Columnist Claims Only Bad People Send Kids to Private Schools

"Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good."


It's nice to see a liberal finally admit that Obama and Matt Damon are bad people. Even if only indirectly. The column is an unintentionally hilarious deconstruction of every stupid liberal assumption.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve.

Since everyone already pays for the public school boondoggle, but not everyone sends their kids there, it would seem that dumping a lot more kids into an already broken system would break it even more.

But I'm not a policy wonk. I'm just sane.

This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.

It worked out in the USSR. Eventually it collapsed and everyone was freed. So maybe the same thing will happen to the government. In the meantime we have to sacrifice our children's education in the hopes of overloading the school system and accelerating its collapse.

So, how would this work exactly? It’s simple! Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. Not just lip-service investment, or property tax investment, but real flesh-and-blood-offspring investment.

Everyone is already invested in plenty of government institutions that don't work. Everyone in Detroit is invested in Detroit. It doesn't seem to help.

Your local school stinks but you don’t send your child there? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better.

And yet all the parents sending their kids there have failed to make it better.

In many underresourced schools, it’s the aggressive PTAs that raise the money for enrichment programs and willful parents who get in the administration’s face when a teacher is falling down on the job. Everyone, all in.

What if the entire educational system is falling down on the job? What if the entire common core curriculum is falling down on the job? What if a system that exists to provide cushy salaries to bureaucrats and jobs for union members is falling down on the job?

What if government is falling down on the job?

There are a lot of reasons why bad people send their kids to private school. Yes, some do it for prestige or out of loyalty to a long-standing family tradition or because they want their children to eventually work at Slate. But many others go private for religious reasons, or because their kids have behavioral or learning issues, or simply because the public school in their district is not so hot. None of these are compelling reasons

Wait. Sending your child to a religious school for religious reasons is not compelling? Are we going full-USSR here?

If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school. She will have support at home (that’s you!) and all the advantages that go along with being a person whose family can pay for and cares about superior education

Until she gets raped in a school bathroom or he gets shot on the way home from school

I went K–12 to a terrible public school. My high school didn’t offer AP classes, and in four years, I only had to read one book. There wasn’t even soccer. This is not a humblebrag! I left home woefully unprepared for college, and without that preparation, I left college without having learned much there either. You know all those important novels that everyone’s read? I haven’t. I know nothing about poetry, very little about art, and please don’t quiz me on the dates of the Civil War. I’m not proud of my ignorance. But guess what the horrible result is? I’m doing fine

So Slate gave a self-admitted idiot an opportunity to write about the triumphant outcome of her public-school fed ignorance.

Getting drunk before basketball games with kids who lived at the trailer park near my house did the same for me. In fact it’s part of the reason I feel so strongly about public schools.

I bet.

Whatever you think your children need—deserve—from their school experience, assume that the parents at the nearby public housing complex want the same.

No they don't. If they did, the odds are that they would get it or teach it to their children on their own time. I grew up poor and went to a bad school and I'm stating a fact.

Parents who genuinely want their kids to learn find ways to teach them. Parents who don't, complain about racism or economic inequality.