything that fails to address this is really just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I spent the first...

      Bingo. Inequality is baked into our educational system at a foundational level. Anything that fails to address this is really just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      I spent the first decade of my career in low-income schools before selling out to the suburbs. The difference is striking and disheartening. The kids and teachers with the greatest needs have the fewest resources. It's a broken, backwards system.

      At my current school I have every supply I could ever want, and if I want a particular curricular resource, all I have to do is ask. At my previous school, I was buying my own dry-erase markers.

      11 votes
      1. eladnarra
        Link Parent
        I think I always knew that my parents chose our house partially due to the school district, but it wasn't until I was older that I realized that some elementary schools didn't have a music room...

        I think I always knew that my parents chose our house partially due to the school district, but it wasn't until I was older that I realized that some elementary schools didn't have a music room filled with percussion instruments, a new library building, and a freaking pottery kiln. I want those enriching experiences for every kid. It's ridiculous that there are schools like that at the same time that teachers have to pay for basic supplies elsewhere, just because of their location.

        1 vote
  3. Diet_Coke
    Link
    Agreed. Home schooling as well. Best case scenario, they reinforce existing inequalities. Worst case scenario, it's essentially child abuse that denies people a meaningful education and keeps them...

    Agreed. Home schooling as well. Best case scenario, they reinforce existing inequalities. Worst case scenario, it's essentially child abuse that denies people a meaningful education and keeps them locked into backwards religious cults.

    5 votes
  4. [2]
    Thunder-ten-tronckh
    Link
    Hmmm... Is it not valuable to have systems of education outside of state-run institutions? It's competition after all, and their varying ideologies can reveal better (and sometimes worse)...

    Hmmm... Is it not valuable to have systems of education outside of state-run institutions? It's competition after all, and their varying ideologies can reveal better (and sometimes worse) education methods. And is it such a bad thing to offer a higher quality of education to those who can afford tuition in towns where public education is lacking?

    The author says

    The only way to make public schools good is to have children go there of all socioeconomic classes.

    Can't this be achieved by investing more into public school systems, reforming curriculum, and raising teacher wages? Whether you ban private schools or not, these issues would have to be addressed.

    3 votes
    1. Micycle_the_Bichael
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yes, they can. But where does the money for these improvements come from? Rich people aren't going to fund public schools that their kids don't go to. They'll just send their kid to private...

      Can't this be achieved by investing more into public school systems, reforming curriculum, and raising teacher wages?

      Yes, they can. But where does the money for these improvements come from? Rich people aren't going to fund public schools that their kids don't go to. They'll just send their kid to private school. So then the burden falls on the government that has an entire wing of the government that wants to destroy the public education system, or on the families who don't make enough money to send their kids to private school: aka middle class and poor people. You're right. These issues need to be addressed, but as long as rich people have the option of private schools, they aren't going to invest. I promise.

      Source: Grandparents bought a farm in a random midwestern state, watched as it became one of the richest areas in the midwest with one of the best school districts in the nation. Sold house to my (lower middle class) parents. Then watched that ranking crash once the rich neighborhood started sending all their kids to private schools and we didn't pass a funding levy for 10 years and all our programs had to get cut.

      5 votes
  5. [3]
    ssgjrie
    Link
    This article and some of the comments here raise good points, but I don't think private schools should be banned. Public education should be improved though. I went to a public school, but in some...

    This article and some of the comments here raise good points, but I don't think private schools should be banned. Public education should be improved though.

    I went to a public school, but in some places it's so bad that if I had kids (and could afford) I would try to give them a better education. Ideally public education would be good everywhere, but it isn't. It's not fair to force everyone to have a bad education.

    Then there's the problem of how the system works. One thing is to have the US model and another completely different is to have a system they have in Finland. If everyone is forced to fit into a system that isn't the best for them, they will not thrive.

    2 votes
    1. eladnarra
      Link Parent
      It's easy for me to say, because I had a good public school experience, but it's not fair to force anyone to have a bad education. Part of the problem at the moment is that people who can afford...

      I went to a public school, but in some places it's so bad that if I had kids (and could afford) I would try to give them a better education. Ideally public education would be good everywhere, but it isn't. It's not fair to force everyone to have a bad education.

      It's easy for me to say, because I had a good public school experience, but it's not fair to force anyone to have a bad education. Part of the problem at the moment is that people who can afford it will opt out of the system, and thus the system never gets any better. So we're already forcing kids into poor schools — just the ones from lower-income families. At least if everyone was going to them, there'd be more impetus to change them.

      1 vote
    2. Keegan
      Link Parent
      I agree with you here. Getting rid of all private schools raises more issue, like what to do with special ed schools, specialty schools, religious institutions, etc. The article skirts around this...

      I agree with you here.

      Getting rid of all private schools raises more issue, like what to do with special ed schools, specialty schools, religious institutions, etc.

      The article skirts around this by falling back to "the kids won't get sex ed". Instead of getting rid of the school, just make sex ed a requirement to receive tax exemption or federal funding as a school.

  6. Keegan
    Link
    Wouldn't students who live in a higher income area be more prone to getting into a more productive career (more useful, like STEM)? I believe that all kids deserve an equal opportunity, but that...

    Wouldn't students who live in a higher income area be more prone to getting into a more productive career (more useful, like STEM)?

    I believe that all kids deserve an equal opportunity, but that thought has always been in my head, and I suppose it is a stereotype. If anybody has any studies about this I would appreciate it.