WASHINGTON – US public schools are so bad that many public schools teachers –that is those who have first hand knowledge of the failures of the system- send their own children to private schools. (More on this below).
Two tier America
I have stated in several earlier pieces how the crisis of US public education has essentially created a two tier America. In tier one we have the children of the rich and the well-educated who attend quality private schools. In general, these children receive good quality education. With these academic credentials they can get into the prestigious universities whose degrees, in most cases, become the tickets to high paying jobs and good careers.
In tier two we have all those who cannot afford private education and who are not lucky enough to live in the few areas where public schools are decent, or where other choices, such as quality charter schools, are available.
The poor suffer the most
Within this large second tier the children of the poor suffer the most. Most likely their parents are uneducated. There are no books and no mentors in their homes. If these children do not get a good education in the public school they attend, they have almost no chance of getting any somewhere else. It is quite obvious that being poor and uneducated in today’s America means no opportunity, menial part-time jobs, and marginalization.
This is not an accident
Having said all this, now we learn that this national tragedy is not the result of some misguided public policy regarding public education pursued by people acting in good faith. On the contrary, it would appear that those who work in the system know exactly what they are doing.
Public school teachers send their kids to private schools
Ms. Ronda Ross in a letter to the WSJ, (Choice, for Children of Progressives, September 24, 2014), quotes data from a Fordham Institute study. Assuming that the information she provides is accurate, we learn that “Nationwide, public schools teachers are more than twice as likely as an average citizen to enroll their children in private learning institutions”.
Got that? Public school teachers who have the means to do so send their kids to private schools. So, here is the ugly story that reveals bad faith and hypocrisy.
Public school teachers have an intimate knowledge of how bad the system they work in and defend really is. And so, as good parents, they send their own children to private schools where they will not be harmed by the effects of a bad public education.
In the case of law makers who publicly defend the system for political reasons, same story. They applaud public school teachers and their unions. But they send their own kids to private schools.
Do we care?
Given all this, it is clear that those who run the system and their political allies know exactly what they are doing. They know how bad US public education really is. So much so that they make sure that their own children are not damaged by it.
That said, does America care about all the others who have no choice? Do we really want millions of children to grow up as hopeless adults, with almost no doors open for them?