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Public vs. Charter vs. Private September 9, 2006

Posted by sdpurtill in High School, Rants.

I went to the Wood vs. Elk Grove game tonight, and it was quite an experience. It was the first time in a long time that I went somewhere and only knew 5 people; I’m used to knowing everyone. As I sat in the bleachers, I forgot about everyone around me. All the drunk girls dancing, the joke of a halftime show, the people around me who dropping the f bomb every three words, the gangsters, the preps, everything.

I took a step back for a few minutes and started to think about high school. I’ve had many discussions with friends about this topic: public vs. charter vs. private. My best friend goes to private, another really good friend goes to public, and James goes to Buckingham with me. Here’s how it is:

Public school – It’s huge. People coming from so many different backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, upbringings, etc… There’s always one group of girls that stick together who think they run the school. If you think/act/talk like you’re popular, you’re popular. It’s so big that no one even cares. The school counselor isn’t concerned about getting you into college. Hell, the counselors don’t even care about getting you into the right classes. Kids are in their senior years scrambling to meet college requirements because they didn’t take the right classes in previous years. I give public schools a huge plus for sports and school pride though. It’s nonexistent at Buckingham…

Charter school – It’s small. At least at Buckingham, the teachers genuinely care about their students. The problem with being small is 1) the sports suck and 2) your school is underfunded. Oh yeah, school functions such as “rallies” and “dances” really, really blow. And at Buckingham, no one parties. Quite a big difference from public school, almost the opposite.

Private school – It’s like charter school, but there’s one difference. The kids. Kids at private schools [usually] have parents with money. And usually, parents with money means family lives that are stable. These kids have it easy; they don’t have to worry about going home and your parents yelling at eachother. This makes school a lot easier, all you have to focus on is your classes and getting your homework done. Usually, private schools have decent sports because they play in leagues well below public school levels. And on a personal note, I love uniforms. I wish that charter schools would make wearing uniforms mandatory; everybody dresses the same, and when you go out, you stand out and people recognize what school you’re from. I love that, but that’s just me. I know girls hate uniforms…

If I could do it over, I would go to a huge private school. One like Saint Ignacious in SF. But for the first time in three years, I’m beginning to like Buckingham. I appreciate everything about it; the small atmosphere, the teachers who care, and knowing everybody.

I’m launching the new 1221youth.org website in a week from today, so I’ll be working like crazy until that’s finished.


1. ttparker - September 16, 2006

About the private school section. The kids and theyre families arent always happy and have good lifes. In fact probably a majority of them have pretty jacked up lifes. The kids in the private schools have parents that either have a lot of money, or the parents want them to have a good education and change into a ‘better’ person from their previous state before going to private school. Just FYI

2. tro - October 10, 2006

yea rich kids likem this might think they have it bad but really they dont know what bad is. thye just like to feel bad about themselves

3. Kande - November 13, 2007

Public schools really aren’t as bad as you say they are. You can succeed just as easily at a Public school as you can at a private school as long as your focused and really interested in your education. I know you talked about Buckingham having bad sports and what not. High School is not primarily about sporting events and school pride, it’s about preparing yourself for college period. Private schools are great but, they don’t do a good enough job of exposing students to diverse people and situations. Most of the time kids from private schools come to college with a good education but, no common sense about how to survive independently of their parents…A SKILL THAT IS DEFINITELY NECCESSARY FOR LIFE AS A SUCCESSFUL ADULT!

4. Maximus - December 20, 2007

I would like to see a continuation of the topic

5. Debrina - October 18, 2009

My son goes to a private school. And we are not rich by no means. We want our son to have the best education he can get. If he needs extra help with something, the teachers are right on it. Most of the teachers at this school have a BS and Masters, plus years of teaching skills. The sports are not the best for elementary. But are great in high school. The school is small and only has 302 students this year. That includes grade 1-12th. The teachers are concerned if your child is not doing well in any subject. They will call you or meet with you before anything gets out of hand. There is no fights, no cussing, no playing around. They will not let it get that far. Everyone is friends with each other. Everyone knows each other. It’s a very friendly environment. I love the school. I wished my parents had the money to send me and my siblings when we grew up. We went to a public school. There was always fights breaking out, kids smoking and doing drugs, missing allot of school time, stealing, you name it. Nothing like that at my son’s school. They do allot of school work on god. And the teachers and office staff are always super friendly. Nothing like public. I was looking to send our son to a charter school in the area which has a 2 year waiting period to get in. But after everything I have been reading lately. I’m scared to send him to a charter and more scared to death to send him to a public. He has ADHD, and takes medicine for it. I would just freak out if someone hurt him for over his hyper, crazy personality. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I want to protect him and give him the best possible where his learning is concern.
He makes A’s & B’s now.

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