The false conventional wisdom of private and public schools


ART BY JOSEPH MENDOZA

By HALO KWOK

STAFF WRITER


Are private schools genuinely better than public schools?


Conventional wisdom strongly implies that private schools are superior to public schools. Even though the cost of attending private school can be substantial, parents believe that the extra funds they pay for go towards a better educational experience for their child.


However, even with this widespread notion, studies have shown that there is essentially no distinctive difference between the two educational pathways.


The public school system is funded entirely by the government, and the government receives its funds from taxes. With the government cultivating public education more and more each year, there is no doubt that one day, the tables will turn and public schools will reign superior over private schools.


First off, one of the major reasons why children are sent to private schools is so that they are able to be taught by “better” teachers. Yet, statistics show that public school teachers are more active in their career overall, with about 48 percent of them having master degrees contrary to the 36 percent of private school teachers. Additionally, teachers with less than four years of expertise are more likely to be found in private schools. If fewer experienced teachers are found more in the schools that are costly to attend, why not just attend their more cost-effective counterparts—public schools?


There also exists a colorful expansiveness in public education. In private schools, approximately 69% of students are white. On the contrary, public schools have a much more diverse student body. The typical public school is composed of 50% of white students, allowing blacks, hispanics and asians to also play a big role in their student make-up. Public schools enable an aggregate of students from all ethnic backgrounds to unite in an area, with each of them learning about the cultural parts that make up one another to understand what truly sets them apart. Fundamentally, the ability to work in the same environment as people from different cultural backgrounds is an important skill needed to navigate through life. As a person emerges into adulthood, they will realize that there are people of color present in every crack and crevice in their life. Therefore, it is extremely valuable to experience cultural diversity early on, and there is no place better to do so than in public schools.


To add, the new integration of private school vouchers plays a tremendous toll on public schools, with the latter becoming more disadvantaged. School vouchers are scholarships funded by the state or school district that allows children to attend a private school with lower costs. At first, this may seem like a bargain, as parents believe that they are now able to introduce their children to a better learning environment without being held back by financial restraints. But, the negative factors still hold true— now, the socioeconomic gap between families will increase, as money taken away from public schools is unfairly distributed to private schools and the middle class. There is less money provided to the families who need it most, unjustly isolating the lower-class citizens from the people of higher income.


In closing, there are misconceptions out in the world that stem from conventional wisdom. It is our duty to hold our own values, and in doing so, we exercise our rights as American citizens. Public schools are run by qualified individuals who put the community first and not the upper-class families. It is a place where everyone, no matter their circumstances, can bond with one another and grow from learning the experiences of the people around them.



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