Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ban private schools?

John said:

I think we are agreed that those currently paying for private education or buying houses in the catchment areas for good schools are those most interested in a good education for their children.

To which I responded:

Good fu**ing grief. Is this really what you meant to say?

Anonymous then said:

I'm a little confused by this, are you saying that you believe all parents care about their children's education or am I missing the point which I must concede is quite possible.

I should explain - my shock was at the implication of John's statement. First, it implies that those who cannot afford to send their kids to private schools or buy houses near good schools do not care as much about their children's education. In other words, lower-middle and working class people don't care as much about their children's education.

I find that rather offensive.

Imagine someone drawing the conclusion that black people don't care as much about their children's education because they don't tend to send their kids to private schools or buy in posh neighbourhoods and you'll get my point, I think. In that case, the way in which the conclusion is drawn would be indicate a certain sort of bigotry. Well, here too, I think.

It may be that people who can't afford to educate privately etc. don't care as much about their children's education. But the fact that they don't send their kids to private schools etc. certainly doesn't establish this

To suppose it does requires a certain sort of middle class mind-set!

Isn't it obvious that the main reason the lower orders don't send their kids to private schools or buy houses in posh neighbourhoods is simply that they can't afford to.

Second, John also ignores those who can afford to send their kids to private school or buy homes near to better schools, but choose not to do so on principle. And there are such people (I know a few). Of course these people care about their children's education. Passionately. Just as much as John does, I bet. They just have rather different moral and political principles to John.

Arguably, rather better principles.

I'll be returning to Georges' arguments shortly...

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