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

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 08:56:59 MDT

Olga Bourlin wrote:
> 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.

Seattle enjoys the benefits of a generally better than average run
school system that is more responsive to its customers than most. Giving
parents choice is not to help parents in such situations, it is for
parents and children who are trapped in school systems that are abysmal
failures. I can guarantee that if we all moved to Seattle to take
advantage of that school system, it would quickly devolve into a mess.

However, Seattle is not perfect. For example, totally irrespective of
the educational needs of the child, the Seattle system will forcibly bus
your kids to some school across town to satisfy some benighted idea
called 'racial school integration', when the families themselves (both
black and white) actively choose to not live near each other.

> 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).
> Olga

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