The argument about how many sheckels private schoolers should pay to support their school choice is beside the point. The real point is that public education will quickly deteriorate and fade if people are given any money at all to separate their kids from whatever they see as the riff raff or heathen of society.
Oh they’ll protest that that’s not it, but it is.
Private and Charter Schools have destroyed the American Public school system.The U.S. system is two tiered. When a Chicago mayor closes dozens of public schools,there is little uproar, because so many Americans – the richer ones with a voice, have their kids ensconced in private schools, so they oppose public education funding, teachers, and teacher’s unions.
If private schools offered a better education for those who can afford it , it would bad enough; but they don’t even do that. Private schools worship a false God. They, and the parents who enrol their kids there, buy into the false notion that competition, high stakes testing, rigour, uniforms, homogeneity, and compliance are what good schools push. Higher test scores are their measure of success. They’re wrong.
The Finnish school miracle proves something just the opposite; that it is equity of experience, less competition, and an unshakeable community respect and commitment to public education and teachers that best promotes student learning and happiness ( if we care at all about that self esteem crap )
Private schools are taking us in the wrong educational direction, and they will destroy public education in Canada as they have in the U.S.
The main reason we, in B.C. do so well in international measures is that we have shreds of a perennial commitment to equality in educational opportunity and because we have resisted the accountability movement and the test score overseer that reduces learning to a meaningless Fraser Institute rating.
And for those private schoolers who point to asian education models of rigour, testing, longer school days, and lots of pressure as the reason asian students do well, think again.
Finnish students score higher on international measures and their students have 20% less face time than Canadian students and almost no homework. Korean students also do well on international measures , but their success is not due to their school’s hellish hours and exhorting of kids towards high grades. What Finnish and Korean schools have in common is a cultural reverence for education, the belief that education is the most important of society’s commitments. This is instilled in their children and is expressed to their teachers, who are well trained, well respected and well paid.
Private schools and home schooling rob children of that which is most important about growing up in schools – assessing and developing one’s relationship with a real world, with real diversity, with dumb kids and smart kids , those of little means and some who aren’t so nice or have special needs. Kids need this – not from mom or dad but in a safe place,away from their parent’s world.
I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with parents worlds, it’s just that kids don’t or shouldn’t, develop on the dotted lines of their parents. A surreptitiously spectated public school experience with as little intervention as possible, combined with good parental role modelling at home is a better recipe for children’s growth and learning than is over- parenting and insistence that kids grow up and learn to compete too fast – they have lots of time before they need to stress about mortgages and beating down the other guy in the business world.
Keeping kids at home, in the nunnery, or with the creme de la creme, is not only disastrous to the public schools it’s not as good for the kids being home schooled or Crofton Housed.