On the weekend Garth Turner railed about a parent he met who was sending his child to a private school, even though he could not afford it. I couldn’t really tell whether this child was smart or learning disabled, but Garth went on about how Public Schools are perfectly good, and you are a fool if you send your child to a private school, given you are paying taxes for the Public school system.
Let me state my opinions on this (leaving Garth’s odd commentary aside for now). The public school system is set up for the middle 80% of
children, in terms of “intelligence” and such, that is a fiscal truth (unfortunately). Depending on the school and teachers, most folks kids will do just fine in the public school system (most of the time), however, if your child is in the upper 10% (i.e. gifted) or the bottom 10% (learning disabled, or other issues) there are few programs in the public school system in Ontario. Yes there are “gifted” programs and there are programs for kids who need more help, but they are woefully underfunded and very hard to find (and to be included in).
For those about to leap into the “you are generalizing, I know of a kid…”, I am not. I have been blessed with 4 wonderful kids, two which went through the “gifted” program in the public system, and 1 that is on the Autism spectrum who is in a private school. The “gifted” programs are being cut, due to budget issues, and the “rules” for placement in a gifted program are getting tighter and tighter (so they really only serve the top 3% ).
As for the Public Board’s Autism program, it is set up for the kids much more disabled than my son, so he ends up “between” the two programs, and hence why he is in a Private School program (maybe this will change, we shall see how he develops over the next few years).
Different people have different reasons for putting their kids into Private Schools, but if you cannot afford to put your kid into a Private School, and you are only doing it for “prestige” and not a specific educational reason, maybe you should review that. If your child does need a special program at a Private School, investigate if there is help you can get for in the public system.
What is your opinion, Private or Public school systems?