14 November 2012
Public vs. Private: The Great School Debate
To privatize or not to privatize… that is the question. Should the nation keep our schools run by the government or should the governments let companies take over education? That is a very important question in our education system today. The answer to our problems today lies in a very simple answer. State governments should privatize the public school system.
Many people may think that privatizing all of the schools in the nation is an absurd and outlandish claim, but if one were to look at the facts, it suddenly becomes reasonable. In Florida, over 30% of students in one district could not meet the most basic requisites in mathematics, reading, and science in order to move on to higher education. (Dunn 9) Also, on top of that, in many schools across the nation, teachers’ pay is directly linked to how their students perform in basic standardized testing. Imagine how low the pay is in the school district in Florida. State governments need to privatize our schools to save our education system.
Although, public schools are a truly delicate balance. If public schools were privatized, there is a risk that everything may fall apart at the seams and the nation’s education system would be destroyed beyond ruins. It would be a huge leap to privatize the school system. Public schools right now maintain a delicate balance that is keeping our nation running. Would the people of America really want to jeopardize a functioning system right now? John Cloud writes, “Contrary to popular belief, we can find no evidence that private schools actually increase student performance.” (17) As well, some teachers fear that they may lose control of what happens in their classroom if private companies were to take over the school system (Simon 1).
Back to the burning question and more facts about it, Sierra Stoneman-Bell writes “Pursuing alternative pathways are important, but we are racing the clock.” (12). If we truly are racing the clock, wouldn’t we try to do everything possible to make sure that we don’t plunge beyond the point of return?
First, before the American public were to make any decisions, the plan needs to be clarified. The first part of the plan would entail that schools would not be privatized into solely parochial schools. If one would like to create a parochial school, that would be acceptable, but this is not feasible for the schools all across the nation. A better plan would be to let private companies take over our current school system. This has occurred in Finland, and the idea is spilling over into Britain. David Bell, the secretary of Education in Great Britain states that there is “No principled objection” to private, company-run schools (18). Also, these schools will not be like parochial schools in that they have large tuitions, or any tuition at all for that matter. These newly privatized schools would be free to the public; anyone who could attend public school under the current system would still be able to attend these new company-run schools. The only difference between the newly privatized schools and our current system is that the government is not in charge, the private companies choose the curriculum that will lead to success after school, and that the results of our current system will be greatly increased.
Also, another important point to address is that teachers who are doing a good job in the classroom (good discipline, maximizing student effort, etc.) would more than likely be able to keep their jobs. They would go through the hiring process, and if the teachers meet the standards of the company, they can be hired. This would mean that the good teachers would still be able to keep their jobs, and the bad teachers would be faded out of the system.
A good example of corporate-run schools would be the International English Schools, or IES. This is Swedish company that runs schools all...