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Education - Public vs PrivateFollow

#1 Feb 09 2012 at 9:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm trying to wrap my head around the education issue in my state. The current legislation by our governor would allow for kids to go to any school they want, ignoring district lines and religious teachings.

I'm not sure that this is a good or bad thing.

I can buy into the argument that, in general, kids can get a better education at a private school. What I'm not sure about is if kids across the state can receive equality in education if the state simply provides funding for kids to attend any school they want. It seems like it's going to make it just that much harder for kids in our economically depressed rural towns to get a fair shake in the education world - mostly because of transportation issues.

Anyways, over-all many states are moving more and more to tax-payer funded private education. Leaving public schools with less funding. I feel like we, as a country or perhaps just as a state need to decide one way or another if we want to simply provide money to each kid to get the education they want or continue on with the traditional route of public schools. It just seems like providing public schools but then also paying for kids to go elsewhere if they'd like is not terribly efficient - or smart.

What do they do in Canada?

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#2 Feb 09 2012 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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Anyways, over-all many states are moving more and more to tax-payer funded private education. Leaving public schools with less funding. I feel like we, as a country or perhaps just as a state need to decide one way or another if we want to simply provide money to each kid to get the education they want or continue on with the traditional route of public schools. It just seems like providing public schools but then also paying for kids to go elsewhere if they'd like is not terribly efficient - or smart.

My view of the issue is that it's still rapidly evolving. As local- and state-level school systems continue to experiment with different programs, we can continue to collect data that can then point to one method or another as being "better" or "more efficient."

The charge that I've heard most often leveled against the type of system that you describe is that, due to space limitations, not all kids will get into the school that they/their parents want. This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
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#3 Feb 09 2012 at 10:38 AM Rating: Excellent
There is a certain amount of funding that a private school gets, but it's not fully funded. I'm not sure about the details.

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Catchment areas for each school within the Division are established under the direction of the chief Superintendent. Students normally attend the school within the catchment area in which they live. Resident students may be permitted to attend any school of choice in the Division provided space is available. The Division is not responsible for transportation costs for students attending a school outside their catchment.
Separate catchment areas have also been established for specific language and alternative programs. The Division covers transportation costs for these programs.


They changed to this to allow people to choose schools with the idea that then they'd be more competitive. I think it's worked out pretty well over all, although I haven't really being paying close attention. This is all Winnipeg though.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 10:41am by Xsarus
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#4 Feb 09 2012 at 10:39 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
What do they do in Canada?
Varies by Province. I don't beleive we fund private schools through tax dollars here in Nova Scotia, but I'm only basing that on the fact that there aren't many private schools.
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#5 Feb 09 2012 at 1:00 PM Rating: Good
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In Canada, schooling is a provincial responsibility.

Here in B.C. we have 100% funded public schools, and three classes of private schools - private schools which get the same funding as public schools (looking at "appendix 2" where they are listed, they appear to all be First Nations schools), "Group 1" private schools which receive %50 of the per-pupil funding public schools get (generally non-exclusive religious schools) and "Group 2" (highly expensive/exclusive) schools that get 35% of the per-pupil funding given to public schools.

On a personal level I object to the group 2 schools getting a penny of public funds since they are really exclusionary, but it is really low on my list of things to be outraged about. The group 1 schools serve a lot of regular families that want their children to get religious/cultural instruction so I don't have the same issues with them. All schools receiving public funding need to apply provincial curriculum standards, so there are basic standards across the board.

My concern is that we've been been slowly withering our public school system (by not increasing funding to the rate of inflation and keeping up with other rising costs) so it is creating a situation where a lot of families are moving to the private system, which then lowers the amount of money going to public schools as a whole, exacerbating the problem.

I think your concerns about a system that fully funds private schools are quite valid. I think some state support of a private school system can be reasonable (and once you have it in place it is political poison to consider taking it away) and can help ensure that private schools meet curriculum standards, but it is really problematic to go down a path of hollowing out the public school system, and thus leave kids whose families can't afford to pay extra behind.



Edited, Feb 9th 2012 11:13am by Olorinus
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#6 Feb 09 2012 at 1:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:
This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
Slightly better than kids stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than the location of their homes.

Not much, though.
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#7 Feb 09 2012 at 1:19 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Demea wrote:
This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
Slightly better than kids stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than the location of their homes.

Not much, though.

The obvious answer is to just burn down all the below-average schools. Then we'd only have above-average schools left!
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#8 Feb 09 2012 at 1:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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What bothers me is that it feels like an excuse to not actively fix the glaring issues with the public school system in the US, particularly those relating to low-income districts, as well as the particular issues faced by families with low income (regardless of district).

There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

It's unacceptable to me that we are going to spend public funds on just giving a few children that, because we aren't willing to invest in all of our children. Especially when, as others have already noted, there are serious issues regarding transportation for lower class families that would exclude them from the system completely, depending on their area.

Plus, I absolutely agree with Olorinus' sentiments about exclusivity. For example, public funds shouldn't be spent sending children to school in which they are required to attend a prayer session and bible class every day. And paying 30k per year for one child to go to an upper class private school is absurd--that same amount of money could do so much more for so many more children in public schools.

The fact that a lottery would be used to determine the quality of a child's education just makes it worse.

Finally, I have issues with the fact that we are essentially shelving the problem of managing our public schools in favor of private schools, which we don't manage at all. They aren't subject to any controls--if they want to teach your kids that evolution is a bunch of crap and that white people never enslaved black people, they can. They are also allowed to tell a child that they are going to **** for being *****.

TL;DR: I don't like it, because it ignores the real problems and uses public funds to help the few rather than the many. It's essentially an acknowledgement that they have no intention of trying to actually address issues in public schools, but are appeasing the middle class by giving them a (literal) chance to get into a better school.
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#9 Feb 09 2012 at 1:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Demea wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
Demea wrote:
This leaves the kids that lose the lottery stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than random chance.
Slightly better than kids stuck in crappy schools based on nothing more than the location of their homes.

Not much, though.

The obvious answer is to just burn down all the below-average schools. Then we'd only have above-average schools left!
Time to invest in marshmallows.
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#10 Feb 09 2012 at 1:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:

Finally, I have issues with the fact that we are essentially shelving the problem of managing our public schools in favor of private schools, which we don't manage at all.


A political gold mine is what we have here. It's win/win. You make it someone else's fault if the schools don't perform. You can end the private contract and hire someone new (tell me that won't be a consistent campaign issue on the local level) if things are bad enough. If things improve you take credit and get re-elected. You don't actually have to deal with any of the problems, and you can take credit if things go well.

Anyway, I'm cynical today. Plus I'm paying extra money for a private pre-school at the moment. Seven kids in the class atm though, IIRC. Would have killed to have those class-sizes.
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#11 Feb 09 2012 at 2:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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My county has the usual assortment of public and private schools, with addition of three magnet schools (non-chartered). For the elementary school, enrollment was based purely on lottery, but for the health/science/engineering high school it was based on grades and an entrance exam, and for the fine arts school it was based on grades and an audition. (Truly talented kids could sometimes get in without meeting the grade requirements, but it was rare, and they still had to keep a C average or risk getting kicked out.)

That was one elementary, one middle, and two high schools, servicing a total of around 1500 students all together. The schools were so good and so popular that people often lied about where they lived so that their children could get access, putting down a relative's address or in some extreme cases renting an apartment within town. Why? Because there was no tuition at those schools, and they were better than the local private schools and worlds beyond the local public schools.

However, since they were still part of the public school system, we had the option to get a bus ride downtown where all three schools were located. My bus from the local high school to the school I actually attended was a short bus that had a total of three people on it most mornings.

So I think if they're going to pony up tuition assistance to the private schools, they can **** well put in some bus routes as well, at least within a given geographic area.
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#12 Feb 09 2012 at 2:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.
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#13 Feb 09 2012 at 2:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.


That's ridiculous. Everyone knows if a kid is dumb as moss it's the teacher's fault. Smiley: rolleyes
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#14 Feb 09 2012 at 2:35 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.
The problem I have with private schools is exactly this "daycare" mentality that they're treated with. Enough parents do this to make it a serious problem, leaving the availability of education unequal to possibly equally talented or able students. It widens the problem, rather than addressing the root problem that education sucks in this country.
#15 Feb 09 2012 at 3:37 PM Rating: Decent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
There's nothing intrinsic about a private school that makes it superior to a public one. They do better because they have increased funding per student, because they are open to superior curriculum structures (for instance, actually allowing for creativity and play in elementary school classrooms), and because their teachers are (generally) more highly educated in both their main fields and in education.

There's a fair degree of selection bias in there as well. Parents who care enough to research and apply at private schools (or select a new out-of-district public school and apply) are more apt to be involved that parents who don't care and treat the local school as daycare. There's been "open enrollment" studies done before which ultimately ended in a very high attrition rate back to local public schools because the out-of-area private schools weren't a magic bullet and the hassle of paperwork & transport didn't seem worth it.
The problem I have with private schools is exactly this "daycare" mentality that they're treated with. Enough parents do this to make it a serious problem, leaving the availability of education unequal to possibly equally talented or able students. It widens the problem, rather than addressing the root problem that education sucks in this country.


Except that after the attrition process Joph talked about, the parents who aren't as invested in their children will be back in the public school, while those parents who actually are invested in their child's education (not just saying they are), will be able to provide a better education for their children. Those who want day care will get it. Those who want more for their kids will get that.


The problem with public education is that it has become day care. And the costs and effort involved in taking care of all those kids doesn't leave much left over to actually educate those who are trying to get an education. At the end of the day, we can't just spend out way out of bad parents raising kids who are bad students. But we can at least not lump the good in with the bad based solely on geography.
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#16 Feb 09 2012 at 3:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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And how is "If your parents don't care, you're ************ a good way to run a society?
#17 Feb 09 2012 at 3:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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That's a completely white-washed, middle-class way of looking at it. My brother teaches in a charter school, and his students are at least 95% black. The majority of them are from poor inner-city households. Most of them don't have two parents, many of them are being raised by grandparents, and plenty have parents in prison.

The fact that they were enrolled in the charter school is amazing in itself--it shows they DO have people who care about their education. Thing is, that's pretty much as far as it goes.

It isn't because their parents/guardians don't care, it's that their parents/guardians are spending all their energy on just trying to keep some semblence of stability in these kids' lives. They don't have time to help them with their homework (which they couldn't even do, because I can't even use the newest ways of doing mathematics).

If you have two parents with a fair amount of free time and stability, yeah--you can talk about lack of parental involvement in education. When the parents are barely educated (at best) and more than likely barely keeping their whole lives together, it's a whole different story. Yeah, low income families will often find themselves approaching school like it's a day care. But it's not because they don't care. It's because they have no options.

And I don't know what you are envisioning schools to be like, but they aren't like day cares. We are talking about the daycare mentality that parents have, not actual similarities between the two.

The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.
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#18 Feb 09 2012 at 3:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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#19 Feb 09 2012 at 4:04 PM Rating: Decent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place. And the more relevant point is that if your parents don't care, the likelihood of any amount of money and effort by our education system to change your outcome is minimal at best, and in the process, we're denying the kids who aren't being screwed over by their bad parents a good education.

The government isn't making those kids be screwed. Their parents are. The question is to what degree it's the government's job, through public education funding, to try to undo bad parenting? And how much public money should be spent trying to do this?
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#20 Feb 09 2012 at 4:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place.


Well, that's sort of what laws do. Just sayin'.
#21 Feb 09 2012 at 4:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place. And the more relevant point is that if your parents don't care, the likelihood of any amount of money and effort by our education system to change your outcome is minimal at best, and in the process, we're denying the kids who aren't being screwed over by their bad parents a good education.

The government isn't making those kids be screwed. Their parents are. The question is to what degree it's the government's job, through public education funding, to try to undo bad parenting? And how much public money should be spent trying to do this?


Know what makes good parents? Good education.

If you are going to justify ******** over these kids because their parents can't provide for them (which is directly correlated to the way their parents were screwed, because of how THEIR parents were screwed, etc.), then you're a classist *******.

Then again, we already knew that.
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#22 Feb 09 2012 at 4:13 PM Rating: Excellent
Even with the best schools and teachers, if the parent is disengaged, the probability of the kid actually applying themselves is a lot lower.

That's not an argument to stop funding education though. I don't really have a good solution for people who aren't good parents.
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#23 Feb 09 2012 at 4:14 PM Rating: Default
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
That's a completely white-washed, middle-class way of looking at it. My brother teaches in a charter school, and his students are at least 95% black. The majority of them are from poor inner-city households. Most of them don't have two parents, many of them are being raised by grandparents, and plenty have parents in prison.

The fact that they were enrolled in the charter school is amazing in itself--it shows they DO have people who care about their education. Thing is, that's pretty much as far as it goes.


Yes. Because their parents care. Those who don't wont spend the effort to get their kid to a charter or private school. Of if they do, they give up on it after a short period of time because it turns out that it wasn't the school, but them (or their kid) that was the problem to begin with.

Quote:
It isn't because their parents/guardians don't care, it's that their parents/guardians are spending all their energy on just trying to keep some semblence of stability in these kids' lives. They don't have time to help them with their homework (which they couldn't even do, because I can't even use the newest ways of doing mathematics).


That's not what I'm talking about though. I agree with you. But you get that just because a kid is black and from a broken home, doesn't mean that kid is automatically a bad student. The whole point of providing tuition funding for private schools is to allow those kids who's biggest problem is the school they're in to go somewhere else. The fact that there are lots of other kids who's problem is their parents, or themselves and therefore no movement to another school will help them, aren't the issue here.

Quote:
And I don't know what you are envisioning schools to be like, but they aren't like day cares. We are talking about the daycare mentality that parents have, not actual similarities between the two.


And more often public schools are expected to fulfill that need. I'm not talking about nap time here. I'm talking about how for some students, the schools primary job (not by choice of course) is merely to keep them on campus for the school day and feed them lunch. And in some schools, the ratio of those students to the ones who are actually trying to learn is high.

Quote:
The reason that private schools are often viewed differently is because they are exclusive to upper classes, where these aren't issues.


Yes. Because all wealthy kids are brilliant students and all poor kids are dumb as bricks. Or maybe, we give the kids who have potential to learn but were unfortunate enough to be born in unfortunate situations a better chance? There's an idea!
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#24 Feb 09 2012 at 4:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
gbaji wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
And how is "If your parents don't care, you're @#%^ed" a good way to run a society?


I didn't think the government's job was to "run a society" in the first place.


Well, that's sort of what laws do. Just sayin'.


There's a difference between drawing the lines on the road and actually driving the car. Just sayin'.
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#25 Feb 09 2012 at 4:18 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't really have a good solution for people who aren't good parents.
Chemical castration or euthanasia are always viable options.
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#26 Feb 09 2012 at 4:20 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji - Can you honestly tell me that the glaring flaws of a completely private school system would be better than a public school system which accounted for the varying potentials of different children? The answer to a problem is not to introduce a system which not only does not fix much of anything, but introduces problems of its own.

Edited, Feb 9th 2012 3:20pm by LeWoVoc
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