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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

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I think the private vs public school debate is always a very interesting debate. One point I do raise - one rarely considered btw - is that many of the staunch public education advocates come from really nice suburbs where it is a pleasure to send kids to the local public school. I wonder if all of these same parents would be so pro-public if they lived elsewhere??

PS: not having a go at you!! :)

Yes, we live in an area where the public school is extremely well resourced and supported by an AB demographic of parents. We also attract the most outstanding new graduate teachers. I realise I see the best side of public education. But I have family in public schools in other areas who have a good experience too.
If the government wasn't funding private schools (which I realise is unlikely to come to pass), public schools in all areas would have adequate funding and resources. Undoubtedly the middle class flight from public schools consigns schools in poorer areas to catering to children from less privileged backgrounds, with a higher proportion of educational issues - children from non-English speaking backgrounds, for example - it becomes a vicious cycle.

True/agreed to some extent.

But realise too that the "flight from public schools" is NOT just a middle class thing. I do know of a few working class people (from decidedly UN-middle class neighbourhoods) who have battled so they can send their children to catholic and private schools in order to spare their kids from the appauling public schools in their area (and I'm not just talking about appauling teachers and/or facilities, but appauling kids as well). And trust me, these schools do exist.

Choosing the private route is not always an elistist thing, as many of the public school advocates would have us think. In many cases, parents are just doing the best they can for their child.

I too know people (living in not-so-great areas) who have had/are having a a good public school experience, but it's not always the case!

Sorry to rant about this, but it's an issue I really feel is not as black and white as it's portrayed. As someone who has decided to go the private route after seeing public education from a teacher's perspective, it really gets to me when I see the private system portrayed in such a completely negative light by so many people.

There, lol! Rant over! :)

many of the staunch public education advocates come from really nice suburbs where it is a pleasure to send kids to the local public school. I wonder if all of these same parents would be so pro-public if they lived elsewhere??

No, we live next to Footscray and girlchild goes to Footscray CC.

Choosing the private route is not always an elistist thing, as many of the public school advocates would have us think. In many cases, parents are just doing the best they can for their child.

And those of us who cannot deeply resent the implication that those of us who send their children to public schools are not doing the best they can for their child. And don't the marketing gurus who work for the private schools love to ramp that up!

Some of us just can. not. afford. it. Dig? And don't give me that "give up the overseas holiday or the new car" crap that Michelle Hamer spouts today in the Age, and which other private ed enthusiasts always say; we can't afford a new car or an overseas holiday or indeed anything that costs over three figures, yes people like us do exist !!!

How's that for a rant?

Helen, I certainly wasn't implying that you (or anyone else who sends their child to a public school) isn't doing the best they can for their child. Just that everyone does what they can, and that all caring & loving parents should be applauded for that, regardless of the school their child is sent to.

BTW, my parents didn't send me to a private school, and it wasn't because they didn't want to give up a new car or holiday - they couldn't afford to either, full stop. So I know exactly what you are saying...and no implication was being made, honest.

Ah yes. I read the Deveny article on the day and 100% agreed with her take on it. And yet ...

I am not thrilled with the public (primary) schools near me, though I would desparately love to send the boy to a couple of public schools I've checked out somewhere I can't afford to live.

And I am absolutely in love with Fitzroy Community School, a private 'alternative' school. Which costs $10,000 a year.

I do think that if public education was properly funded across the board, many more parents would use it. And governemnt money should go to government schools. Every child should have access to a decent education.

And I couldn't possibly afford private education either, so I feel your pain Helen (it's mine too!)

Catherine Deveney's article really hit the hot spot of public/private school funding. We send our son to PHSC and think it is fantastic. We could afford to send him to any private school in Melb but do not. Every person who chooses to send their kids to a state school and is happy with it needs to vocally support their choice to their friends who may justify their private scool choice with comments like "we just couldn't choose the local high school because....". I am finding highly educated people are beginning to choose performing high schools over private schools because these parents are confident and understand the education process and feel they can get a good result from the system. The parents that often choose the private system I feel are often not very confident, do not have tertiary level education themselves or are fairly anxious about discipline. Inner city Melb schools are quickly improving their student performance as more and more kids from middleclass educated familied enroll. High schools in some outer suburbs struggle as many blue collar or recent migrant parents simply believe an education you pay for has to be better than a state high school.

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