The Conversation

Slate Manifesto: Sacrifice Your Kids' Learning Potential for the Common Good!

 You can't make this stuff up:

You are a bad person if you send your children to private school. Not bad like murderer bad—but bad like ruining-one-of-our-nation’s-most-essential-institutions-in-order-to-get-what’s-best-for-your-kid bad. So, pretty bad.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

It's hard to know whether to take this seriously at all. She goes on to write "If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school."

Two things. First, this author's eldest child is four years old. That means she is suggesting a course of action she has not yet taken with her own kids. It's a theory at this point and, as it turns out, one the author has already violated in spirit.

That's the second point. The author elsewhere writes that she is well off. She spends $5,000 a month (a month!) on childcare, including preschool. Since she is spending this money this is, quelle horreur!, private preschool. In other words, the author has already violated her "manifesto." Her kids are already private school kids.

Getting back to today's manifesto, she writes "Whatever you think your children need—deserve—from their school experience, assume that the parents at the nearby public housing complex want the same. No, don’t just assume it. Do something about it. Send your kids to school with their kids." Um, okay, so did you offer to pay for their kids to go to private preschool with your kids? No?

Actually, I do assume all parents want a good education for their kids which is why I support school choice and do not support public teacher's unions who collectively insure schools remain plagued with unfit teachers who would be fired long ago in a free market.

What kind of person thinks sacrificing a few generations of kids' potential is preferable to letting the market work? That's right, a bad person.


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