Many parents who have the resources to send their children to private schools or homeschool them choose public education. Why? Why do you send your kids to public school?
I highly recommend this Huffington Post blog entry in which a father explains why he sends his children to public schools — and makes a strong case for public education. Robert Niles’ reasons for sending his kids to public schools?
- Public schools work.
- Private schools aren’t inherently better.
- Public school students score better than charter school students.
- Public schools are for everyone.
- Public schools are under attack.
The first four reasons are self-explanatory to teachers. Of his fifth reason Niles’ writes, “I’m sending my children to public schools because I don’t believe in the people who are attacking our public schools. Sending my children to public schools is the ultimate sign of support, and helps keep me more deeply involved in a precious public resource that needs, and deserves, our support.”
Those who attack public education would likely argue with some of Niles’ reasons, especially the first: “public schools work.” Niles’ acknowledges that there is a huge gap between students in our country, “But that’s not because we have an education problem in America. It’s because we have a large, and growing, child poverty problem in our country.”
My daughter won’t be starting school for several years, but Niles’ reason that most resonates with me is that “public schools are for everyone.” He writes, “Attend a public school, and you’re getting to know people from every corner of your community, not just people of the same religion or social class. In public school, you’re part of the, well, public.”
There are few, if any, other places in American society today where such a broad cross-section of the public comes together. And it’s one reason why I hope to send my daughter to schools that educate children from a diverse range of economic and ethnic backgrounds.
Why do you send your children to public schools? Do you share Niles’ reasons?