Private schools aren’t public

Kevin O’Reilly howls about a Chicago Tribune story that reveals that Private schools can write own rules.” Some private schools seek accreditation from the state board of education, the story says.

But the process is flawed because it’s “voluntary and the state has no authority to impose public-school standards,” the reporters argue. Gee, if parents really wanted the great standards they’d come to expect from government-run schools, why would they essentially pay a double tuition to send their children to private schools?

“I really had no clue how they are run or what questions I needed to ask,” the Loop Lab parent said. “Even though I know private schools are different than public schools, I didn’t know they had that much leeway. … I just assumed there’s someone they have to answer to.”

Yes, there is someone they have to answer to — you! The government’s virtual monopoly over education in this country has gotten so bad that even some parents who take the initiative to opt out of the failing system don’t have the vaguest understanding of what it means for them to take an active role in choosing a school, and ensuring that it is responsive to their questions, concerns and recommendations.

The Howl’s headline says it all: “Homeowners Can Set Own Bedtimes.”

About Joanne


  1. The parochial schools here are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which is independent of the state of Tennessee’s accreditation. Yes, it’s the parents’ job to see that their kid’s diploma means something.

  2. There is certainly something to be said for accreditation, whether by the public schools or an independent orgnization (like the
    California Association of Independent Schools
    ) — but it’s simply one more tool for parents to use in making their own judgement about the quality of the school.

  3. If you REALLY want to drive the control freaks up the wall, explore the “Sudbury Valley School” in Mass. Do a Google search on “Sudbury” and you will find links to this school and others modeled on it’s philosophy. Democracy, individual student self accountability and responsibility, no tests or grades, no teachers, students of all ages, both sexes, and all levels of ability and maturity intermingle and interact freely, and the academic freedeom to study what you want, as deeply as you want, as long as you want. Drives “traditional educators” NUTS! Check it out!

  4. This is why school vouchers, although viewed as a good start by many, is really a bad idea. They will use vouchers to inflict the same ideas onto private schools that they’ve inflicted onto public schools. They will certify schools and control them without paying for them.

    Then we will have the worst of all worlds. Education controlled by the government that we’d still have to pay more for.

  5. Private schools don’t get a dime of public money, so I don’t see why they should be held up to public scrutiny. These lofty Tribune writers don’t realize that the reason these parents pay twice for their kids’ schooling is to give them a chance at a decent education. The Chicago public schools have improved a lot over the years, but I’d *never* send my kid to one of them.