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Old 29 August 2013, 01:59 PM
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Default If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person

http://www.slate.com/articles/double...o_private.html

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.
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Old 29 August 2013, 02:08 PM
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It's rather unconvincing if you begin your argument with "I have no idea what I'm talking about but..." and then follow it up with unsubstantiated guesswork. Especially, I found no support for the premise: that people sending their children to private schools has any effect on the quality of public schools.
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Old 29 August 2013, 02:10 PM
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If anything, wouldn't it improve them? Those people are still paying property taxes; they just aren't requiring the city to educate their children. Ergo, there's more money for the people in public schools per child.
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Old 29 August 2013, 02:17 PM
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That's what I was thinking. Although I guess vouchers could change that.
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Old 29 August 2013, 02:23 PM
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The argument in the OP can be made for anything that involves private ownership or purchase of a service

If you drive , you are a bad person. You should be putting that energy into improving the public transportation system. And if you own a house, you are a bad person. You should be putting that energy into improving homeless shelters And if you have a garden, you are a bad person. You should be donating your time to the nearest farmer.
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  #6  
Old 29 August 2013, 02:32 PM
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It might make sense in some of those cases. For example, people who take public transportation also help pay for it. I don't see how that works for most public school systems.
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  #7  
Old 29 August 2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
That's what I was thinking. Although I guess vouchers could change that.
I have yet to see a voucher program that paid as much per child for the vouchers as is spent per child in the public school system. So even vouchers leave more per child in the public school system.

But then, spending is not the prime determinant of quality of education.
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  #8  
Old 29 August 2013, 02:38 PM
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Are we sure this was not satire? Some of it had shades of Swift. Though some of the writing makes me believe her that she did not get such a great education. Remember in tenth grade when they taught how to write a persuasive essay? Yeah, they did not have that at her school.


Then again, I don't have any liberal guilt, so there's that.
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  #9  
Old 29 August 2013, 02:47 PM
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It seems obvious the writer is intentionally exaggerating the moral high ground of the position for a laugh but still seems to believe that it is the high ground.
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  #10  
Old 29 August 2013, 02:49 PM
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I think I agree with his overall premise (that if all kids went to public schools that our public schools would be better), but I would really like to see some facts. There are several things that he didn't consider that could have major consequences.

What would that do to our economy in a global market? I doubt other countries would just say, "The US will be back on track in about 50 years, let's wait on them to catch up."

If two generations have a crappy education, how would the third get a better education? The pool of teachers for this magical third generation will have had a sub-par education (from his assumption), so how is there education going to be any better?

He did make a very good point, 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.
This was a major problem when I was in school. The parents, in the area where I grew up, sent their kids to private school so that their kids weren't exposed to many black kids. (Until two years ago, there was actually an all white public school in the area that black people were strongly discouraged from sending their kids to and white people gamed the system to get their kids into.) As we got older, it was pretty obvious who those kids were. These were the people who didn't know how to function in an environment where there weren't only conservative white Christians.
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Old 29 August 2013, 02:50 PM
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Yeah, I think so ganzfield. My question of her sincerity was itself at least partly joking.
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  #12  
Old 29 August 2013, 02:55 PM
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Slate used to have pretty good articles, but now a lot of them are just things with provocative titles like this, to get clicked on, but nothing much in them. Yes, I agree that kids interacting with a wide range of other kids is a benefit to them. I disagree that my kid going to a school where the teachers are overwhelmed by the number of students, and not doing well, will benefit anyone. The teacher has another kid, the district gets no additional money, and my kid is now one of 28ish kids in the class instead of about 12.
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  #13  
Old 29 August 2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I have yet to see a voucher program that paid as much per child for the vouchers as is spent per child in the public school system. So even vouchers leave more per child in the public school system.
Possibly. Don't forget that spending per student is an average of mainstream* and special education students. This study (pdf) says that education expenditures for special education students was almost twice that of mainstream students ($6.6K vs $12.6K). According to the NCES, 13% of students have one or more disabilities that they receive services for**. Putting those both together would indicate average expenditures of $7.3K per student.

If a voucher is for $7K, then it is less than the average cost per student. But as most voucher-accepting schools are allowed to selectively enroll students, they can legally (AFAIK) refuse special education students. So while the public school system appears to gain $300, they actually lose $400 because the voucher students individual cost was below the average cost. ETA: Even if the voucher is below the cost for the mainstream student, the school still loses money per student as the percentage of special education students increases. For example, if just 1% of mainstream students voucher out and the budget per student remains the same, the amount of money to spend per mainstream student falls by $50 ($100 per special education student).

* I'm hoping that's the right term.
** It doesn't say these are special education students. But I'm assuming so as it talks about students and is on a education statistics site.

Last edited by GenYus234; 29 August 2013 at 03:20 PM.
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  #14  
Old 29 August 2013, 03:13 PM
St. Alia St. Alia is offline
 
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Just information that might help clarify a few things-
Districts get money based on students enrolled in the district. They do not receive money for students who enroll in private schools, so there isn't "extra" when a kid goes to a private school.

If all private school kids started going to public schools, schools would need taxes raised/levies passed to fund the greater population.

It might be different in other states, but I would be surprised.

**Public schools sometimes do pay for some things for private schools though. Our district covers transportation costs for all of the private and charter schools in the community. We will be doing away with that next year if our levy doesn't pass this fall.
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Old 29 August 2013, 03:47 PM
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You have it right St Alia, school funding money comes from head counts. If a kid is not enrolled the school is not getting money for them, regardless of where the kid is enrolled.

I would never go so far as the OP does. But, I believe that my kids, the schools and the other students benefited from keeping my kids in the inner city school system they attended. I would do it again, if I had it to do over again.

That said, I had friends who moved their kids to other school districts and I never faulted them for that, we all have to do what we think is right.

I do have an issue with politicians who refuse to send their kids to local schools, bad mouth the state of these schools and then do absolutely nothing to help with the problems. Even then, I can understand it, but I don't want to hear the same politician talking about how they are pro-education.
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  #16  
Old 29 August 2013, 03:51 PM
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You're facts ruined all the fine math that I learned in public school. I hope your happy now.

ETA: Actually, its not ruined. The school district could theoretically increase the per-student funding to the public schools by adding the "left" money from the difference between the voucher and the prior per-student funding. Even if this did occur (unlikely given how much budget pressure school districts usually have) the math above would show how the money would still end up being decreased due the shifting percentages between mainstream and special education students.

Last edited by GenYus234; 29 August 2013 at 03:59 PM.
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  #17  
Old 29 August 2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mela681 View Post
This was a major problem when I was in school. The parents, in the area where I grew up, sent their kids to private school so that their kids weren't exposed to many black kids. (Until two years ago, there was actually an all white public school in the area that black people were strongly discouraged from sending their kids to and white people gamed the system to get their kids into.) As we got older, it was pretty obvious who those kids were. These were the people who didn't know how to function in an environment where there weren't only conservative white Christians.
I don't doubt what you're saying at all; but my first high school was very diverse as the author describes, and that did not help at all vis a vis what a lousy school it was due to poor funding, a lousy attitude on the part of many of the teachers, and a general sense of negativity that pervaded the whole place.

Now, you might be tempted to say all high schools are like that...but my second one wasn't. It was a lot less diverse, and I recognize that is not a good thing. But it was better funded, so it had better teachers and, perhaps by extension, a lot more kids who had good attitudes about learning.

The lesson I (eventually) took from this is that diversity, while definitely a plus, is no silver bullet.
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Old 29 August 2013, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
You have it right St Alia, school funding money comes from head counts. If a kid is not enrolled the school is not getting money for them, regardless of where the kid is enrolled.
Locally at least, 53% of the school's budget comes from the local school taxes, which doesn't care how many kids are enrolled. I pay the same amount if there 1,500 kids enrolled or 1,502. The rest of the budget comes from the state, the feds, and local fees and taxes, which does depend on the number of kids enrolled. For me, at least, sending my kids to a private school would generally mean more cash per capita for the schools.
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  #19  
Old 29 August 2013, 04:16 PM
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It equaled 53% for the 2012-2013 year. But that document doesn't say that it is that exact amount each year. In fact, it says:
Quote:
The budgeting cycle starts each August with the Board adopting a budget calendar and setting a per pupil expenditure for the buildings. All budget requests originate at the building or department level by each principal or administrator and are reviewed by administrators responsible for specific areas of the budget.
Building seems to be used as an organization group, not necessarily a physical structure.
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Old 29 August 2013, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblin' Dave View Post
Now, you might be tempted to say all high schools are like that...but my second one wasn't. It was a lot less diverse, and I recognize that is not a good thing. But it was better funded, so it had better teachers and, perhaps by extension, a lot more kids who had good attitudes about learning.

The lesson I (eventually) took from this is that diversity, while definitely a plus, is no silver bullet.
That has actually been the experience that I have had with my children, too. They were going to a more diverse, but lower funded, school two years ago. Now we are in a school district that is overwhelmingly white, but much better funded. The difference in the high schools is amazing. The high school here has about 2 1/2 times as many students as the one where we did live, so I'm not really sure if the comparison is fair, but the one here is amazingly better. I'm pretty sure that it has to do with the difference in funding, though. I don't have time to look up the actual numbers, so I'm not positive, though.

My point wasn't that diversity was a guaranty to a good education, but that a total absence of it wasn't beneficial to the students being "protected."
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