Private Schools vs. Public Schools

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The first position of chapter three is supportive of private schools.
This position feels that private schools prevent the public schools from having
a total monopoly over education by offering the community an alternative choice.
This choice also produces competition with public schools for student enrollment.
This position views public schools as something a student must accept as the
only option if his or her parents can not afford a private school education.
This is an obvious short coming to private schools, since they do not operate on
the taxpayers' funds. However, some private schools do provide scholarships to
poorer families. However, one distinct advantage of private schools is their
abilities to satisfy their students' special needs. A military academy, for
example, provides the strict discipline that some students need. Basically, a
private school works for the students' desires, while a public school demands
that its students work for their designated needs. The intellectual climate at
a private school is more academically oriented than public schools. Private
education provides students with a broader education that accepts diversity.
Public education, however, does not have as much diversity due to strict public
control that tries to avoid offending others. Private schools are considered to
be more experimental because they try and accept new ideas faster. The American
public generally seems to support private education, according to this position.

     The second position of chapter three favors public schools. This
position feels that private schools are an unnecessary burden and expense to the
public. Private schools have the tendency to tarnish the image and reputations
of good public schools. Magnet, or theme-oriented, schools are public schools
that provide various, specific programs of study for their students to choose
from. An example of a magnet school is the dance school on the television
program Fame. Despite some criticism, public schools are still a strong force
in America. This is in part because public schools bring together different
races into one school building. Private schools are intended for the wealthy,
according to this position. The isolation created by a wealthy-only atmosphere
prevents students from being exposed to reality. A controversial topic
regarding private schools is that parents can obtain vouchers to send their
children there. This is another free ride for the wealthy, the very people who
do not need governmental assistance. Overall, this position views private
schools as privilege available and dedicated to the wealthy.

     My personal opinion of chapter three favors private education. Despite
the fact that I attended a public school, I feel that private schools have as
much right to exist and operate as do public schools.

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Even though they are
sometimes a luxury out of the financial reach of some families, I agree with the
idea of having an alternate choice available to public education. I honestly
feel sorry for those who can not manage to afford private education for their
children, but this should not be the grounds for prohibiting those who can
afford it from sending their children there. I agree with the second position
on the point that if parents decide to send their children to a private school,
they should be solely responsible for the payments.

Bibliography

Nelson, J.L., Carlson, K., & Palonsky, S.B. (1993). Private schools:
Essential or undemocratic. In Critical issues in education (pp. 63-78). New
York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.


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