This latest article on Slate, sensationally titled:
is actually a thoughtful read. I remember the question of public school even existing anymore in the foreseeable future, being posed in graduate school. And I know with the current infrastructure and government involvement that public education in the United States is in big trouble, and has been for a long time.
Without getting into the multitude of problems that public schools is facing, let's assume the author of the above article has a point, that parents are pulling their children out of a debunk system so they can find a private school that will give what their children deserve.
What does this mean? Well, if public schools become obsolete, then free education is no longer available to every child. Education then becomes a perk that the privilege enjoy. Now, let's assume it's not going to ever get that drastic. Well, then let's pretend that public education will continue to be of mediocre and poor quality for children and families who cannot afford a better education.
Is this a problem? Well, not if you are rich.
The author talks about the various reasons why folks put their children in private schools. And I must say, as a former private school (ala Waldorf) teacher, the behavioral one (parents finding a school that will fit their child's behavior or special learning needs) is certainly true. At our school, we took other Waldorf and private school "rejects". And as a young school, I would argue this was damaging to everyone involved. If I wanted to, I could easily make a case for being fired because of children with behavioral or special needs made me look bad, but that's not what I want to do.
So ultimately, if you are seeking a better education for your child, then know that the "problems" you are trying to escape with public education will follow you, to some extent, in a private school setting. This makes sense because the issues public education faces are the same ones private schools will have to face. I don't believe these kinds of societal ills go away with a higher price tag.
I won't go so far as to say if you send your child to a private school, you are a bad person, but I think the mentality of "every person for themselves" is definitely in the mix.