I was absolutely dying over the course of the last couple of days because I could not post in that thread, in particular in response to this post:
"my children will never attend private school!
i went to a private christian school for 6 years, and those were the worst years of my life, there are next to no regulations for the teachers, they can do pretty much whatever they want, and not worry about being fired, because they know that no one wants to teach private school.
the kids are all spoiled rich kids, and are horrible to eachother."
Bchdrmr pretty much covered what I wanted to say, but apparently I still can't keep my trap shut. I think it is ridiculous to make such broad generalizations about all private school teachers. It is one thing to share one's experiences. I am not bothered in the least by someone sharing their own personal experience. I am bothered by the generalizations made above. I have taught at both private and public schools. I taught at a fantastic private school, Round Rock Christian Academy in Round Rock, and in various public districts in Texas. If I was choosing between the particular schools I have been in, I would send my kids to RRCA, hands down. The curriculum was more advanced, the class sizes were much smaller (most of my classes had 9-15 students and 15 was really a large class). The parents were more involved. I've been in public schools where they had to cancel field trips because they couldn't get two parents to go along. I always had lots of parents willing to help out. There was a pretty even mix of kids from really rich families and kids whose families made huge, huge sacrifices to send them there. There were plently of kids on scholarships. Then there were a large number of kids whose familes fell somewhere in the middle. I went to a huge public high school in Orange County, California. The socioeconomic disparity there was so much worse than I saw at RRCA. My avocado green 1978 Cadillac would have been all sorts of embarassing to park in a lot of BMWs, Mercedes and Lexus if I hadn't been so grateful just to have a car. I saw kids treat each other horribly at every school I was at and at every school I have ever attended. Unfortunately kids will do that anywhere. As far as accountabillity RRCA is accredited by ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) and the accredidation process is very stringent. They are also a member of Region 13, which imposes other requirements on them, including having a large number of their teachers hold Texas teaching certificates. I worked with a lot of fantastic teachers there and I saw a few really awful ones come and go, usually very quickly. I also worked with some fantastic public school teachers and some really awful public school teachers. I didn't become a private school teacher because I had to take a job no one else wanted. Other people did want the job I got. I wasn't the only one who applied and interviewed. There are things that make those jobs less attractive (lower pay and crappy benefits), but there are also plenty of things that make them more attractive. For me the positives of working at the private school outweighed the negatives and also outweighed the positives of working at public school, based on my own previous experiences. And I certainly didn't get to "do pretty much whatever" I want. Administration had high expectations of me and if I didn't live up to them I would not have kept my job. Trust me, I saw it happen (not to me!). I did work in some pretty low SES school districts, some with really high turnover, really low levels of resources, etc. so I know that definitely affected my public school teaching experience.
My point is that there are great public schools and great private schools. All of the negatives that have been listed for private schools can be true of public schools and vice versa. If I lived in a place with fantastic public schools I wouldn't feel the need to consider private school. I happen to live in a place with not so great public schools and I would love to have the option of private school. We don't have any near us and we don't have the money so it's not an option. I have education degrees, so we will send our kids to public school and I will fill in the holes at home.
Kimberly, DH Monte, Angel baby 10/06, Angel twin 7/07, Rhett Kaden, our IVF miracle, born 3/23/08, Mason Robert & Wyatt David, our FET miracles, born 8/2/09 at 36 weeks, 3 days