Sunday, March 28, 2010


Public Education
Robert Overholt

Public Education always gets a bad reputation. Those who do not or did not attend public schools think that it consists of a bunch of hoodlums who do not attend class and instead they just stay in the hallways and make out with their girlfriends. This is how Hollywood portrays public schools, so it must be true. I beg to differ.

Public education is not for just the rejects or the poor families who can’t afford private education. In fact, public schools are often more prestigious in the advanced placement classes offered as well as the quality of teachers. Johns Creek High School is a rare, yet prime example. Johns Creek is home to many of the finest teachers in Georgia, and has some of the nicest facilities and technology in the nation. How many schools, public and private alike, have advanced Promethean boards in every classroom? The stereotypes for public school systems are not always true. Granted, Fulton County Schools are a rare exception from the norm. Yet, I’m sure that there are other counties in America with similar advancements. My point is that public education is not always as bad as people make it out to be.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the schools in rural towns and inner cities that do not have a five thousand dollar touch-screen, computer, television, freakin’ awesome machine in every room. Many times, these schools coincide directly with the bum reputation of public schools. But often times, the faculty and students are very dedicated to learning; they just simply don’t have the money and resources that Johns Creek has. In either case, public education is doing its job.

Private education has its benefits as well. Public school is most definitely inconsistent in its quality; so many times families do choose the private route. If there is one problem with public education in America, it is consistency. Some public schools, such as Johns Creek, are exceptional. Yet, on the other side of Atlanta there are schools that aren’t as fortunate when it comes to resources. It depends on location and the where the tax dollars are distributed. In terms of where the majority of money should be sent, there is no kid or school that deserves it more than another. Every single kid’s learning process is as important as another’s. That is why I wonder why Johns Creek got so lucky. But hey, I’m not complaining.

When discussing the rigor offered at public schools versus private schools, public schools are usually superior. When comparing similar level public and private schools (for example, a mediocre private school with a mediocre public school), the public school will usually be able to offer a more rigorous schedule. Of course, a prestigious private school will be better than a mediocre public school. The bottom line is, a prestigious public school such as Johns Creek may have more to offer than a similarly prestigious private school such as Marist, because the individual has more freedom to personalize his learning process in deciding his class schedule where at a private school, the individual may simply follow the archetype for the private school education.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Robert that possibly the largest problem facing the public school system is its inconsistency. Schools in areas such as Johns Creek certainly offer wonderful oppertunities and easily rival the education offered in prestigious private schools. Like Robert, I am not about to complain but I do believe that each child deserves an equal chance at education. The education of children should not depend on the socioeconomic positions of their parents. Every child of every race of every situation should have the oppertunity to attend a school that fosters a "can do" attitude and can properly equip the child for life beyond high school. We at Johns Creek are certainly lucky to be in such a wonderful learning enviroment but there are still students at our school who slack in their studies and are performing at a very low level. This shows that it is not only the schools or the teachers who are responsible for success but the students themselves. So no matter what situation a student is placed in there is the potential for failure, and for success.