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Old 03-31-2010, 02:34 PM
 
1,182 posts, read 2,535,600 times
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I love reading about people who believe that there kids are going to get a better education at a private school. Here's a hint from a former teacher (now stay-at-home mother)...some of teachers at your private school are teaching there because they aren't qualified to teach in the public schools. I know because I was one of them. I taught 11th grade science at one of the best private schools in the country....BEFORE I even graduated from college.

Also, there are plenty of kids in private schools that are there because they were kicked out of public schools.

I'm not saying all private schools are bad. My kids went to private school for a few years before we moved back to NOVA. But if you really believe that your kids are getting a better education simply because you are paying for it, I have some oceanfront property for sale in Arizona.
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:33 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,614,642 times
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Originally Posted by mississippimagnolia View Post
I love reading about people who believe that there kids are going to get a better education at a private school. Here's a hint from a former teacher (now stay-at-home mother)...some of teachers at your private school are teaching there because they aren't qualified to teach in the public schools. I know because I was one of them. I taught 11th grade science at one of the best private schools in the country....BEFORE I even graduated from college.

Also, there are plenty of kids in private schools that are there because they were kicked out of public schools.

I'm not saying all private schools are bad. My kids went to private school for a few years before we moved back to NOVA. But if you really believe that your kids are getting a better education simply because you are paying for it, I have some oceanfront property for sale in Arizona.
Yours was generally the predominant attitude in NoVa towards private schools decades ago. We didn't have too many private schools (compared to DC and Maryland) and many of us who attended public schools thought they were the schools where the kids with disciplinary problems ended up.

I don't think that's how privates are perceived in NoVa now. The public schools are fine for most kids, but there are a lot of bright kids whose learning styles are not taken into account in the public schools unless they are highly gifted or have significant learning disabilities. I wouldn't begrudge any parent who had one too many meetings with an indifferent and/or over-worked public school employee and decided they were going private, or was more comfortable with the moral education that a private school might offer their child. Is a private school education necessarily better? No. Might it be? Certainly.

As to the kids with disciplinary problems, FCPS generally lets them transfer to other public schools in the county before kicking them out for good.

Last edited by JD984; 03-31-2010 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:05 PM
 
1,182 posts, read 2,535,600 times
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I wouldn't begrudge any parent who had one too many meetings with an indifferent and/or over-worked public school employee and decided they were going private, or was more comfortable with the moral education that a private school might offer their child. Is a private school education necessarily better? No. Might it be? Certainly.
I don't disagree with you at all on the moral issue. I felt like the Catholic schools my kids attended did a fantastic job of teaching my kids lessons that public schools don't even touch. And not just religious issues...things like integrity, honesty,and moral fortitude were taught every single day. Public schools don't do a very good job of teaching that stuff.

Of course, my experience is obviously limited to the schools in which I taught. However, from my experiences as a classroom teacher in both private and public schools, it was the public schools that were able to hire and retain the most qualified teachers. The expectations placed on me as a classroom teacher in the public school system were much higher than in the private schools.

Again, I'm not against private schools. My kids attended a fantastic one. But I often hear people say that they would never place their children in public school because private schools offers a better education and that's just not always true. Fairfax County Public Schools have their problems. And there are some not-so-great teachers. But overall, I truly believe that kids in Fairfax get a fantastic education! (*disclaimer- I do not teach in Fairfax County)
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:06 AM
 
22 posts, read 127,935 times
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I think Mississippi Magnolia has the correct perspective. You can find fabulous teachers and administrators in both public and private schools. My mother was a teacher at public and private schools and I attended both public and private. My own kids were in public before we decided to try Westminster. Until this year, I had no idea that a private school like Westminster could be accredited by a body like VAIS (Virginia Association of Independent Schools) while having teachers and administrators without even a college degree. I am shocked and very curious now about what criteria VAIS uses for accreditation.

Obviously, I would not care that much about college degrees if the teachers and adminstrators were doing a great job. But when you combine poor skills with a lack of training, the results are disastrous. I wish we had asked more questions before pulling our kids from Fairfax County and enrolling them at Westminster.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:24 AM
 
702 posts, read 830,874 times
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Originally Posted by NOVAmosquito View Post
I think Mississippi Magnolia has the correct perspective. You can find fabulous teachers and administrators in both public and private schools.
Sure you can. In my time teaching in public schools, I don't think I ever knew a teacher who was not passionate about what they did, did not believe in what they did, and did not genuinely want what was best for the kids. During my time teaching in a private school, it was the same.

The problem is that they cannot go beyond the system they work in.

There is a vast difference between the public school system and public school teachers. You can be well educated, talented and hard-working, and yet in spite of that you will still be constrained to "drill and kill" and use other mediocre teaching approaches because of high-stakes testing. What is taught, the extent of what is taught, and to a large degree how it is taught, is determined by the school system, not the teachers. And that system is most assuredly not concerned with what's best for the kids. It might be an ugly truth, but it's the truth. The quality of education in public schools is sacrificed on the altar of SOLs.

I always feel the need to point this out because it is the aspect of the public school system that non-educators are oblivious to. Even most teachers within the system won't admit it to you for fear of getting into trouble with their administrators.

Last edited by Jremy; 04-08-2010 at 11:04 AM..
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