I grew up going to a small public school on the Big Island. Maybe my education wasn't as sophisticated as others who went to bigger schools and had the opportunity to take varied classes. My school stuck to the basics because we only had enough teachers to teach really the basics. We didn't have several foreign language classes to choose from or any other extra classes. But I went to college and graduated and have worked in interesting careers before becoming a SAHM. You can guess we don't have the means to send our kids to private schools but we live in an area where the public schools are decent. My son, who will be in 1st grade in the fall, has had more opportunities at his school than I had at mine. I am all for public schooling. I think my son gets a lot out of it academically and socially. He has a variety of friends from all levels of socio-economic classes. These kids are decent and the teachers are great at his school. The support from the community seems to be good. At this point, I have no reason to send my child(ren) to private school.
Here is my experience. I am a product of the public schools. I did pretty well in high school but my high school didn't really prepare me for college. I think these days there is more college prep in the public high schools. My parents sent my brother to private school because they felt he needed more structure. I think that was a good decision because I think he would have gotten into to much trouble in public school. He was in high school while I was in college and sometimes we were reading the same books and writing the same papers.
For my children, they got straight A's in high school taking college level classes so we didn't feel the need to send them to private school although I did tell my son if he fooled around too much in school I would put him in private school. Good thing he didn't because at 18,000 grand a year I don't know how we would have afforded it.
What I find interesting is that almost all the teachers at the school I work at send their kids to private school, some of them from kindergarden. They often complain to me about how they are only working to pay tuition. I have to admit the DOE is pretty messed up but most of the teachers are dedicated to making sure their children learn and especially at the elementary level, what happens at home can greatly influence the child's success in school. I think for a child that needs the structure or the extra challenge, private school is good. For others, a public education can work. It all depends on the child and the parents ability or willingness to sacrifice to pay the tuition.
you know Lance I use to think that a private education was better then public.but I live now in a community that has 95% of the kids going to public and 2.5% home schooled and 2.5%...going to private...small schools. I notice that the public schools here really put out, and parents who get involved with their kids school make the difference in how your child succeeds or not. While I still pay school registration fees..and so forth..it cost me $78.00 in fees for Jr. High and about $135.00 for high school...add to that the $145-$167 that I get taxed in my home owners taxes each year per child to fund the educational department.
So to answer the question..if I had the means..I'd still send them public.
Both my kids went to public schools and did very well like Masako said, 5.0 GPA. My son who will be a sophomore at HPU, had a 5.0 GPA for his freshman year at HPU so the public school did prepare him for college.
It's important too that the parents get involve with your child in his/her education as much as possible.
went to private for elementary and intermediate school... went to public high school... was taking junior classses in my sophomore year. my children went to public and are successful. there is an advantage of attending private, but public is also ok, it's up to the student's effort to learn and make use of the what the systems offer. Parents need to be involved.
Both of my kids went to private high school and in our case it was a mistake. A bit of a different situation on the mainland as most (if not all) of the private schools have religious affiliations. In retrospect they would have gotten a better education from the public high school. To be perfectly honest their education (and prep for college) would have been even better if we had been more involved in their education and activities.
The bottom line is that parental involvement is key no matter where you send your child to school.
I have no kids, but if it was by choice, go to public school. I went to a public school, turned out great, went to college, traveled, jumped different jobs, all went well. Mortgage, electricty and whatnot is going up, save money for a roof over your head and continue to educate your kids the best you know how. We learn something new everyday =)
My husband and I are both public school graduates. Our two kids currently are in public school and I have no regrets. Like everyone mentioned, it is what you and your kids put in. I would rather save my money for college. I hear stories of kids who go to private school and then they really can't afford a good college. When was the last time your employer said what high school did you go versus your college. I also think that money I save going to public school is better spent on taking my kids on vacation. They can sure learn alot by visiting varies places in the world. My kids have gone to Japan and many mainland states...more than what I did as a kid. Of course if money is not a problem then I don't argue that private schools have better facilities and more opportunities...I'm just not one of them that has all that extra money.
@ M - when you say "HPU", I am assuming you are talking about "Hawaii Pacific University". Please don't take any offense, but the academic course work at HPU is not very rigorous. Kids who get a 4.0 at Iolani or Punahou often gain admission to the best schools in the country/world. I'm talking Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of Oxford, etc.
There is nothing wrong with public schools - I've attended public schools from K thru 12. But let's be real - the top 10% in any public school class could not even begin to compete with the top 10% in a school like Iolani or Punahou. But that's not the most concerning. What worries me the most is that it takes virtually NO EFFORT to graduate from public school. Many student in the bottom 10% of a public school class can barely spell, do basic math, let alone write a complete, error-free sentence.
I went to public school, but the kid will only get out of it what he/she & parents put into it. My parents were kinda 'hands-off' and it didn't help a lot. Lucky i was 'smart' but not in other ways (shame). I think if you make the time to be involved, public school will be fine. But if your child appears to be light-years ahead of the class, think of looking for a more rigorous educational venue. If I had been able to be challenged, I might not have gotten so bored... and so in trouble in my later years of HS
Wow, BL great topic. Kinda surprised that almost everyone is tooting public school education. My wife and I are both public school educated. She is a educator at a public school so we see the key to success is student/parent/teacher participation and communication. If a student is motivated then public or private doesn't matter. Our children are in public school and will remain there as long as the school's staff and environment remains supportive.
I went to public schools and (biased of course) I think I turned out okay. Full disclosure - both my parents, as well as my paternal grandparents and all the aunties on my dad's side, taught public school. My mom taught at my elementary school, my dad taught at my high school, and during one year in intermediate school, I had an aunty teaching there. I was that irritating student who did all the homework and the extra credit (and not just because my parents would hear about it immediately if I slacked off).
Some kids need more structure. Some kids need more of a challenge. One of my best friends in high school, and still a dear friend today, is very smart and wasn't challenged at our high school. He wasn't lazy, just not interested. I think he would have excelled at private school. Another dear friend from high school struggled with the public/private school decision, and decided to send her own kids to private schools. I think she finally decided to do that because (1) the private schools were the closest ones to their house, and (2) of other enrichment programs available at the private schools in addition to academics.
My parents would bemoan all their colleagues who sent their own kids to private schools. Education is not just what you find in books, but it's also learning to live with, work with, and deal with kids of other socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. As I get older, I'm learning how important social skills and social maturity is (mostly because I'm kind of backward in that regard).
We had no choice back in the '30/40's, except to go to Honolulu. Back on Kauai everyone went to public schools because very few could afford to. Because of WWII, my friend came home from Mid-Pacific and attended Kauai High School. I say this though, he was ahead of us. We both served in the army and he used his GI bill and got an archetic degree and became a success in Honolulu. Our son went to public school and state college so,if you don't have the resources use what is available. Might have advantage when applying for jobs if you graduate from a prestigious college.