Writer's private school essay sparks Internet outrage

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  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Sept. 9, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    As a college professor, I use to match lower performing students (D) with higher performing students (A) on team assignments, and the consistent result was that it created two D students. The D student realized that the A students would carry the load, and the A students realized they were doing all the work. I then put students on teams based on their grade in the class and overall GPA. The end result was that A students continued to produce superior grades and the D students inferior ones.

    The final result is that students who want to be in class did well and those who didn't , well do the math. After a while it became easy to determine from the start of a semester who was worth teaching and who wasn't , and in the end I now just teach to the 10% which doesn't waste my time or their money.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Sept. 4, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    The biggest difference between private and public schools is that in one, the students are chosen. Most of them want to be there, parents want them to be there, staff wants them there. Peer pressure is generally headed for excellence.

    In the other, they are legal captives. They are there because they have to be, with a significant number acting out against it. Staff teaches to the slowest least motivated, because if they don't, the Feds et al will penalize them for failing. Staff doesn't want those, but can't move them out (but they can promote them out of the classroom). Many parents just don't care, or are too busy trying to survive without a decent job/ reliable spouse. Peer pressure is towards the gutter and gangs.

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Sept. 4, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    I read an article by Paul Anderson published sometime between 1977-1980. He espoused public school moving to a tuition-based funding mechanism. Overall, a child's education would not cost a parent any more than it does now, but it would improve several aspects of education.

    Parents would have the opportunity to transfer their child from a bad school to a better one. Schools would be more directly accountable to the parents of their students. People without children in school would not have a reason to vote down improvements.

    Taxes currently being used to fund public schools could be cut out and no longer collected.

    Of course there would be a lot of details to work out - how to help students who couldn't afford any tuition; how to distribute funds so schools serving mostly or all low-income families would have a chance to succeed; etc.

    I think it is an idea worth discussing.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 3, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    The concern about diluting the caliber of the average public school student is a legitimate one. Good parents consider their child's education their responsibility and will strive to be sure their child is in as good an educational situation as possible. If the public schools are not satisfactory and they can't afford a private school, then many parents home school (which is becoming a more and more popular option). Most of these students who are sent to private schools or home schooled would be among the better students in the public schools. The more kids that are home schooled or sent to private schools, the lower the average academic or educational ability of the students remaining in the public schools. As this average gets lower and lower, then more and more conscientious parents will find other educational options and the caliber of the public school students will be further diminished. It's a vicious cycle and I don't know what the answer to it is.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Sept. 3, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    This is just plain silly, as those who responded to her premise have established. Private education has been a privilege for those who can easily afford it, and those who have to make significant sacrifices to have their children in private schools. Parents do it for many reasons, primarily to improve their children's education quality. That weighs on the side of "good" not "bad." It is almost too absurd to bother with a comment.