I recently read an article about why the author was going to send his kids to public school. He was basically saying that if he didn’t send his kids to public school, he would not be doing his part to improve public schools–that parents should all send their kids to public school no matter what, so they could change the system and improve it from within.
I thought some of the readers’ contrary comments were right. I thought this comment from someone called Jessica put it the best “…I have to say that the public schools we went to are not the public schools of today. Yes, a determined group of parents can make changes for the better in their neighborhood school, but it’s a difficult, uphill slog. No Child Left Behind has done real, lasting damage that you can’t just opt out of. And I find the “we’ll just fix it with extracurriculars” argument to be shallow, elitist, and ultimately unhealthy for kids, who need time for unstructured play. So I don’t know the answer. Will my kid end up in public school? Probably. Will I be terrified to send her there? Probably.”
Although Howard County, Maryland, is known for having some of the best schools in one of the best districts in Maryland, and Maryland is known for having one of the two best school systems in the USA, I still have plenty of worries. Although I am not going to send my kids to public school, I also felt that the article was total bull. The public school system is so seriously in need of so many kinds of adjustments (everything from no child left behind to PE to school lunches) that I say if you can afford to keep your kids out of public school (either via private school or homeschooling), and find a good fit, your kids would be better off.
Private schools will have much smaller class sizes, richer curricula and less emphasis on testing. Many of the private schools in Howard County are VERY diverse and emphasize caring about others.
If you’re in Howard County, Maryland, here is a list of some private schools you should consider and a list of pre-schools. If you’re looking for gift ideas for your gifted/talented child, here are some great educational ideas.