Public Schools Essay
Public Education Essay
Children have a right to an education, a quality education. Quality education includes learners who are healthy, well nourished and ready to participate and learn. A safe environment provides adequate resources and facilities. Education is an important aspect, “Genius without education is like silver in the mine” (Benjamin Franklin). This quote refers to how important education is, not matter how smart you are. Not affording to get educated is not an excuse anymore; public Schools now provide free education. They are schools run and maintained at public expense, for the education of the children of a community and offers free public education. These schools not only affect the education of the students but it also has an effect on the parents and the government. Parents need to know how public schools are not that good and to know which is better for the education of these children. My research paper covers the period of 2000 up to today focusing on the USA (Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania). Public schools have been a leading choice for parents to send their children but they face many negative aspects such as hiring inexperienced and unqualified teachers, offering only government controlled education, and they negatively affect the attitude and behavior of children.
Main point one
Public schools offer an education system controlled by the government, “Public schools are a government-controlled education system that stays in business through naked compulsion. Local governments pass laws that give school authorities near-monopoly powers over our children’s education” (Turtel, 2005). In public schools all the power goes to the government, they get to control everything, from what the students have to learn and study up to the fact that parents must not interfere. As (Turtel, 2005) stated, “Public schools also force parents to accept teachers that parents might not like or think are competent.” On the other hand, in private schools, if children are not educated well, parents will take their children out of the schools and eventually if many parents transfer their kids from the school, the school shall experience bankruptcy. Children tend to hate public schools because they are forced to study things they are not interested in, which results in careless students that do not have the potential in learning new things. Public schools are unintentionally making the students hate school with the government controlling their studies, even parents cannot do anything about it. The government forces these children to attend public schools for up to twelve years. The government controls everything to the extent that school authorities dictate the curriculum learnt in the schools, even if the children find these subjects meaningless. More so, when the government controls education, it leaves no room for improving education through creativity, since teachers and students have to study what is stipulated by the government curriculum. This only means that students study to acquire knowledge from cramming the rigidly set courses or the literature. The government curriculum does not allow students to reason; rather, it only provides knowledge for success through a career (Fritz, 2003). Education is a matter of learning through the inquisitive nature of a human being that allows a person to seek an answer to particular issues boggling their mind, rather than studying what does not interest you. Government control in education, means dictating what students learn without recognizing their interests (Fritz, 2003). This is because the decision maker is so far away from the subject that making such changes is impossible unlike in private institutions where teachers and administrators have the mandate to offer student education that builds up reasoning capacity.
With all the negative aspects, Public schools offer a free affordable education. The most known reason why public education is a positive aspect is that that it offers this free education. In Texas, a research analyst at Children at Risk stated, “Charging fees can also hurt poor students, especially those whose families just miss qualifying for a waiver” (Holcombe, 2011). The parents of these Poor students are in need for these free public schools to educate their children. This shows us how people seek these public schools, as it is the only way for their children to get the education they need regardless of the negative things. “If the parent cannot afford to send his children to a private school or tutor, and is prevented from instructing the children himself, he must send his child to a public school,” (Murrary, 2006). Some parents do not have a choice of whether they should send their children to private or public schools; the money crisis they live in makes the choice for them. One main reason why children end up in public schools is their family’s money problems. Education is necessary, so parents must send their children to these public schools.
Main Point Two
Even though public schools offer free education, they have a very bad value of money; the level of education is not optimum given the teachers hired are not qualified. The fact that public schools are free decreases the learning values because there is not enough money to be used. As (Stossel, 2006) says, “New York’s Abraham Lincoln High School’s teachers are so dull, students fall asleep in class.” This shows us how bad teachers are because there is not enough money spent for them to hire qualified teachers. Money is supposed to be spent on such things as teachers and public schools do not use their money for things like these, they either do not have the money or prefer using it on other things that are not beneficial for the education of the children. Private schools offer the best education, worth all the money spending. “Their costs may provoke academic sticker shock, but factoring in financial aid helps these schools deliver a high-quality education at affordable prices.” (Kiplinger, 2011) Quality must come first when it comes to education, parents must will to pay for their children’s education. Nowadays even high quality education that is offered in private schools is at affordable prices, so there is no reason not to send children to those private schools.
Another positive aspect of public schools is the variety of ethnic groups, which exposes the students to new cultures. Studying in a diverse population increases a student’s knowledge. (GreatSchoolStaff, 2007) states, “Students who attend schools with a diverse population can develop an understanding of the perspectives of children from different backgrounds and learn to function in a multicultural, multiethnic environment.” This helps the learning of students and can now be open to other cultures and have a better understanding of them. Richness comes from students working side by side, helping each other, sharing and teaching each other about their different backgrounds. Schools should strive to create an environment where all children feel valued and all children can learn. By exposing different types of ethnic groups with different backgrounds, schools are creating these well-educated environments for these students to learn from one another. Schools should ensure that the bad students are engaged to learning in order to help them. “Schools should follow up to see that the student has the proper place to study, healthy meals and all the support he needs.” Offering Support is what schools are offering for the students in need.
Even though ethnic groups expose the student to new cultures and one learns from them, every ethnic group is raised with different beliefs and religions therefore, different students can affect each other negatively. Public schools should open their eyes to the danger they are putting their children in when they are mixing and exposing them with different ethnic and racial groups. They end up learning from each other negatively; they inherit from their friends those bad things. These small things take the children’s minds away far away from education and studying, they start concentration on bad things. As public schools become more diverse, demands increase to find the most effective ways to help all students succeed academically as well as learn to get along with each other. “Teachers are faced with the challenge of making instruction culturally responsive for all students while not favoring one group over another” (GreatSchoolStaff, 2007). Teachers have a hard time working in class with students with different ethnic groups; they want to teach a respective and working together environment without favoring one ethnic group over the other.
Comparing government run schools and private schools, there is a clear evidence of a motive driving the private schools to perform better, that is not in public schools, and hence they seek the best teachers for that purpose. Private schools are under pressure to perform, and have to attract more student or parents to enroll their children; they have to provide quality education that allows students to lead an independent life (Kennedy, 2008). This drives them to hire the best teachers, who can be mentors to the students, and provides a learning climate in which students can explore their curiosity. On the other hand, considering that government run schools follow a strict curriculum that does not require mentorship; rather, requires an instructor to explain. More so, the rigid government curriculum makes professional teachers feel underutilized, or denied the chance to demonstrate their skills or explore their teaching knowledge. This further leads to such teachers seeking to teach in private schools where they can mentor students and see them grow in not only the amount of knowledge they acquire, but also in terms of reasoning and developing independent learning skills to help them for the rest of their life. Seeing a student become an independent person with the capability of reasoning is the joy of the teacher, as opposed to seeing an intellectual who cannot reason in different circumstances, because he or she is only equipped with knowledge directed to a specific task, programmed knowledge, that does not allow moral reasoning. More so, the rigid rules in government-controlled school lay an explicit criterion for hiring teachers. It requires them to have bachelor’s degree in education among other qualifications. However, it does not recognize that a person with a professional degree of deeper knowledge in a certain field could make a better teacher (Klicka, 2007). The rigid criterion does not allow government controlled schools to look for talent; rather, it is only concerned with papers that might not mean imparting knowledge in students. People with a deeper understanding of a certain knowledge and have probably worked in the particular field have a wider base of knowledge and experience from which to teach the students in not only the literature about the subjects, but also other factors related to the subject that could help students have a better understanding (Klicka, 2007).
Main Point Three
Public schools have students from different demographic backgrounds studying together and this can have a negative effect on discipline. negative attitudes towards authority and life in general can be passed on from ill mannered students to naive students.On the other hand, in public schools, whether the school has a poor reputation in terms of discipline, the teachers might not stand to loose much since the schools cannot be closed down, or parents might withdraw their children. The fact that they are free leaves the parents with no other choice considering the financial background. More so, when a student enrolls in a public school, there are explicitly laid behavior codes and punishment for infraction, which leaves the students aware of what follows in case of failing to abide to set moral codes however, the administration does not have mandate and man power to enforce them.. More so, the students are required to read and understand them clearly before signing them. This makes them aware of what is supposed to be done in school and what code of behavior they are supposed to abide by. The government-controlled schools have their disciplinary measures laid down by the government. More so, in the public schools there are constitutional rights that are accorded to every child and must be followed. With this, disciplinary measures takes time to implement and fails to be effective when students realize it takes time and find ways to avoid it (Kennedy, 2011). More so, the parents are not required to sign any contract determining the kind of punishment the child is supposed to receive in case of infraction. Hence, unlike in private schools, parents are not involved in the discipline of their child. The teachers too might find the process of discipline long and tedious, and end up ignoring since they may not want to follow the long procedures. This encourages students to engage in bad behavior since the disciplinary measures are not effective. More so, in public schools, classes have a higher number of students than private schools, leaving teachers with a higher burden. Controlling a big class is hard, especially a class with a cultural and racial diversity (Hymowitz, 2000). Public schools have diversity in cultures and races considering the number of students, and distribution of economic status that contributes to most people preferring public schools. When such diversity is brought together, students tend to learn from each other. They try to experiment what they learn at school when they are together than at home. This contributes to further indiscipline among the students.
All children have a right to education, and it has to be quality. More so, children must have freedom of education, to study what is relevant and of interest to their life. Students have to be given a right to study subjects of their interest that allow them to satisfy their inner drive, rather than having to study set subjects that might not be of help to them in the future. Government control in public schools makes it hard to make necessary decisions within the school such as designing the curriculum to fit individual needs of each child. More so, government should not control schools to allow for pressure to performance in schools, and participation of parents in making decisions concerning their children’s learning and behavior. Private schools have managed to provide better education out of using the three-partner approach, where all parties are involved, the subject who is the student, teacher and the parent. This makes a strong team for the education of the child.
Fritz, M. (2002). How government control — even local— has ruined public education. Retrieved from http://www.honested.com/essays/fritz/wash_u.php
Hymowitz, K.S. (2000). Who Killed School Discipline? Retrieved from http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_2_who_killed_school_dis.html
Kennedy, R.K. (2008). For Profit vs. Not for Profit Schools. Retrieved from http://www.privateschoolreview.com/articles/93
Kennedy, R. (2011). Teaching – The Difference between Private and Public Schools: Discipline and Due Process. Retrieved from http://privateschool.about.com/cs/employment/a/advantages_2.htm
Klicka, C. (2007). The Myth of Teacher Qualifications. Retrieved from http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000002/00000214.asp
Turtel, J. (2005). Public Schools – Bad Education, Year after Year? Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Public-Schools—Bad-Education,-Year-After-Year?&id=57604