Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Road Less Travelled - Voucher Wars

“The mission of the public education system of this state is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation.” [TEC Sec. 4.001]
Source: Dealing with School Vouchers 
Growing up, I attended private Catholic schools. The effects of Catholic education on my life can't be overstated. For example, consider these long-lasting changes:
  • Praying for deliverance from strict, ruler-wielding nuns helped me develop a healthy respect for clergy, especially nuns. One of my favorite movies is Lilies of the Field, showing how one can play with humor with people who have committed their lives to the service of others.
  • My wardrobe usually falls into "uniform" type dress. I like to wear the same shirts and pants, and if they are all alike, I'm OK with that. It definitely prepared me for a life of uniformity.
  • Being organized, having a plan to bring order to the chaos of human life...well, that's definitely a plus coming out of private schools.
Obviously, there's much to find humor in as a graduate of grade school and high school Catholic schools. But I often wonder what my parents were thinking when they made every effort to keep me out of public schools.

As much as I respect private, Catholic/religious education, my wife and I chose to send our children to public school. As a public school educator, I felt that it would have been wrong to send my children to private school when I knew public school offered much that private schools did not. 

Charter schools, I imagine, try to bridge the gap between private religious and public schools. The former is too poor, unless parishioners donate funding. The latter is too profane and obscene. My son learned his first curse words in public school. He fought his first fight in a public school. The same for my daughter.

Both are richer for those experiences. Would I do it differently? I continue to believe that the public schools my children had access to were the best. But having worked in public schools, I know that some aren't as good as others. 

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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