Originally Posted by mamajama
A lot of people here are saying they are against public schools and therefore their kids are home-schooled or attending private institutions. I think that most people who have to settle due to financial and other constraints would choose that option as well. But we can't. So then what?
I would never say that I dislike the institution of public schools. Maybe others are saying that. I dislike the public schools in my city. The school board has allowed some seriously incapable people to make huge decisions, involving millions of dollars, which have negatively affected the school experience for many children. There are exceptions, of course, but many schools in my city are struggling and the situation is going to get worse in coming years as budget cuts are made to make up for the millions of dollars they are in the red. Perhaps because I, as a former employee of this district, have an insiders view and also because I have taught in really great public school districts, I feel very strongly that this district is a mess. But, realistically, there are children in this city who are having good experiences in the public schools. If public school was my only option and my child was not having a good experience in school and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, I suppose I would move.
But, the reality is there are a lot of families in this country who are just settling with their children's education. It really baffles me why there is not more uproar. I do not understand complacency of Americans in general.
On the other hand, when I was teaching before my daughter was born, I was working in a school where almost every child was living below the poverty line, where many of them lived with a single parent, where many of them did not speak English as a first language. The PTA president at the time had three children, two in our elementary school and one in private high school on scholarship. She worked full time as a nurse and went to school part-time to become a PA. She got no support from her husband who had remained in African when she immigrated here. Her children were loved and treated well and she still found time, busy as she was, to be PTA president. The PTA did not do much, since the population was so poor, but they did have anough money to offest the cost of 5th grade environmental education camp and pay for 5th grade graduation. She made the point to parents often that everyone can make a difference in their child's education, no matter how poor or how busy. At least she was trying.