As someone who went through a traditional public school education and has a public school teaching credential in California, I can say that I personally think it is all about the teacher. They really make or break the experience. Some folks that I met in my teaching program continue to be phenomenal teachers at public schools, and some not so much. I would try and talk to older parents in the community and make sure your student has the "best teacher" at each grade level - there are normally a few different teachers at each school for the same grade. I also an advocate for private school if it makes sense for the student and family.My kid is in first grade.
My perception of traditional public school is that kids sit at desks all day, told exactly what to do without much choice, many lectures and worksheets. Lots of waiting in lines and not a ton of actual learning. Would you say this is accurate or a dated perception of public school education? If it's dated I'd love to hear about your positive experiences.
Hope this helps!