Value of Education
In his essay “Is College Worth the Money?”, Daniel S. Cheever, Jr. contends that, “The real question is whether students are getting their money’s worth” (102). He emphasizes the value of education and not only the cost. Higher education is the focus of Cheever’s essay, but I believe the same question of worth can be asked concerning elementary through high school education as well. Both public and private schools offer distinctive educational opportunities and each individual needs to resolve the question of value. There are many facets that give value to an education; however, the cost cannot be ignored.
Parents make the initial choices for their children’s education. The choice is primarily based on economics, but parents’ own educational experiences also affect the choice. The cost of public or private education, even at the elementary level, is considerable. The only difference is that one is paid through taxes and the other by private individuals. Having attended only private schools, my perspective may be somewhat biased. However, a child’s education, whether private or public, is reflective of what the parent values. Is there a way to measure the value of the costs? The current education system measures how well students progress through testing; however, if Susie gets an A and Johnny gets a C on the same test it does not necessarily mean that Susie got more value than Johnny.
Faculty, administration, and class size vary from school to school and in public education there is usually no choice. Some may find greater educational value in having choices in those areas. Private schools give more options, and in the case of post-secondary education, a student can be selective and find the institution that fits his or her goals. This is not to say, however, that the public education system should remain stagnant in their roles. Finding ways to motivate students to truly learn and enjoy learning through creative methods is...
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