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Lesson Plans

Re: vouchers vs public schools

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry taylor (taylorh)
Sat, 24 Jul 1999 18:29:11 -0700

The ssituation seems normal to me in this part of the world. I don't see
anything unusual about the situaton at all. Nor does my sister-in-law, I
think. I don't feel particularly lucky. We went for it and it worked out.
Considering how everything else in our life was going at the time, not
"lucky' at all.

But we all have our beliefs I suppose. Like I don't believe that there are
very many reasonably "wealthy" private schools around. 90% of the ones I've
encountered have zip but bare-faced enthusiasm. and high rent Tho schools
with wealthy parents manage some nice perks for the wealthy kids: like
Mid-term in Paris. The microscopes and computers and art resources are still
often second or third-rate.

The best thing private schools have going as far as I can see is class size,
challenging expectations and a smaller percentage of deadwood . Small class
size is the big thing tho. As a teacher you have more time to teach and need
less time to manage the classroom or provide "daycare." 12 kids per class!

The big negative to the private schools I've encountered is racial
imbalance. African Americans are conspicuous by their low representation.
Asian, Latin, and Native Americans are in larger presence but primarily it's
Anglos and Jewish Americans like my two.

FWIW, I've gone to both private and public schools; sent my kid now to both
private and public schools; and taught in both private and public schools.
Public schools have limitations but district-wide resources beat the
Resources for a private school 9 times out of 10.

When I said my kids went to private school people always looked around for
the rolex and the fancy car not the rusted out '73 suburban we drive or the
absent k-mart $6.00 watch, The beliefs most people have about private
schools are just plain naive and myth-bound.

Lets see, at one school, there was as single middle-class mom with an
adopted hispanic adhd kid, another adhd being raised by his grandparents on
the salary of a prison guard, 2 kids whose father was a major lawyer in
town, a number of public school teacher's kids. two sons of a Episcopalian
minister and her husband, two kids--father ran a small transmission shop,
the daughter of two women who ket trying new multi-level marketing plans,
son of a computer tech, son of a chess coach, 3 kids of lawyer and owner of
antique shop, daughter of a neurologist, son of a waitress, starting top
loose track of kids now. ---bunch of lawyers and doctors kids. Pretty good
mix maybe 20% were from the "wealthy part of town" most were middle class.
about half were economically tapped. At another school, one of the TOP two
in town; the one with kids going to Paris; 1/3 to 1/2 on scholarships of one
kind or another.

As far as most uninvolved people were concerned though we all drove BMWs and
Jag's or something. and made $500K a year. Dream on!

Here's a great bennie... Harvard Biologist Lewis Thomas spoke at
commencement this year--- for free -- he was some kid's mom's third cousin
or something.

But this is the desert southwest no doubt things are different in the "more
civilized" parts of the country. <VBG> or other factors...


----Original Message----

>You are certainly a lucky person! But I don't believe that your experience
>is the common one, other factors no doubt.
-----Original Message-----
>In a message dated 7/24/99 4:43:30 PM EST, taylorh writes:
><< Also, no voucher in the world is going to get a poor kid into an
> >prep school.
> With an annual income of 17k we never needed a voucher for any of the
> private schools our kids attended from k-prep. The expensive ones too.
> weren't the only poor kids either. A certain percentage of kids at each
> school were on scholarship. Ya gotta apply tho.
> I suppose that there have to be some exclusive and exclusionary schools
> there. Its such a common stereotype it must be true or have been. Maybe
> an East Coast thing or something?
> >>