Could education ever be really and truly privatized?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Nov 14, 2021.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2021

    I'd prefer to leave politics out of this and look more at the mechanics.

    In many ways, I have no problem with private schools or even a majority of private education. And I have heard the ways people would ensure all students had access: government help, charities, even the notion that many schools could still be free even if privatized.

    However, I see supply and demand being a huge issue. I understand many private schools don't pay that much comparatively, and with private schools competing I could see a problem with parents not wanting to pay the prices needed to stop teachers from going to other careers.

    What would keep things private without a public option?
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 14, 2021

    I guess the only option I could see with a totally privatized system would be like the public schools we have now, but they would just be run by some sort of private corporation(s) rather than the state. If that were to become a reality, I think there would still be "private schools" in the sense that we have now- the ones parents pay for.

    As far as teachers, I hope I'm wrong in this, but I could see the field becoming "deprofessionalized" in the sense that teaching is no longer looked at like a "career" anymore. I mean, we're already seeing that many new teachers quit within the first few years anyway. I could see it becoming more and more TFA-like in the sense that it's something new college grads due for a couple of years to "give back" and boost their resume before moving on to the career they originally wanted. We're also already seeing that rather than raising incentive to join the field by raising pay, many places are just making it easier to become a teacher/lessening requirements

    If that happens, then it's possible that middle and higher SES families will flock to private schools in greater numbers than we're currently seeing, where perhaps "real" career teachers still exist. But like you mentioned, pay in these positions tends to be terrible. There are non-financial incentives- easier students, not worrying about test scores, potentially not worrying about other school initiatives (RtI, students with disabilities, etc.) but will there be enough people willing to sacrifice decent pay for those other incentives?
     
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  4. stargirl

    stargirl Comrade

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    Nov 14, 2021

    Isn't that sort of what charter schools are, more or less?
    I hear mixed reports. Some are definitely better than others.
     
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  5. MrTempest

    MrTempest Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2021

    One of my big concerns is that when schools become dependent on the money tied to each student, how far will the school be willing to bend over to keep that child. Imagine both Suzie and Beth’s mothers are having a conversation. Beth’s mother is sharing her concerns that Beth is struggling with her school workload and is afraid she will not get her grades up to get into the college she wants. Suzie’s mom shares that at Suzie’s school she hardly has any school work and cannot remember the last time Suzie got anything less than an A. This may make Beth’s mom threaten her daughter's school with the fact she might transfer her daughter to Suzie’s school unless her grades come up. The education Suzie is receiving may be leagues better than that of Beth’s school, but to these mothers the only thing that matters is grades.



    In short, I fear what may happen if certain parents held too much power. How much would a school be willing to compromise in order to keep parents happy for the wrong reasons?
     
  6. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Connoisseur

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    Nov 16, 2021

    I only know my own experience with this. My kids went to public school until 4th grade. Where we lived at the time, had a great public K-3. Once the kids were moved to a 4th-6th grade campus, it was a horrible school where gang activity was high.
    Most of the teachers moved their kids to private school for 4th and up.
    They kept the private school private by doing a home visit, interviews with parents and kids, and looking over the students' school records. Students with violent or disrespectful infractions were not admitted.
    As a parent, you had to trust the school and staff a lot too b/c you had to sign and agree to a lot of papers.
    I am so thankful I found the one I did b/c it was filled with very good teachers and admin. They were very strict in some senses, but very good role models. I still know a lot of my kids' friends from those days and all of them grew up to be decent people. They took zero funding from the government. That is the only way I can see that school being able to do all of the stuff ( good) that they did.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Nov 16, 2021

    My state is open enrollment. You can (try) to enroll in any district, unless you have an IEP. The district is free to accept or not accept open enrollments depending on space or whatever other factors they decide. There is definitely an element of competing for more students, advertising, etc. Every couple of years we have to make what I jokingly call "propaganda videos" trying to talk up the school/district. 10 years ago, when 1:1 technology in schools was a newer concept for schools, all of our schools in my district put out giant banners stating we were providing an ipad for every student.

    However, the situations like you describe are pretty few and far between, IME. There is always 1 or 2 parents that want to huff off to another district if they feel our school/district isn't catering to them enough. It's such a small number that it doesn't really make a difference, and it's often parents/students that are high maintenance anyway, so nobody is too broken up about it. We also get new students from other districts because those parents have huffed off to our district after getting mad at the previous one for whatever reason. It all evens out. If you're thinking of an entire district basically just catering to parents by giving everyone As and not making kids do any work, well that doesn't work because of state testing accountability. Everyone wants (and needs) to get the best scores possible so they're not going to do something like what you describe to attract more students.
     
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