WHY WE NEED PUBLIC EDUCATION

#education #PublicEducation #PrivateEducation #SchoolVouchers #CharterSchools
Public education is getting bad grades.
Wouldn’t it be better to put education in the private sector?
After all, the education bureaucracy is bloated on all levels – federal, state and local. It eats through a lot of tax money and, in some areas, produces dismal results.
We need school choice, the viewpoint goes. It’s better to give vouchers to families and let them choose where to educate their children.
Why should families get stuck sending their children to inferior, neighborhood public schools?
These arguments and questions are consistently forthcoming from public education foes. Recent studies have shown mixed results when comparing student achievement in public vs. private schools.
So why the big push against public education? It seems some people hate that public school teachers are well protected by their unions. It seems that people hate that principals and other administrators are making six-figure incomes in many places, while they, who pay their salaries, are making far less.
Teachers, and probably administrators, in many private schools make far less than their public-school counterparts.
So why can’t one use the tax money he pays for public education to pay for private education for his children, if he chooses?
There’s a reason we have public education in America. That reason is that education here is compulsory. That means every child has to go to school somewhere.
If education were privatized, those schools, as they do now, will pick and choose the BEST students, and reject the ones that might cause trouble – or who they believe might cause trouble.
So if education were entirely privatized, where might those students rejected by private schools get the compulsory education they have to have?
Where would the students whose families can’t afford the private tuition go?
The public school teachers, because they have to take all comers, have a more difficult job than those in the private schools. Private schools should definitely be an option for families who want to, say, educate children around certain religious beliefs, or whose children may have special needs or who just want the prestige of having their children go to a certain school.
But, public education should be the center of any education policy. It should be properly funded and teachers, and other school employees, should be properly paid and treated with respect.
It’s certainly OK to look for efficiencies. But many governmental entities, for largely political reasons, have given public schools short shrift for years. Teachers are now fighting back with strikes.
Remember, too, that good students will succeed no matter what school they go to. It’s the challenging students, who need the most help, who should be at the center of education policy.
While we’re on the subject, do you think all students should go to college? College is not for everyone, but there are ways for children to succeed as adults without going to college, if they are not college material. There are vehicles out there that allow anyone, regardless of background or education, to earn a potentially significant income without having a traditional job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Remember that public education is a necessity, much the way police and fire protection are. Don’t give it short shrift. Don’t believe that the private sector can do EVERYTHING better. Because it is compulsory, American education should remain in the public domain.
Peter
(Next week: A look at vouches and charter schools)

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