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"If you send your kid to a private school, you are a bad person"

 
 
Reply Mon 2 Sep, 2013 03:19 pm
http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/private_school_vs_public_school_only_bad_people_send_their_kids_to_private.html#comments

http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/08/130828_DX_PrivateSchool.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpg

Quote:

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)

So, how would this work exactly? It’s simple! Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. Not just lip-service investment, or property tax investment, but real flesh-and-blood-offspring investment. Your local school stinks but you don’t send your child there? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better.

And parents have a lot of power. In many underresourced schools, it’s the aggressive PTAs that raise the money for enrichment programs and willful parents who get in the administration’s face when a teacher is falling down on the job. Everyone, all in. (By the way: Banning private schools isn’t the answer. We need a moral adjustment, not a legislative one.)

There are a lot of reasons why bad people send their kids to private school. Yes, some do it for prestige or out of loyalty to a long-standing family tradition or because they want their children to eventually work at Slate. But many others go private for religious reasons, or because their kids have behavioral or learning issues, or simply because the public school in their district is not so hot. None of these are compelling reasons. Or, rather, the compelling ones (behavioral or learning issues, wanting a not-subpar school for your child) are exactly why we should all opt in, not out.
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I believe in public education, but my district school really isn’t good! you might say. I understand. You want the best for your child, but your child doesn’t need it. If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school. She will have support at home (that’s you!) and all the advantages that go along with being a person whose family can pay for and cares about superior education—the exact kind of family that can help your crappy public school become less crappy. She may not learn as much or be as challenged, but take a deep breath and live with that. Oh, but she’s gifted? Well, then, she’ll really be fine.

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that I got a lame education. I’m saying that I survived it, and so will your child, who must endure having no AP calculus so that in 25 years there will be AP calculus for all.

By the way: My parents didn’t send me to this shoddy school because they believed in public ed. They sent me there because that’s where we lived, and they weren’t too worried about it. (Can you imagine?) Take two things from this on your quest to become a better person: 1) Your child will probably do just fine without “the best,” so don’t freak out too much, but 2) do freak out a little more than my parents did—enough to get involved.

Also remember that there’s more to education than what’s taught. As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were, going to school with poor kids and rich kids, black kids and brown kids, smart kids and not-so-smart ones, kids with superconservative Christian parents and other upper-middle-class Jews like me was its own education and life preparation. Reading Walt Whitman in ninth grade changed the way you see the world? Well, getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.

Many of my (morally bankrupt) colleagues send their children to private schools. I asked them to tell me why. Here is the response that most stuck with me: “In our upper-middle-class world, it is hard not to pay for something if you can and you think it will be good for your kid.” I get it: You want an exceptional arts program and computer animation and maybe even Mandarin. You want a cohesive educational philosophy. You want creativity, not teaching to the test. You want great outdoor space and small classrooms and personal attention. You know who else wants those things? Everyone.

Whatever you think your children need—deserve—from their school experience, assume that the parents at the nearby public housing complex want the same. No, don’t just assume it. Do something about it. Send your kids to school with their kids. Use the energy you have otherwise directed at fighting to get your daughter a slot at the competitive private school to fight for more computers at the public school. Use your connections to power and money and innovation to make your local school—the one you are now sending your child to—better. Don’t just acknowledge your liberal guilt—listen to it.



Ever wonder how the libtard mind works??
 
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Sep, 2013 06:06 pm
@gungasnake,
I think the article was intended to be tongue in cheek. There are a few things she s/he says that I agree with, though:

Quote:
Also remember that there’s more to education than what’s taught. As rotten as my school’s English, history, science, social studies, math, art, music, and language programs were, going to school with poor kids and rich kids, black kids and brown kids, smart kids and not-so-smart ones, kids with superconservative Christian parents and other upper-middle-class Jews like me was its own education and life preparation.


And

Quote:

Whatever you think your children need—deserve—from their school experience, assume that the parents at the nearby public housing complex want the same.


I think we could have great public schools without spending any more than we're doing right now. The problem is getting everyone to agree on what a "great" education consists of. Since we'll never do that, I have no problem with people buying the education they want.
gungasnake
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 2 Sep, 2013 08:56 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I think the article was intended to be tongue in cheek.


Close call but if I had to put money on it I'd bet the thing is straight up and that's how the lady thinks.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Sep, 2013 10:14 pm
@boomerang,
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/083013-669445-holder-sues-to-block-louisiana-school-choice.htm

Quote:
Pro-Choice: The Justice Department has asked a federal court to stop 34 school districts in Louisiana from handing out private-school vouchers so kids can escape failing public schools, just like the president's daughters.
He didn't say it on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech," but President Obama, along with Attorney General Eric Holder, also has a dream — one of leaving every black child in the Pelican State behind, trapped in schools that cannot educate them.
Almost simultaneously with the president's speech, Holder's Department of Justice filed suit in federal court to stop Louisiana's statewide voucher program.
Passed in 2012, the program guarantees a voucher to students from families with incomes below 250% of poverty and who attend schools graded "C" or below.
Liberals are all for choice when it comes to having children, but not when it comes to educating them. The irony of Obama's speech is that he pretended to honor a man who fought to have black children attend schools they were barred from as his administration fought to keep them in schools they can't escape from, a form of educational apartheid that's both separate and unequal.
White liberal hypocrite Matt Damon is typical of the elitists who don't practice what they preach.
Son of a public school teacher, the Hollywood actor has often sung the praises of public education, yet has chosen to send his four daughters to private schools that few of us non-movie stars can afford.
Chelsea Clinton benefited from attending D.C.'s most prestigious private school, pricey Sidwell Friends, where both of the Obamas' daughters, not to mention Vice President Biden's granddaughters, matriculated.
Can't have the working poor they pretend to care about have the same opportunity to exercise the same school choice with those gimmicky vouchers, can we?
DOJ's argument is that many of the schools affected remain under desegregation orders imposed 50 years ago and that, essentially, letting poor blacks leave these schools for better ones upsets the politically correct racial balance DOJ wants to achieve.
The DOJ complaint says that in several of the 22 districts involved "the voucher recipients were in the racial minority at the public school they attended before receiving the voucher."
So letting black kids leave makes these schools more white, which is bad, but getting a bad education while sitting next to a white child is apparently good.
According to the complaint filed in New Orleans federal court to block 2014-15 vouchers for students in public school systems under federal desegregation orders, the first year of private school vouchers "impeded the desegregation process."


Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/083013-669445-holder-sues-to-block-louisiana-school-choice.htm#ixzz2dne5s4wB
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 05:37 am
@gungasnake,
I don't think anyone can judge anything by looking at the schools in Louisiana. Their charter school situation has completely corrupted education.

Mr. B and I were talking last night and I floated the idea that all elected public officials should be required to send their kids to public schools. Then I went further saying that anyone who wants to set education policy should as well -- especially the unholy trinity of Gates, Walton, and Broad.

I suggested this really as just a point of debate but it turned out to be a pretty easy idea to defend.
gungasnake
 
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Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 06:39 am
@boomerang,
In 1957 public schools still worked in the sense of being able to teach fairly dumb kids to read, write, and have some facility with numbers...

But being in one of them was nobody's idea of fun. They were never intended to produce scholars or self-reliant people; our public school system was based on the Prussian system and intended to produce cannon fodder and bricks in the wall. Thre was no such thing as well-off people sending kids to public schools.

http://wisdomofhands.blogspot.com/2011/04/meaning-of-liberal-education.html

Quote:
In 1909, Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, delivered an address to the New York City High School Teachers Association. That address is best remembered from this quote, which I have repeated before in this blog.
Quote:
"We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forego the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks."


John Gato describes the problem and the problem with our continuing to use a 19'th century Prussian model for education:

http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm

Quote:

....Mass schooling of a compulsory nature really got its teeth into the United States between 1905 and 1915, though it was conceived of much earlier and pushed for throughout most of the nineteenth century. The reason given for this enormous upheaval of family life and cultural traditions was, roughly speaking, threefold:
1) To make good people.
2) To make good citizens.
3) To make each person his or her personal best.

These goals are still trotted out today on a regular basis, and most of us accept them in one form or another as a decent definition of public education's mission, however short schools actually fall in achieving them. But we are dead wrong. Compounding our error is the fact that the national literature holds numerous and surprisingly consistent statements of compulsory schooling's true purpose. We have, for example, the great H. L. Mencken, who wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not

Quote:
to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim.. . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States . . . and that is its aim everywhere else.


Because of Mencken's reputation as a satirist, we might be tempted to dismiss this passage as a bit of hyperbolic sarcasm. His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia. And although he was certainly aware of the irony that we had recently been at war with Germany, the heir to Prussian thought and culture, Mencken was being perfectly serious here. Our educational system really is Prussian in origin, and that really is cause for concern.

The odd fact of a Prussian provenance for our schools pops up again and again once you know to look for it. William James alluded to it many times at the turn of the century. Orestes Brownson, the hero of Christopher Lasch's 1991 book, The True and Only Heaven, was publicly denouncing the Prussianization of American schools back in the 1840s. Horace Mann's "Seventh Annual Report" to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here. That Prussian culture loomed large in America is hardly surprising, given our early association with that utopian state. A Prussian served as Washington's aide during the Revolutionary War, and so many German- speaking people had settled here by 1795 that Congress considered publishing a German-language edition of the federal laws. But what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens - all in order to render the populace "manageable."


Again the public schools worked to some minimal extent in 1957. It was theoretically possible that somebody like myself could manage to educate himself and halfway learn to think despite the best efforts of public schools... whether that's still possible is highly questionable.

My own preference at this juncture would be to eliminate public schools altogether and let the chips fall where they might. The sums of national treasure saved would be so enormous as to open up worlds of possibilities for actually educating young people.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 08:07 am
@gungasnake,
I like John Gatto. I've been working my through a 5 hour interview he did. Have you seen it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxCuc-2tfgk

He discusses a lot of what you've posted here.

I do, however, believe in public education. I think we've kind of lost our way in our attempts to "beat" other country's test scores. There are a lot of other educators that speak/write on this topic besides Gatto -- Yong Zhao, Ken Robinson, Alfie Kohn, and Diane Ravitch, to name a few.

I think we need to look at some of the things that make the private schools so attractive and incorporate those things into our public schools instead of pushing whatever the curriculum de jour is down kid's throats at earlier and earlier ages in hopes that we'll somehow build a better baby.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 08:45 am
While America tries to beat China, China decides to become Finland:

Quote:
24 June 2013 8,943 14 Comments

Last week the Chinese Ministry of Education launched another major reform effort to reduce the importance of testing in education. In a document sent to all provincial education authorities on June 19th, the Ministry of Education unveiled guidelines and a new framework for evaluating schools.

China has engaged in numerous systemic reforms over the last few decades, with the goal to minimize the impact of testing on teaching and learning. “However, due to internal and external factors, the tendency to evaluate education quality based simply on student test scores and school admissions rate has not been fundamentally changed,” says the document. “These problems [of evaluation] severely hamper student development as a whole person, stunt their healthy growth, and limit opportunities to cultivate social responsibilities, creative spirit, and practical abilities in students.” To solve these problems, the Ministry of Education realizes that more serious reforms are needed to change how schools are evaluated.

Dubbed “green evaluation,” the new evaluation framework attempt to end the use of test scores and success rates of sending students to higher-level schools as the only measure of education quality. Instead, it drastically broadens the scope of indicators. The framework includes five areas:

Moral Development indicated by Behaviors and Habits, Citizenship, Personality and Character, and Ambition and Beliefs.
Academic Development indicated by Knowledge and Skills, Discipline Thinking, Application Abilities, and Creativity.
Psychological and Physical Health indicated by Physical Fitness, Healthy Living Habits, Artistic and Aesthetic Taste, Emotional Health and Self-regulation, and Interpersonal Communication (social skills).
Development of Interest and Unique Talents indicated by Curiosity, Unique Talent and Skills, and Discovery and Development of Potentials.
Academic Burdens indicated by Amount of Study Time (e.g. class time, homework time, and time for sleep etc.), Quality of Instruction, Difficult Level of Classes, and Academic Pressure.

The overall idea is to reduce the importance of test scores and academic burden. It is quite interesting to see that schools are to be evaluated based on how much academic burden they put on students. By the way, it is just the opposite of what the U.S. and some other Western countries are trying to do—the more burden (long school days, too much homework time, etc.) the school puts on students, the worse the school will be judged. Student engagement, boredom, anxiety, and happiness will also be used as measures of education quality.


And

Quote:
22 August 2013 13,075 12 Comments

No standardized tests, no written homework, no tracking. These are some of the new actions China is taking to lessen student academic burden. The Chinese Ministry of Education released Ten Regulations to Lessen Academic Burden for Primary School Students this week for public commentary. The Ten Regulations are introduced as one more significant measure to reform China’s education, in addition to further reduction of academic content, lowering the academic rigor of textbooks, expanding criteria for education quality, and improving teacher capacity.

The regulations included in the published draft are:

Transparent admissions. Admission to a school cannot take into account any achievement certificates or examination results. Schools must admit all students based on their residency without considering any other factors.
Balanced Grouping. Schools must place students into classes and assign teachers randomly. Schools are strictly forbidden to use any excuse to establish “fast-track” and “slow-track” classes.
“Zero-starting point” Teaching. All teaching should assume all first graders students begin at zero proficiency. Schools should not artificially impose higher academic expectations and expedite the pace of teaching.
No Homework. No written homework is allowed in primary schools. Schools can however assign appropriate experiential homework by working with parents and community resources to arrange field trips, library visits, and craft activities.
Reducing Testing. No standardized testing is allowed for grades 1 through 3; For 4th grade and up, standardized testing is only allowed once per semester for Chinese language, math, and foreign language. Other types of tests cannot be given more than twice per semester.
Categorical Evaluation. Schools can only assess students using the categories of “Exceptional, Excellent, Adequate, and Inadequate,” replacing the traditional 100-point system.
Minimizing Supplemental Materials. Schools can use at most one type of materials to supplement the textbook, with parental consent. Schools and teachers are forbidden to recommend, suggest, or promote any supplemental materials to students.
Strictly Forbidding Extra Class. Schools and teachers cannot organize or offer extra instruction after regular schools hours, during winter and summer breaks and other holidays. Public schools and their teachers cannot organize or participate in extra instructional activities.
Minimum of One Hour of Physical Exercise. Schools are to guarantee the offering of physical education classes in accordance with the national curriculum, physical activities and eye exercise during recess.
Strengthening Enforcement. Education authorities at all levels of government shall conduct regular inspection and monitoring of actions to lessen student academic burden and publish findings. Individuals responsible for academic burden reduction are held accountable by the government.


Both from: http://zhaolearning.com/category/blog/
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 09:45 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
I like John Gatto. I've been working my through a 5 hour interview he did. Have you seen it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxCuc-2tfgk

He discusses a lot of what you've posted here.

I do, however, believe in public education.


Sounds like it hasn't really sunk in yet... You've sort of got me hooked on the 5-hr interview which I'd not seen before but I've read enough of Gatto's commentary to grasp the idea that our public ed system needs to go. You might want to keep the idea of public FUNDING for education but there clearly should be no public CONTROL over education beyond the village or small-group level.




gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 10:01 am
@boomerang,
Another famous quote concerning the Prussian (military) model arose supposedly in a conversation between Friedrich II and Voltaire in which the Prussian monarch noted that if any of his soldiers were to think about what they were doing for ten seconds, they'd all be gone. He noted that all of the drilling and what not was to prevent thinking.

Many if not most of the German names you see in Pa. and Ohio arose from Prussian soldiers who thought about it for ten seconds or more.

The West Point military history series makes a severe line of demarcation between the Napoleonic wars and previous European wars, Napoleon's wars being the first to involve what we'd call a nation state in which soldiers' loyalties were to a nation. All previous European wars were basically gang fights between royal houses like you see in Game of Thrones. The idea of wanting to line up in rows 40 meters apart and start blasting away with muskets for the benefit of the Hohenzollerns or Hapsburgs by rights should have been a very hard sell.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 12:42 pm
@gungasnake,
There are very few ideas that I buy into at 100%. Not even Gatto's.

Public funding of private education is exactly what (most) charter schools are. They're really nothing more than a business deal that make money for investors and shortchange students. Privitizing education is NOT the answer. That's one of the reasons Louisiana is such an educational mess right now.
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 02:27 pm
@boomerang,
There has to be a happy medium there somewhere. Worst possible case, you want the states to control education and not the federal govt., but my own choice would still be for the town or village to control it.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Sep, 2013 05:05 pm
@gungasnake,
I suppose if either of us knew the answer we'd be sitting in a committee meeting somewhere, suffering.

Personally, I'm a big fan of progressive schools that follow the ideas of John Dewey, schools like the Sudbury school, the Chicago Laboratory School, et al.

I love the idea of magnet schools, city schools that specialize in a specific curriculum and draw students from anywhere.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Tue 17 Sep, 2013 07:58 am
Major link:

http://hslda.org

0 Replies
 
 

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