on public versus private education…some thoughts

My area has some very fine private schools, but they are too far out of my financial reach to consider, even with the fullest scholarship offered. Honestly? In light of the difficulties my family has had with the local public high school, I would have preferred to send my daughter to one of them, rather than home school.  But these private schools are simply not accessible to us, nor to many who are low-income-to-middle-income. Even if the failures in public education are proven  to be the fault of that school, the amount the school district is required to pay to the private institution isn’t enough to cover the full costs. So what can a parent to do? How will the child be educated?  Should we move to another area and try a different public school? Even the cost of moving  can be a deterrent for many, such as myself.  Beyond homeschooling, what choice is there when public schools fail a child?

I do appreciate the existence of private schools. I really do. And I believe in our right to determine if the focus and specialization of a private school is right for our children, as long as the foundation of is based on honest, proven and factual information:

Wanna add your god to the curriculum? Have at it! But tell it like it is: it’s a belief, not a fact. Using the bible as the only source of your claims does not constitute proof of fact; it proves a foundation for your belief.  If agriculture is focus and structure used to educate, fantastic! Just remember to teach those kids the truth about the Native Americans who once lived on that land, and what methods were used to remove them from it; tell them where the survivors live today, and the conditions in which they are allowed to maintain their culture.

The most important aspect of education is to teach kids to exercise their critical thinking skills, so that they make their own decision about in what to believe, and can distinguish between that and the factual truths presented to them in core subjects. Let them decide if we were morally right to take this land, or if we should make reparations for harm done, and let them pray to their god as they plant their corn. As long as they learn that 2+2 is always 4, Hitler really did kill millions of Jews, and dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years before the emergence of humans, it’s good in my book… and  I really don’t care, then, if you believe it was a sudden, massive and spontaneous BANG out of nothingness that started the universe…or that it was some old guy with a long white beard, laying on a pillow of clouds, who pointed his finger and said “let there be…” and *poof* -there it was! Continue reading