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Do Parents Have a Moral Obligation to Send Their Kids to the Local Public School?

Take the poll and leave your comments.

It’s the end of April when many soon-to-be Kindergarten parents have already made their school choice for this fall.

For many, deciding between public and private school, and even , for their child was a big part of the grueling process, and a political one, too. A recent article on www.babble.com by Rhiana Maidenberg has left some Redwood City parents still wondering about their school choice, bringing up questions like:

• Is it a moral obligation as a parent to send your kids to public school?

• Is being a part of the public system really going to fix it?

• Will I sacrifice my child’s education to be the one to make things better at the local public school?

• Will the private school be socially and economically diverse enough to help my child grow to be a well-rounded world citizen?

In the article Maidenberg explains why she’s sending her kids to public school despite the public system’s flaws such as budget cuts, large class sizes, minimal resources to support the influx of English Language Learners, and the standardized testing of the No Child Left Behind mandates, which are intended to narrow the achievement gap but has subjected children to an endless regimen of test-preparation drills instead.

Maidenberg says she’s making the choice “to be a part of the greater system, hoping to see a trend of more families with the time and means to invest in public schools actually doing so — because if we don’t take the time to make quality public education a possibility for all children, who will?”

The moral obligation idea is altruistic and lovely in its concept of personal sacrifice for the collective common good — that we have a moral obligation to educate all children — not just our own. But is supporting a public institution, which for some parents has failed to impress them, at the cost of their children's education beyond the call of duty?

Here at Redwood City Patch, we want to hear from you about this.

We know parents want a quality education for children, and many private and public school parents would both agree that there is a great and pressing need to invest in the public school system.

But why do some parents opt out and choose a private school? Are those parents “immoral” or un-politically correct for not sending their children to the local public school? Is going to a private school instead of the local public school a disservice to the community? Do parents have a moral obligation to send their kids to the local public school?

Please take the poll below and tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

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Jennifer D'Amico Bugarini April 30, 2012 at 04:10 PM
This is way more complicated than just a "yes" or "no" answer. This is something my husband and I had to recently consider when enrolling our son into a Kindergarten for the fall. While we (my husband and I) grew up and now work in Redwood City, we live in Newark, and unfortunately after researching it we found that their elementary school system is terrible. We just couldn't justify putting him in the local school. We would have loved to believe me, it would have saved us a lot of money for one thing. But there was no way I was going to sacrifice my son's education in hopes that the school would get better. And honestly is it my responsibility as a parent to try and fix the system?
Buck Shaw April 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM
School Boards. Teachers. All you people who think the schools are great. Are you listening to this dialog. Don't you get it. Thats why we're 25th in the world. If you like the way Japans schools turn out students. Then be like there schools. You refuse to accept disipline. Refuse to accept responsibility. Little Johnny cheats he's out. Thats it OUT. Don't pass go, don't collect $200, and don't sue the school dad your son is a bigger man than you are.
Judi Mathers April 30, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Dear Jennifer....most public school teachers send their own children to private! Mr. Foley's second comment hits the mark. In Redwood City, some of the best teachers have left. There is absolutely no respect for those who teach the kids to think....or have creative lessons. The poorer teachers are jealous and often "tell" on the popular excellent ones...so sad and puerile. You are your child's primary educator....please do NOT use the public schools of Newark or Redwood City!
Maria March 24, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Henry Ford is a gret school!! I realy wish that this school have middle school too!
Maria March 24, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Thanks for your comments :)

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