POLL: Are you pro public school? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Are you pro public school?
Yes! Absolutely! 115 47.33%
No way man! 75 30.86%
Not sure. 53 21.81%
Voters: 243. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-13-2006, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please explain the reasons for your answer.
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:59 PM
 
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I am pro public school. I got a very decent education at public schools, and my DS is now attending a public school which I am happy with for the most part.

I may not love the public school system here as he gets into middle and high school, but I've got a couple of years to think about what I want to do.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:08 PM
 
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I wasn't sure what you meant, but I voted "Yes."

I am not sure we will always use the public schools, but I think they provide a vital service. That does not mean they do not have a lot of room for improvement.

 

 

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Old 03-13-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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Absolutely! I feel very strongly that it is important for societies to provide citizens with the option of quality tax payer supported education. I don't think people should have to use public schools, but they should be available, well funded and well staffed. I think it is essential to our future that we provide education to all children.

BTW- I went to public (k-6) and private schools (7-12). My DH went to "bad" (poor and urban) public schools K-12 and he's getting a PhD in physics! His parents weren't very interested in his education, but he had some awesome teachers who really pushed him. If public schools weren't there, people like him would not have the opportunity to reach their potentials.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:10 PM
 
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there are AWFUL public schools and GREAT public schools and most fall in the middle.

I will comment on the ones in the middle. For a child who happens to enjoy learning in the rote, repetitive, structured environment that most schools provide, they can be a good thing. These children will be labelled as "Bright, above average, studious, smart, responsible, and on the right track." They will probably have fun in team sports and/or an extracurricular club like yearbook or French club, and go on to a good college and get a good job they like- and that is all fine by me! those are good things.

unfortunately, the system won't work for kids who like me, needed something outside the structured norm to interest me. If you sit me in front of a history book and say read 3 chapters, it's nearly impossible for me to retain any of it. If you instead take me to a museum, show me the artifacts, let me watch an interesting TV show on the subject, let me listen to a speaker who had a first had experience talk about it- I might actually learn something and enjoy it! it's not that I'm better or worse thant those other kids- I just learn differently.

There are other kids who need specific help developing certain skills, like reading or writing, because their brain works differently than others. In public school, they'll get labelled as stupid, thrown in a back room called "special education" and put in classes that are dumbed-down versions of the regular classes- though if someone had tried a different approach, they could learn as well as you or I, just in a different way. these kids won't have a good chance of going to college because of the labels the system has put on them.

my point is, it isn't that easy to make one big ol' system that you either do or die. everyone had better fit in, and if you don't fit the mold, there's something wrong with YOU, not IT. and I think that's wrong.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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I think it all depends on the school. We have an excellent magnet program here, so I voted yes.
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Old 03-13-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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I said not sure because I am getting more and more disillusioned by the public school system and the oppressive and dare I say sinister nature of government intrusion into the education of our children. I have been reading about B.F. Skinner and the Behaviorists and frankly its sickens me that our public school system is based on his (and others like him) research. I have decided to put my DS in a private school next year(1st grade). I am going to assess how things are at the end of this school year with regard to DD #2 (2nd grade will be 3rd grade). I am okay with DD#1's alternative HS, it seems the best option for her at this point (10th grade), she only has two more years after this until she graduates.

Now that I think about it, I am probably leaning more towards "No way man" and I can't change my vote.

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Old 03-13-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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It really depends on the country and Government in power. I wouldn't send my kid to public school in the US, but private schools here are inferior to public.
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:28 AM
 
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I was looking for another category in the poll, which would have been: I am because I'm in an area with good schools. Like others have said there is tremendous diversity in the quality of schools.

I do believe however, that if everyone chooses an "alternative" form of schooling (private, home, etc), the schools could be left with only disadvantaged children or children whose parents are not invested in quality issues. I appreciate the wide range of other children that my children interact with on a daily basis.

 
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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I don't want my children to go to a public school because I don't agree with everything they teach. Mainly the darwin THEORY as fact. Please don't These are my beliefs and I don't see them changing anytime soon.
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:56 AM
 
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I hope I dont offend anyone and I definitely don't intend to but the current public school system throughout our country is a joke. The system is failing our children and I for one am afraid for my child's welfare as long as she is dependant on that system. I definitely am not infering that all teachers are bad. I attended public school and I know from experience there are some damn good teachers out there who care and really try and do make a difference. But I'm not nieve I am also aware that for many teachers there is no incentive to provide a descent education to our kids. As long as they can get away with inadequate teaching methods and keep their jobs, things will never get better. I had a teacher tell me, " I got minds, you have go out in the world and get your own". She along with a lot of my teachers had a " I could care less" attitude. What can we expect for our children when there are teachers out there with attitudes like that?
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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I attended public schools and had a fine time. My dp attended private and public and hated all of it ! I think this is a difficult question to answer. Many people in my family are public school educators and are really fed up with all the mandated testing etc......

I am struggling with this issue. Ds is 3yr old and I just recently signed him up for an upcoming "preschool" session through our park district. I am basically doing it because we have not had much organized socialization. Hopefully it is more like play group and if not I will probably not send him after the first day. I have been looking into some local homeschooling groups in the area, but don't see myself being organized enough to HS for a long period of time, esp as ds gets older but only time will tell!
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:25 AM
 
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I oppose non-voluntary confinement of innocent people. I am therefore opposed not only to public schools but to most private ones as well.

I was a homeschooler through age 16 and earned an M.S. degree at 22.
My perspective is that schooling often interferes with education, particularly social education.
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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I'm sure there are good public schools out there, but my public school experience was so bad that I left after two months (and never even went a full week of school, I stayed home a lot) and started homeschooling (definitely the right place for me). At the school I went to, some teachers didn't bother showing up for class...it was just mass chaos, all the time.

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Old 03-14-2006, 03:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
there are AWFUL public schools and GREAT public schools and most fall in the middle.

:

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:50 AM
 
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I am definitely pro public schools. Without them there would be an even greater class imbalance than there already is.

The public school system (flawed as it is) provides a safe-haven for hundreds of thousands of children the world over. It was during the same period that public schools were instituted, that child-labour was also abolished (in the western world).

The advent of public schools also closely preceded women's advancement into the work-place and essentially made it possible.

Also, public schools even the playing field to a large extent, providing children from low-income families with the opportunity to experience sport, art classes, learn debate, and countless other extra-curricular and intra-curricular activities.

It would be a wonderful world, perhaps, if we were all of the same elite stature and could afford the time and money to provide our children with all they need for a full and balanced life. Unfortunately that just isn't possible for a huge segment of society. At this point, I'm just grateful to at least live in a society that provides my kids with some amazing opportunities that many of their age-group the world over, will never see. It is because of the public school system that my little family has the chance to grow past our cycle of poverty.

I am not saying that because I strongly support the public school system, that I am opposed to homeschooling. I think that the public school system makes things a little more fair.
I am also not saying there are not major flaws in the system (especially in the States from what I've read). But supporting a system also means working to improve it and keep it in check.
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:01 AM
 
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I am not against public schools in theory. There is a clear need for them in our society. But I feel that the system is broken. There are some great teachers, great kids, but the system is set up that many of the kids don't do well socially, academically, and spiritually. The ones that are strong, normal, and capable do great. Those that are slightly off the curve in some way, are not normal in some way, have special needs, often fall through the cracks. I have some good memories of school with good teachers-- and a whole lot of very bad memories involving bullying, some bad teachers, and even light sexual harrassment (being pinched in the halls).

I don't know what the solution is but something needs to change. I have chosen to homeschool my children for now and I feel really good about that decision. I would LOVE to have a great school for them to attend, to know they won't face bullying and overcrowded classes and peer pressure before they are mature enough to handle it. I want to know what goes on in their day. I want my oldest daughter to not have to sit in a classroom and learn her ABC's when she's already reading at 1st grade level-- and she's not qualified by age to start K until next year. Nor do I want her sitting in a class of third graders when she's only 6, because emotionally in many ways she's still only 5. The school does not have a system in place that's acceptable to me so she's not going to be in school unless things change and I have to work full time or something.

I want the schools to improve. My daughter's peers, co-workers, future spouses are going to be graduates of the public schools so I really hope they do a good job educating the kids and teaching them social skills. I am not putting down public schools at all-- I just think that things need to improve.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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Old 03-14-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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I voted yes...my kids go to a GREAT public school. If we were to live in a neighboring school district, I'd pull them out in a heartbeat though. It's not that the public school system is broken, it's individual schools and there are alot of factors that go into it. Low funding, unemployment rates (thus low funding), etc.
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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Just want to say what an interesting thread. I find it hard to give a simple "Pro" or "Con" as so many have said there are good and bad public schools. I'm definitely in favor in theory of public education for its many benefits to those who could not get a decent education any other way, and the many talented and caring teachers who have done so much good in many children's lives. Of course the public schools need major overhauls in many ways. Some are, indeed as someone else put it, simply involuntarily confining innocent people. I went to public schols and certainly experienced it as involuntary confinement at times (and I was one of those people whom another poster described -rudely IMO- as enjoying doing busywork on sheets of paper and only wanting a good job in life, or smtg like that while the more free-spirited apparently need somethin' better than the rest of us . . . hmph.

So I think it's hard to be either "Pro" or Con" realistically I am "Pro" in the sense that I believe they should certainly exist, and serve a needed function -in fact I see it as hard for democracy to exist without some form of public schooling - but they need many radical reforms.
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Old 03-14-2006, 01:14 PM
 
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I voted no, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that there shouldn't be any public schools - there would be a lot of kids who fall through the cracks and that would be terrible.

For MY kids tho: they will be homeschooled without a doubt!
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:04 PM
 
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We are a pro-public school family. My husband and I are both public school products and 3 out of our 4 parents were public school teachers.

In our community you are either pro-private school or pro-public school and I think public school is the only time in my kids' lives when they are going to meet all different kinds of people, interact with kids from different socio-economic backgrounds, differing intellectual abilities, etc... Even then, in our community those variables are pretty limited, but I want them to know all kinds of kids and this is our best shot at it.

That being said, our public school is outstanding. We are in a Sudbury-like school within a school, in the top-rated school in a top-rated district. So we have no complaints...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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Old 03-14-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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My option isn't listed. I'm all in favor of the well run public school, but totally against the poorly run, or politically run, public school...
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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I'm in favor of public school--I went to one, my parents, my grandparents...all had great educations. I think everyone has a right to education in this country.

But I'm not in favor of those public schools that don't deliver great education.

I'm also not in favor of the monopolistic nature of public education. I'm not in favor of how they are misused to shape various social attitudes in a youth forced by current education laws to subject themselves to this kind of conditioning. I'm no longer in favor of compulsory education laws and think they should be replaced with laws which protect children from gross educational neglect but don't control how long children must sit in any kind of school. Schools have become too much like cages.

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Old 03-14-2006, 09:52 PM
 
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Hmmm....I had horribke public schooling experiences. I did mostly homeschool my children until I went back to school myself for a nursing degree, which is what I am currently doing.

I really, really like my younger childrens elementary school, but there are reasons as to why its an exception. I'm a Christian and we live in a pretty small town that has a Christian college and seminary in the middle of it. Many people from all over the world, and who often bring their families with them, attend. So, the school is filled with many different cultures which I like.

The school is also pretty "christian" itself, they push themselves as far as they are allowed legally to that bent. So, for me I'm confortable for now having my children there.
The middle and high schools....well, forget it. If I was able, I'd pull my older kids out in a heartbeat.

My plan is to finish my nursing degree, work evening weekend shifts 3 days per week and be home with my kids during the week to homeschool once again.

I just feel that its what is right for us.
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I voted yes. They need lots of improvement. But society absolutely needs public schools -- there's no two ways around it.
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Old 03-14-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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I voted no b/c i 've been there and I can't believe I made it out in one piece...and I went to "good" schools. The sheer idea that you can offer nice well-rounded subjects in regular rotating intervals everyday and kids are supposed to succeed and enjoy learning is a mistake (IMO!) I am reading "Dumbing Us Down" by John Taylor Gatto, Teacher of the Year Award recipient in NYC, and it's brilliant. Yes, it seems that public school fills a need in our society, but it's not education, it's practically daycare and more importantly teaching children how to conform to the economy and and social order (he argues that it's borderline creating a caste system). He talks about the loss of community, and instead networks are in place. It's not hopeless and homeschool is great alternative, but my childen will not be part of the system while the gov't gets it's sh*t together--if they ever do. Seriously, I highly recommend reading Gatto, no matter what side you are on.
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Old 03-15-2006, 05:06 AM
 
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I said not sure, but the option of "it depends on the school' wasn't there. I went to a great school for K-8th(taking 3 yrs off from 1/2 of 2nd grade to 1/2 of 5th grade b/c my mom homeschooled me for those years.) and it was a great school. In a town of about 1200 people. It was the only school in town. For high school, we got bussed to the neighboring town 20 min. away.
The bus ride was hellish every day and I did everything to avoid everyone on the bus at all times. At one point at school, a kid sat down at a table across from me and my then boyfriend, and started snorting cocaine. Great. You couldn't use the bathrooms during the day b/c it was full of smoke I don't want to know what kind!) and at one point, they actually took the doors off the stalls. Yes, really. They took the doors off the stalls in the girls bathroom. I held it for 8 stinking hours plus the ride home. Wonderful school(note the immense sarcasm). I would do anything for my son not to go to a school like that. And no, this wasn't in an inner city school or anything. This was just your typical town of about 39,615(as of 2004, I checked the website. LOL)... So, yeah, I guess you could say I'm kind of again public school. My dh and I are planning on putting our son in private Christian school when he starts.

Sorry, this got a lot longer than I thought it would..

Janice, car seat tech, wife to M since 7/99, mom to C since 4/02 and S since 12/09
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Old 03-15-2006, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_nomad
Yes, it seems that public school fills a need in our society, but it's not education, it's practically daycare and more importantly teaching children how to conform to the economy and and social order (he argues that it's borderline creating a caste system).
You know, I think it's fine to say that about the schools you went to, but not every school is like that and I think you should know that. Perhaps some traditional schools are like you describe, but many teachers and schools are thinking "outside of the box" these days.

My son goes to an alternative Sudbury-like public school and it's not at all like you describe. Very student-driven, Tribes-based, individual, democratic, etc... And this school has been "alternative" for 40 years...


Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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Old 03-15-2006, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lauren
I do believe however, that if everyone chooses an "alternative" form of schooling (private, home, etc), the schools could be left with only disadvantaged children or children whose parents are not invested in quality issues. I appreciate the wide range of other children that my children interact with on a daily basis.

I put myself in the not sure category because our public school system currently has many problems. But, it is interesting, I think, to note that the "disadvantaged" end of the district actually has more interesting programs for kids than the so-called affluent end of the city. Currently, 33% of school-aged children in my city go to private school and these kids reside mostly in the north end. So, even if more affluent and middle class kids went to private school, there would still be great programs for disadvantaged kids. In my city, there are a few millionaires and billionaires who sponsor wonderful programs for disadvantaged kids. Hopefully, this spirit of giving will continue forever. It does give me hope that our public school system will improve.

My main concern with public school, however, is madatory, standardized testing and how it has changed the curriculum. I want my child to study music, art, history and all the other subjects that are not on the tests. I want her to have an education that is based on exploring. Constructivist education, that is my favorite philosophy. So, we wait for the public school situation to improve but think also about homeschooling or waldorf or other private schools.
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:51 PM
 
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I voted yes. But what many fail to understand, what makes or breaks a school, or better makes a child successful is parental participation. That is key for, public, private or homeschool.

Cristina - "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." Maya Angelou
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