Utne Blogs > Politics

A Defense of Public Schools

by Hannah Rogal 

Tags: politics, class, race, public, private, parents, funding, education,

public schoolFor many middle class, white American parents, the decision to send their children to private, predominately white, well-funded schools is a no brainer. Confronting or even thinking about race and class barriers is easily avoided and life continues smoothly and comfortably.

Writing in Geez, Dee Dee Risher laments the “massive desertion of the public school system by middle-class whites” and defends her choice to send her children to an urban, poorly funded public school.

“I seek experiences that would not infect my children with a sense of privilege, entitlement or racial superiority.  I want to give them a truer sense of all the diversity and inequality in the world and help them develop their own sensibility for justice.  I want my children to move through the world able to relate to and understand very different people.  I want them to be safe and to grow up feeling strong.”

Even as her father wonders if Risher is using her children in “an ideological experiment,” Risher finds a “richness” in her decisions that is not “rooted in elitist and stratified social choices.” 

Source: Geez 

Image by calculat0r, licensed under Creative Commons.