Last year, when the pandemic shut down schools across the country and terrified parents around the world facedzoom schoolor bankrupt, many parents turned to alternative options, fromhomeschool pod schoolsforcooperative private schools- hoping for smaller group education that still seemed to count as, you know, group education. And certainly some parents who experimented with the private school model in the midst of the pandemic have been motivated to continue. But what is the problem with private education in the US? Is it really worth the ever increasing price?
The annual national average cost of K-12 education tuition in the US is $11,173, according to the organization.Private School Review.The word "average" here is key, because private school costs vary greatly between elementary and high school fees, and also from state to state and even within large urban areas, depending on the type of school. At the lower end of the scale, private school tuition can cost around$5,279 Iowa em,while private education in Vermont is at the top,average $22,067by year.
In New York State, private school feesaverage $18,793per year, but the elite Dalton school in New York will cost$ 55.210(a fee that does not include extracurricular programs, trips, or school activities). If you're looking for a school that addresses learning differences like Asperger's, ADHD, or anxiety, private tuition can cost up to$ 119.720per year, the rate of the Glenholme School in Connecticut.
The differences in the resources available to private school students are apparent, and these differences even extend to admission to the nation's most prestigious universities. Datacollected in Princeton from 2015 to 2018found that of the 25 best college nutrition schools, only three are public schools where 15 percent or more of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (and even these schools were "highly selective" public schools based on the admission, such as Stuyvesant High School in New York City).
More recently, COVID-19 has highlighted stark racial inequities in the US school system: recent datapublished by the Institute of Educational Sciences of the Department of Educationfound significant racial disparities in school reopening, with black, Hispanic and Asian students in public schools more likely to receive remote learning and fall further behind academically than their white peers.
What is homeschooling? A guide for parents and students.
Black, Hispanic, and Asian students in public schools [were] more likely to receive distance learning and lag further behind academically than their white peers.
But racial segregation in schools is a thing of the past, right? Unfortunately not. In fact, the data indicates thatAmerican schools could be more segregatednow than they were at the time ofbrown v. board of education. In accordance withEconomic Policy Institute, only "one in eight white students (12.9 percent) attend a school where the majority of the students are black, Hispanic, Asian, or American Indian...by contrast, nearly seven in 10 black children attend a school (69.2 percent)". The resource gaps are also stark, with seven in 10 black children (72.4 percent) attending a high-poverty school, compared to less than one in three white students (31.3 percent).
The deepening of racially segregated schools across the country is detrimental to children of all racial identities. In accordance withNational Coalition for School Diversity, "racially diverse learning environments have a positive impact on the academic achievement of students of all races."
While all students benefit from desegregation, some are more negatively affected by the current situation. Children attending under-resourced schools are subject to numerous negative consequences, including adverse health effects caused by environmentally unsuitable construction. In Philadelphia, the city's school system's chronic underfunding has led to a crisis: an investigation by Philadelphia reportersphiladelphia enquirerin 2019found that many of the city's school district buildings had shockingly high levels of lead, asbestos, and other disease-related environmental hazards.
Adolescents turn to social networks to share experiences of racism in private schools
And the disparities continue.Data from the Department of Education consistently showthat African-American children and children with disabilities are not only disciplined at much higher rates, but are "disproportionately referred and arrested by police in schools" in what is known as the "school-to-school pipeline." the prison".
Schools are also unsafe spaces for LGBTQ students: GLSEN National Climate Surveyof LGBTQ youth found that the vast majority of LGBTQ students (86.3%) experienced bullying or assault at school based on personal characteristics, including "sexual orientation [and/or] gender expression" as well as race, ethnic origin and disability. Continued bullying by any combination of these identities, whether real or perceived, means that school is a dangerous place for many students.
These factors have caused some black parents to choose to enroll their children in predominantly black schools. Although sometimes less resource-rich, majority Black schools have the ability to provide a positive space for Black children to assert their identities.
the overwhelmingmajority (80 percent) of US public school teachersin 2015 and 2016 they were white, while black teachers made up just 7% of public school teachers nationwide. However, the probability of having a more racially diverse student bodyincreases with the racial diversity of a school's faculty,and with great benefits for students of color. In accordance withCenter for the Development of Black Educators, "Having at least one black teacher from the start reduces the likelihood of a black student dropping out by up to 39 percent."
How to tell your kids they are paying for college
Reflecting on this, the journalistJamilah Lemieuxrecently described her decision to enroll her son in a predominantly black school: "I am convinced that my son ... is a human being, who was raised by people who look like her to love and understand people who look like her." to her". ."
Also, the parents oftransgender or gender non-conforming children, or parents who are members of the LGBTQ community, may choose to enroll their children in independent progressive private schools in areas where local or state laws are hostile to LGBTQ people.GLSEN foundthat nearly a fifth of LGBTQ students reported having changed schools because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable at their previous school. This is a very real concern in, say,Dakota del Sur,Alabama,Texas, and 17 other states that recentlypassed or are trying to pass lawsrestrict the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming children by preventing them from receiving health care and playing sports.
Given the data above, you may still be wondering, "But if the private school is going to give my child an upgrade, isn't it worth it?" Well, if you're white and according to gender, not really.The data indicatesnot only do white children's academic performance not suffer in racially diverse public schools, but actuallyto benefit: Decreases your willingness to stereotype others, while increasing your ability to adapt to diverse environments.
Author Courtney E. Martin, whose booklearn in public, will be released later this year, describes the dilemma in a recent article onthe nation: "Private schools do a prodigious job of promoting how much they will train your child to be an anti-racist systems thinker, calming progressive consciences. Meanwhile, your family exhausts the public school system and is predominantly black and brown students, very necessary resources."
In other words: rich white kids will be fine in public schools, butNohaving them there puts the community at risk and contributes to a more polarized society.
Private schools do a prodigious job of promoting how much they will train your child to be an anti-racist systems thinker, assuaging progressive conscience. Meanwhile, his family drains the public school system and its predominantly black and brown students of much-needed resources.
While there are no easy answers to the question "Is private school worth it?", it's clear that making decisions that only benefit our individual families won't solve the biggest problem, school inequality, or the myriad other social problems that result from it. If giving your child a helping hand seems "worth it," then we must also ask: What about children who don't have that option? Are they not worthy of access to safe, healthy and affirming learning environments? Wouldn't that benefit us all?
Learn more about school equity:
good white parentsis a podcast produced by This American Life that examines school equity issues at a school in Brooklyn, New York.
Integrated Schoolsis a grassroots network of families from across the country who are actively working to integrate schools.
Center for the Development of Black Educatorsis an organization focused on increasing teacher diversity.
VASOis an organization dedicated to creating affirmative learning environments for LGBTQ youth.