Private Education


Private Education Essay, Research Paper

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,


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. 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.

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