Public vs. Private School

OK firestorm, let it be said I threw the first match.

Raise your hand if you went to public school, K-12. Woot! Me too.

Private school kids, what about you? Maybe you're too awesomely rad to be reading this blob.

I don't have anything against private schools or the kids that go to them or graduate from them. I know that in some cities, like San Francisco, parents really have no choice but to enroll their kids in private school. 

I'm not talkin' 'bout that. Nor does my argument apply to private colleges or universities.

But here's my assertion when it comes to public vs. private K-12. Yes, I'm getting all thesis on you.

Given all things being equal, with both schools having comparable API scores, dedicated teachers, good extracurricular offerings, I would rather have Emmy attend PUBLIC school than private school. 

It's a no-brainer. That's the American dream. I will take a public school that kicks ass over a private school any and every day of the year because that's what this country is supposed to be about. The idea that any kid, from any socio-economic class, can go to school, for FREE, and be enriched and educated, is what an ideal American public school is. And because America is the most diverse country in the world, there's no better place to learn. From books, and from your classmates. 

And guess what people, private school is BOUGIE! As in bourgeois. As in boo-jee. As in, rich, elite, homogenous, and NOT WHAT THE REAL WORLD IS LIKE. 

Unless you are Paris Hilton and then, yes, your world is totally bougie and you can attend all the private school you want because you don't ever need to really bother with bettering yourself or contributing to the world in any way because your wads of cash money will be enough to keep you occupied forever.

Generally speaking, private school means: your parents have mad cash, they are white, and you are not in want of much. Again, before you light your torches and come stomping into my village to set my hair on fire, I'm not talking about the struggling SF parents who eat Cup 'O Noodle so Johnny can go to a school that doesn't have metal detectors and gangs running the yard.

There's technically nothing *wrong* with growing up K-12 surrounded by equally rich, white, need-less people. 

But there's everything right and *better* with growing up K-12 surrounded by different people, and kids who come from different parts of the city, of the world, of the socio-economic spectrum.

Think about what private school kids are missing out on. They don't have poor friends. They don't have immigrant friends. They don't go to a slumber party and see 3 generations living under one roof. They don't try Sunday menudo at their buddy's house. And if you think, hell yeah, who wants that, I know a good private school for you to enroll your kid in. It's called Boo G Academy.

Sure you can send your kid to private school during the week and then take them to the soup kitchen on the weekend. They can do a little poverty tour on the "bad side of town" and get their Diversity 101 in when they watch Boyz N the Hood. 

But when you graduate into the real world, a good public school education prepares you so much better for how to navigate. The earlier you can appreciate and value and understand different perspectives and backgrounds and learn how to interact in that kind of American grown up real life setting, the better. 

I got into this debate with a co-worker who said he would rather send his kid to private school if he could. I was like, "Really? Even if all things were equal and the public school was in a good area with all the same academics and athletics?" Him: "Yep." His reason: "You want to give your kid every advantage in life."

But, and I'm totally biased because of my public school background, I don't think I know any private school kids that have blown me away with their smarts, their accomplishments, or their scrappiness. You don't really need to be all that if your parents have paid your way for the best in everything. It's just there.

And believe me, I want to give Emmy "every advantage in life." I would shoplift those advantages at gunpoint for her if I could because that's how much I want her to be successful and happy and awesome. Pretty much in that order.

I think a strong public school is the way to provide that. Isn't that why parents pay 2 million dollars for a bungalow in Palo Alto?