Threats to Our Public Schools (Part 1)

Part 1:

Choosing Private Versus Public Schooling for Our Children

Why is school privatization something we should be against? That was the question I had when I first saw privatization listed as a subject in my Social Justice K-12 course. How would it hurt anyone else if I chose to pay the fees to send my children to a private school? After researching on the internet, two possible answers to those questions have come to light.

First, a lot of people believe the public schools would be forced to improve if the “rich” kids had to attend them. Instead of being able to pay to send their children to a higher performing school, parents would have to send their kids to the public school. Many people think this would lead to more outcry for improvements in the teaching standards, equipment, and class sizes, among other things, in the public schools. The parents that would have been investing their time and money into the private school, would now be utilizing their many resources to improve the public school instead. The improvement in the public schools would then benefit the children that don’t have the socioeconomic status to pay for private schooling. When you look at children as a whole, this does seem like a more equitable and fair way.

Another problem with sending kids to private school has to do with segregation. In most public schools, there is a wide mix of different races, cultures, and socioeconomic classes. When the higher income, and often white, families move their children to private schools, those children are segregated into a group with less variety while the public schools retain less and less white students. The real world contains a wide assortment of people, and children that aren’t exposed to people that are different than them in school might be in for a surprise after graduation.

So, after this research, what do I personally think about private schools? That is a tough question for me because it seems to pit doing what might be best for my children against what is best for the community as a whole in the long run. My children might receive a better education at a private school, but by sending them there, I’m contributing to the decline in the public schools. As much as I want to make things equitable for all children, it is hard for me to choose the long-term improvement of the public school over the immediate benefits of private schooling my own children. What are some of your opinions on making this choice? Do you agree that stopping privatization would force the public school system to improve?



One thought on “Threats to Our Public Schools (Part 1)

  1. Part 2:

    School Choice

    I would like to start off with the main school choices we have to offer in the state of Oregon; public schools, private schools, and charter schools. When breaking these very different schools systems down, they all have their own good and bad qualities to them especially when they’re compared to one another. But besides their downfalls and positive aspects this offers a very important thing, school choice. Beyond the fact that almost everyone thinks they’re automatically stuck into the public school systems, if you really set your mind to finding other alternative, they may happen to be right there in front of you.

    When school choice is considered, why do we think one school is better than another? Looking into the school systems, they all receive the same amount of money, minus the private schools of course. Some schools may seem like they have more money than others but, there is actually something called equalized funding which helps ensure that the schools are getting the same amount from the state. But, I look at this issue from a small school perspective to where the large school districts dictate the funding because of their political control. For example, if the Portland or Beaverton school districts are hurting and need more money, that’s the only time when the other schools around get the help they need. We need to realize that there are a lot smaller schools in Oregon with 800 or less students than the larger schools. Would taking back local control help both small and large schools?

    Besides the money, what about the main concerns of parents that want to ensure that their child is getting the right kind of education. I truly believe that if the parents think their child is in the wrong school, then they should have the right to transfer them or at least be given the option to. Do people think that charter and private schools are taking away from our public schools? On this subject, I have to agree and disagree. I think the charter and public schools are there for relief of the struggling public schools. But it also takes away the money they’d be given if the kids went to the public school instead of the other alternatives. Privatization may take the control away from the community and take the rights away from the people, which don’t help the community comet together to fix the problems. Also, with the other options such as a charter school, how important do we all think certified teachers are? I think this is all personal opinion but that may change parent’s minds about switching their child into a charter school based on that one important fact.

    What does everyone else think about the alternatives, are they hurting or helping the public school systems for our youth?

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