Re: the right to purse excellence
Mon, 5 May 1997 23:25:23 -0400 (EDT)

Dear Deborah,

This is from Hanna at SVS.

I just came back home after spending two weeks with my new born grandson. If
my reply is too late so be it. I am moved to write to you about the issue of
sending your kids to a private school and by doing so being non-supportive of
the public schools. I hear that criticism too often and this is what my
response is.

First I think that the public schools should NOT be supported but obliterated
from the face of the earth and new schools should take their place. But
until it is shown and accepted that Sudbury schools are good for kids it is
better to so call "experiment" with children who are in the top 15% of
whatever they mean ( I don't know what they are talking about but I will let
it be) rather then take risks with kids who are at a higher risk in our
society to begin with. Thus we are not taking the cream off but rather using
those kids to forge new ways to improve education for all kids.

The second argument is that people aren't serious when they say that for the
sake of society as a whole they believe their kids should go the the public
schools. This is usually said by people who live in "better" sections of
town or in the suburbs. I question their sincerity and rather think that
they use this argument to cover their choice to go with what they know and
not to take risks with their kids. I respect the choice but resent the
explanation for it. These people never go to the local hospital that
services the poor but always find the best medical care that they can for
their families. I for one feel the same about my kids schooling as they feel
about medical emergencies. I seek the best for my children and refuse to
subject them to abuse in order to be egalitarian. If I want to better the
world I do my best to change it but while it is happening I take care of my
kids the best way I know how. They get the best medical care which I find
access to and they go to a private school which fits our family's philosophy
rather than have to put up with the inadequacies of the local public school.

And above all else don't you think that the children should have a say about
their school choice? Do they want to go to a bad place in order to support
public education or would they rather go to a school which is right for them?