Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Private Schools

When did everyone start sending their kids to private schools? I hardly knew any private or prep school kids until I moved to NYC. I figured it was mostly an East Coast thing.

Apparently it isn't. I'm finding that a bunch of people in LA are sending their kids to private schools. And these aren't just rich people. These are middle class folks putting all their money into private schools. Was it always this way?

I suppose if you grow up in the public school system, then basically all your friends are from public schools. Same goes for private schools. Two worlds of kids that don't really mix until they go to college (even then, they may not mix).

What really blows my mind is the idea of sending your kid to private school from age 5. Folks in Manhattan are even sending their kids to $20,000/year pre-school. Well, NY is different. But what about the rest of the country?

I can understand sending your kid to private school if your local school is abysmal, but what if your local school is pretty good? What's the value of sending your kids to private school then? What do you lose? I don't have kids, but the idea of sending a kid to private school all their lives is really troubling to me. High school, I can understand, sort of.


hh said...

keep it real--go public!

Kris said...

To me, this might be the single biggest obstacle to staying in New York forever. It depresses me.

creative-type dad said...

I grew up in L.A. and went to private schools until my H.S. senior year - And I grew up 'lower-middle class' (I made that term up)

The majority of schools in L.A. suck - all of the decent ones are in the suburbs and even some of them are questionable as they hit 7th, 8th grade.

The wife and I have a few good friends who teach for LAUSD and 90% of them send their own kids to private schools -go figure! And I teach one class at a private school one day a week.

Blame public education here on a mixture of non-involved parents, some bad teachers that outnumber the good ones but who are protected by the union, student discipline problems, bureaucracy, and over-crowded classrooms. That's the reality.

In my own case, we're sending our daughter to the local neighborhood public for the majority of her elementary, and saving now for private around 6th or 7th grade. That plan drives us crazy since we pay property taxes into a system that doesn’t work; we have to pay for private.

Sidenote—I did have friends who went to public while in school. A few of the neighbors, kids I worked with at my job at the local movie theater. And others I met who came from/left for other public schools. So that world isn’t really ‘a bubble’ as some might think.

junebee said...

There are lots of private schools here in west central Florida, large and small, relatively affordable to ridiculously expensive. 90 percent of them are religious-based, but you can find a couple of secular ones. People are very religious here, that's one reason they send kids to public school. Another is - our school system sucks too! Parents I know keep threatening me with "wait till it's your turn (when Branch and Blossom are in school)". Our current part-time nanny said she is sending her son to private school next year if she has to work 3 jobs, she is so fed up with his school. (Ironically, she's also going back to school right now to be a teacher! But at least she's doing something other than just complaining about the system!)

Home schooling is extremely popular here also.