Sunday, March 28, 2010

Public Education

Having been educated privately my whole life until 9th grade; I have come to realize that I enjoy the public education system more. I have experienced a greater amount of freedom and acceptance in public schools than I have in private. Though many private skills boast about having small class sizes and intimate classroom settings, many times these small classes can actually hinder a student’s ability to grow and learn. Growing up I attended Perimeter Christian School where I went to school with pretty much the same sixty four students from first through eighth grade. Sixty four—that’s it. Being around the same group of students for that very lengthy amount of time was rewarding in the fact that some of those students are my current best friends but also dissatisfying having never experienced any type of diversity. Almost every student came from the same background: white, upper-class, Christian family. Though it was encouraging being around so many students that shared the same beliefs as me, it did not prepare me very well for the so-called real world where not everyone is like me. I guess some would say I lived a “sheltered” life under the private school system and I would definitely agree with them.

I remember my fist day of public school. I walked into Northview High School on my first day of freshman year freaking out about the “druggies” and hoodlums that supposedly infected all public schools. I was expecting to get mugged on the bus, offered weed at my locker, and find couples “doing-it” in the bathroom. None of which happened, thank god. But, that is what being in private school my whole life did to me. Though not purposefully, it made me believe that public school is the equivalent to hell. But, little to their knowledge, the education and experiences I have had in public school has been just as good if not better than the so-called prestigious private education. Though I have been witness to great amounts of cheating, drugs, etc. in public school, I think that me being witness to these things has prepared me for the reality check that would be waiting for me in college had I stayed in private school.

I don’t really understand why parents wish to spend large amounts of money to send their child to a private school because the education received in public schools is just as good. Many times the opportunities available to students in private schools are limited whereas in the opportunities seem to be endless in public schools because there seems to be something of enjoyment for everyone. Public schools not only offer more diversity educationally they also offer more diverse extra-curriculars. The only extra-curricular activities available to me in private school were sports and though I love being athletic, it is not everyone’s passion. At public schools such as Johns Creek there exists a wide variety of clubs and programs for every type of student. Public schools encourage diversity while most private schools seem to encourage normality and uniformity.

1 comment:

  1. However personal Fowlers entry is it has insight in it that most people would overlook. The main points that she hits is that private school systems do not offer diversity and ultimately restrict the opportunities offered in America. I agree one hundred percent with her claim. Public schools enable kids to acknowledge other cultures, ways of life, and public schools build strong character.

    I may have not gone to a private school other than pre-school but, there is a big difference in mindset between a public school student and a private school student. Most private school students I have encountered have been extremely naïve and often seemed close minded. Private school students, I have found, seem to blurt out more close minded statements. They do not understand that what they are saying will not mesh well in reality with other religions, cultures, and beliefs.

    Public school students seem to be more open to diversity. They would not blink twice if they saw different cultures congregating for a friendly game of Frisbee. Although there are students enrolled in public schools that are flamboyantly ignorant, students seem to be more accepting of everyone. The mindset is vastly different and people are more able to fit in with some group or another.

    Above all, public schools will teach students how to cope with the harsh realities in life. There will always be the popular people, the braniacs, and the kiss asses in life and public schools intensify the experience with each personality type. By being able to work with them, hate them, love them and talk about them students are able to mature and become more compassionate and understanding in public school settings. The harshness of a public high school thickens a teenager’s skin and will result in a better person. Public school systems do not fixate on wealth, and who did what in first grade.

    I like to think of high school as the world of second chances because no matter how bad you mess up one week, the next week everyone has forgotten and you get a new week to redeem yourself. Different styles and economic standings are intergraded into every school system. Exposure to all of these things make public schools a more efficient way to educate future generations on more than what the textbooks have to offer.