Re: Paying for Schools (was: SOCIETY: Re: The privatization ofpublic security)

From: Olga Bourlin (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 00:03:36 MDT

From: "Emlyn O'regan" <>
> I think I'm proposing something different to James, which is that I think
> the public school system should probably be privatised, while government
> funding remains intact. But what we are both saying is that the decision
> fund only a single style of school, "public schools", makes it very
> difficult for alternatives to exist, unless the target market of those
> alternatives are not sensitive to price (or in fact use the price as a
> status symbol).

Alternatives do exist in public schools. In Seattle there are many "magnet"
public schools - each specializing in a particular "strength" (art and
drama, science, and the like). Public schools can certainly be better, and
I don't have anything against private schools, particularly - I just haven't
been convinced they're much better than public schools.

My son, too, started to read at two. By kindergarten he was reading
everything he could get his hands on (he went to public school, but he
basically taught himself in the subjects which interested him). He was a
great one with computers, and has had an array of them from the time he was
very young, and now makes his living in the tech industry. With the advent
of self-directed learning (through technology), public schools can fit each
individual student's talents, make learning more stimulating than ever, and
maybe blur the line between private and public schools even more (assuming
there is a discernable line now). That's where I believe all education is
heading - to the vast array of options available to stimulate, teach and
entertain children, as well as adults, throughout their lives. And in
technology - this is where public schools could do a great service in
introducing poor children to technology - children who may not have access
to computers at home, for instance. Computers are like the new books
(although, I'm not suggesting doing away with books - as my
overrun-with-books-house could attest).


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