Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Private vs Public

School that is! Be warned, this is MY opinion, it is not factual, just my OPINION!

It is of MY opinion that there are two, maybe three (I am on the fence about one), grade schools in the city that provide a superb education. SUPERB, like the best, nothing compares, they are in a class of their own, but they come with a hefty price tag and behaviors, comments and attitudes about money that I am not necessarily fond of. I will NOT dispute the education, it is THE BEST, and I will fight you until the very end of time about the quality of the education-it is most definitely worth the money, BUT, Jackson's attitude toward cost, money and the bank is something that I have not been overly impressed with lately! He tells me to go to the bank and get more money when I tell him that I don't have money for it. Which makes me laugh because anyone who knows me KNOWS that I don't go to the bank for cash, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He asks me if I have a million dollars in the bank! Just annoying little comments that I am not impressed by, and I DON'T LIKE! So, is the education worth the price of your 4 year old becoming a snob??? I don't know!

So, that brings us to the matter of the rest of the schools in the city ranked Excelling and the "Other" Private Schools (NOT INCLUDING THE TWO OR THREE SPOKEN OF ABOVE!). I think ALL of these schools are completely, one hundred percent even in standing. Meaning, I think they are all equally as good or not so good. I don't think Private School teachers are better, I don't think Public School teachers are better. I think you come out of any of these public or private schools with the EXACT same education. What I think differs is the parent's attitude toward education in a private vs public education debate! BUT, do I need to spend money so that my kids are surrounded by people who are raised with the same mentality as me, OR do I want them to succeed even if they hang around people who have opinions or standards that are not my own? This issue is a hot topic in our house right now, SERIOUSLY! Pat and I only want what is best for our children, but we don't really know what that is! Anyone have any input on this: personal experience, research, etc.


Karen said...

It's definitely something that begins at home with parents and family. My mom taught elementary school for over 30 years in the public school system and this is partly why she sent me to Rancho Solano, St. Francis & Xavier. She did have me attend the same school where she taught because she knew she could "watch" what was going on, so I attended public school for 1st - 6th grades.

I, too, am on the fence about education for B. I like the structure and no-nonsense discipline that is associated with private schools but I don't know if that will be an option for us when B gets to kindergarten & 1st grade.

I think making the decision on what's best for your kids is something that will always be difficult because there is never a right answer. Choosing top-notch education is never a bad idea, you're just going to have to have more "money" talks with Jackson and get more creative with how you explain money & financial responsibility.

I was never among the affluent group that attended Xavier, and my parents definitely made sacrifies to send me there so I knew how important my education was to them. But whenever the topic of education comes up all three of us firmly agree that sending me to Xavier was the best money they ever spent. And maybe it's just his age right now - I think every parent has to go through the money explanations and teach their kids how to be responsible, regardless of where they go to school. Although you do probably have more to explain when he's surrounded by a more affluent population, lol.

As far as being surrounded by others with the same mentality, I totally agree. It's so hard for me to see kids dressing like thugs & tramps at school, and to hear crap that comes out of their mouths and know that my child will be exposed to these influences. But to a certain extent there isn't anything I can do to shield them from all of this, and the only way to tolerate it will be to use it as a teaching opportunity for B. But what do I know, he's 2.5 ... ask me again in 5 years.

I'll stop rambling now, lol.

Anonymous said...


Katie Thomson said...

I think the part that gets me to "vote" for private is the feeling of community that I get from private schools. I didn't really get that sense of community and parent involvement at the public schools but I have gotten that feeling from all private schools I have been involved in.

Short and Sweet said...

I agree with Katie on the "sense of community" in the private school setting. This whole "public v. private" education debate is one we should discuss in person as blog space isn't adequate for everything we would say.
There ARE many great programs and teachers in the public school sector, but I still think that private school education and its environment are safer choices when deciding what is best for your child. I think that I know where Jackson is going to school from the emblem on his uniform shirt, and that particular school is quite affluent which might explain Jackson's increased interest in money issues. Nothing compares to open dialog with a child so you are doing the right thing by discussing the money matter with Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Too much to discuss for a comment on your blog. I say we head out for drinks when I get back and discuss. Having done both the private/public thing much like Karen but opposite - I think it depends on the kid, the school and what kind of community comes with the school - Oh and the parents. :) I think I was exposed to a lot of the neighborhood/"public" type stuff through extracurriculars in elementary school and then the affluent private stuff in high school through extracurriculars too. I feel like I had my hand in both all the time.

I think I was oblivious to the cost of school as a kid. My mom worked there and I was too young to realized that it was a sacrifice and my mom worked hard for it. By the time I got to an age where I could appreciate the cost of a private education, I was in public school. Anyways, I'm starting to ramble now and I could go on and on so we will just have to have drinks :) (Darn)

One more thought for you, who stress over this decision more than anyone I know (that's not a bad thing): Do you know the sad thing - thinking of my neighbors - some people don't spend any time at all thinking about their kids education! They just send them to the closest public school and wish them well. That seems so strange to me.

K to the M said...

Can I join you for drinks? No way can I type everything, at least right now anyway :)

All I'm gonna say is I loved my public school up-bringing. There was no way my dad could afford any different. He truly cared about our education, there just weren't enough sacrifices that could be made in order for us not to go to public.

That said, my kids go and will continue to go to private. I love the community, the values it teaches, and the preparation for college which seems to be a MUST now-a-days. Not to mention the fact that I love the uniform! Not fighting in the mornings over what to wear is FABULOUS!!

You and Patrick are fabulous parents and you guys can be confident that you will do a fine job addressing the "issues" that are inevitably going to arise, no matter what the school setting.

It also comes down to the individual teacher! For sure!!

That's all I can say for now!


Jennifer Weworski said...

I am all for private (even before I was a teacher my kids went to SLK) Zach started out in a public preschool but we were extremely disappointed in the options availbale for english speaking middle class kids. Tara was considering AZ School for the Arts and Xavier. ASA is free while Xavier is going to run 11,000 year and I will have one year with both in HS (Brophy & Xavier) I let Tara research which one offered the BEST education. She chose Xavier!
For a zillion reasons, I believe the financial sacrifice is worth it and we will never regret giving up dinners out and living in the best neighborhood to give our kids the best chance at success!

Laurie said...

I think a lot you and your friends went to private so naturally you lean that direction. From someone who went public I think it is really important to send our wonderful kids to public school. It enriches the environment builds up the community. Great teachers can be found at good, bad, public and private schools and different schools have different levels of parental activity. So anyways, I love meeting all the kids at Adia's school. They are totally great and diverse which I love. Over a third of Adia's class is of a different race and that's in good old Gilbert! Once I hit Jr. High, I went into excelled classes and pretty much stayed with the same group of students my whole high school years. I hardly associated with other students who didn't have the same goals and standards that I did because I just wasn't around them that much.

Public school is what you make of it. You can skate by and just make it through...or you can go to an Ivy league just depends on how involved the parents are in the child's education.