Menu

The Argument That Public Schools Would Be Better If Everyone Went There Doesn’t Hold Up

There’s a good dose of guilt handed out to those who choose to send their children to private schools. Private school education, so the argument goes, sets up the children of the rich to be better educated with a step on the ladder to the privilege which our system is so riddled.

But like everything else, it isn’t that simple. There’s much more than a value judgment.

Private school education

Not just privilege

There’s more to the choice than just money. Some parents want their children to be educated in a religious school. Some actually want a religious component to education if only in the idea that supplying the information allows the child to make a choice based on an informed position later on. You can’t reject something if you don’t know what it is you’re rejecting.

A child with a learning difficulty or a physical problem may need the benefits of better attention in school. Placing a child like that into public schools increases the risks that they sink rather than swim, simply because no one has the time to pay them the correct attention.

The egalitarian ideal of equal schooling for all in a public context is a laudable concept. The problem is the system is full of people. Schools will never be the same because this teacher at this school has the power to inspire and lead and inculcate the habits of learning. Where there’s no such character at the other school in town.

Morally the argument is easy

From an ethical position, the public schools for everyone conceptw is a laudable ideal. Practically its effect at least in the short term is to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator and with that, everyone suffers.