American parents take out student loans for their kids' kindergarten education

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90 Responses to “American parents take out student loans for their kids' kindergarten education”

  1. Bink Binkerson says:

    The 1% (and more importantly, wannabe 1-percenters) have killed off public education as a credible option.   Private education goes along with their private security, medical coverage, and private infrastructure in general.    This is not cheap!

  2. soylent_plaid says:

    Or you could, you know, properly fund public education so that the only options available aren’t “substandard crap” and “hyper-expensive competent education”.

    Oh wait, that involves a functioning government, and so therefore is red-stained Soviet communism.  What was I thinking?  I must be Canadian or something.

  3. Andrea says:

    Proof that wealth does not equal wisdom.

    Somehow I don’t think these kids’ll be thanking their parents for the debt load. Or the guilt trip. “I paid [insert ridiculous tuition amount here] so you better have the kind of career that I want you to have!”

    • niktemadur says:

      The headline says one thing, but the way I read and understood the article, parents are beginning to save up for their kids’ college education since they enter kindergarten.

      Regardless of how early they start a college nest-egg, many parents have always pressured their children, anyway, like the High Expectations Asian Father – “Son, you can be anything you like, a doctor or engineer”.  This is just an added, optional mechanism in an old attitude.

      The way I read it.

      • princessalex says:

         The article is actually saying that parents are increasingly taking out loans to pay for their kids’ private elementary and secondary schooling.  This is on TOP of loans they may later take out for their kids’ college. 

      • A Nonny Moose says:

        You must have missed this part “Roughly 20% of families that applied for aid to pay for their children’s kindergarten through 12th grade private school education had incomes of $150,000 or more…” That doesn’t read like somebody starting to save for college while the kid’s still in kindergarten. It reads like somebody taking on additional debt that the child will end up having to pay.

      • niktemadur says:

        Yup, went back and realized I misread, maybe it’s the antihistamines, on top of the cortisone shot, stupid allergies…

  4. 13 years of primary and secondary public education, will be spending the next four years of my life at a top public university in California. I don’t see a problem with public education.

    • millie fink says:

      So because it worked for you, it should work for everyone? They should all just pull up their bootstraps like you did?

      The problem is that public education is being radically defunded, especially in places that already have little money. Mostly in a greedy effort to privatize yet another formerly public sector.

    • davidasposted says:

       What is the tax base of the public school district in which you attend? Mean and range of incomes of taxpayers in your district? That tells a lot more about a school than the public/private dichotomy.

    •  It was a while ago, but when I went to grade school in California, I was put in gifted classes, learned about the Apple ][, and did things like learn (most of) the bones in the body, did logic problems, etc. This was k-3rd grade.

      When I moved to New England, I was instantly put in learning-disabled classes – the ones with the kids who wore hockey helmets. I was not allowed to take any programming classes, but taught myself at home anyway. From then on, my education was not much more than child-storage. I put up with it until I could sign myself out at 18, after having failed two grade levels.

      Public education in the poorer districts was terrible, in my experience. I moved alot, and saw 7 different schools.

  5. Teller says:

    The concept is “feeder schools.” It starts at private kindergartens (and some public) that put the 5-year old on the superhighway to the university of choice.

  6. Walter Dexter says:

    Well that’s just stupid.

    It may not be fashionable to believe it, but there are in fact some very good public schools out there. They may not be in the major cities, but they are there waiting in the suburbs right outside at least some of those cities.

    Chicago public schools? No way. Hinsdale/Willowbrook? Absolutely.

    • blueelm says:

      So which is cheaper, paying for private school in the city or buying a new house and commuting if that’s even feasible? 

      • Jim says:

        It’s not even close.  It is MUCH less expensive to live  in suburbs compared to a  ‘nice’ neighborhood in a city.  I’m in Minnesota.  I can get a bigger house for less money, lower taxes, less expensive home maintenance and the only quantifiable potentially negative trade-off is longer commutes.  Although, many people, myself and my wife included, do NOT work downtown, so picking the right suburb can even shorten commute times.

        A top-notch private school in my area will set you back $20k to $25k per kid, per year.  The second tier private schools are $10k to $15k.  A cheap one is $6k.  

        If your kid will thrive in a public school in a suburb, you can save from $75k to $275k from k-12.

        • benher says:

          I can vouch for this. Houses are cheaper than tissue these days compared to 10 years ago. 
          Living in an inner ring suburb and biking downtown is the bees knees and good for your health! If I ever move back to Minneapolis that’s probably what I’ll be doing.

        • AviSolomon says:

          Another way is to find a OK public school in the city and try and actively organize the parents to help make it way better.

          • Jim says:

            Avi,  

            We tried that for 6 years.  The problem is with the paradigm.  The parents want to believe that changing the school (teachers, resources, administration, etc…) will fix the problem but the problem, as I understood it, was the prevalent culture among the students (it’s not cool to be smart).  

            And to fix that, one has to alter parenting.  Good luck with that.  I can’t see any approach that seems likely to succeed except segregating kids by parents’ value of education.  And the way I could think of to accomplish this was to enroll my kids in a secular, expensive, prep-school.  So far, it’s worked out well.  There’s all kinds of diversity of skin color, eye color and hair color, but all the parents care enough about education to make a serious and sustained effort.

        • taintofevil says:

          You didn’t mention the school commute.  You have to find a good school on your commute for this to work without adding significantly to your commute time.

          • taugust says:

            Do they not have school buses in America? 
            No, seriously. Was that cut?

          • taintofevil says:

            @taugust:disqus This was in response to “move to the suburbs, pay for private school, the only drawback potentially is the commute.”
            That said, yes and no.  They have school buses to the school you’re zoned for.  If your child’s attending a magnet school or other school of your choice transportation is up to you.  Private schools generally do not bus.In Texas and maybe elsewhere (this was in a NYT article recently), bus service is being cut to make up for $5.4 bn funding cuts.  In one area, no buses for kinds within two miles of school, in another parents are charged for busing.

        • AviSolomon says:

          Jim, so it’s Catch 22? A parent’s willingness to cough up private school tuition potentially indicates a higher valuation of education by the parent and a modicum of chance of there being an atmosphere conducive to learning for the child at that home.
          What could be a way to hack this to skip the tuition part? A network of smart parents and a 40GB Khan Academy torrent?
          http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6776882/Khan_Academy_-_khanacademy_-_COMPLETE_-_2011-10-27
          But again, kids of parents smart enough to do that probably don’t need school that much!

      • mniejiki says:

        If you really care about your kid’s education you at least try to find a job and a place to live that gives them the best education possible. It’s, at the end of they day, about choices and sacrifices. Some parents care enough to do that while others don’t. Some aren’t able to but many are but choose not to.

      • takurospirit says:

        I’m from the Chicago suburbs (grew up in one of the poorer northern “burbs” along the lake) and lived in the city for about 16 years. It is cheaper than you’d believe to move to a suburb. At least this one. Our property taxes don’t even reach half of what our yearly rent expense ever was at it’s highest. Of course the schools around here might not be much better, but there is not much I can do about that but take up the slack in my child’s education. Lake Forest or Highland Park would be great, but my employer fired my ass when I got pregnant (which prompted my desperate move back north). Really if I could just manage to snag a job on par to what I lost (and it was only $12/hr) we would be fine. Of course I inherited the house so there’s no mortgage or anything.

    • doggo says:

      This whole thing is sad. Most of my education was in public schools in California & Illinois (Oakland, CA, & Chicago, IL). I went to college (Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH). I’m doing okay, but I’m from a working-class/poor background, so not going to jail, and not working in a factory (which I’ve done), or having a McJob is doing okay for me.

      But I see it all the time, suburbanites, and middle-class college grads move into the city while they’re in their 20s, patronize all the local 20-something watering holes, get good paying jobs, gentrify the working-class neighborhoods and drive up property & rentals costs.

      Then they have kids and abandon the city.

      They treat the city like Disneyland for frat boys, then when things get real, they bail back to their “safe” suburbs. This isn’t even about the 1%.

      God forbid poor little Dylan should be exposed to inner-city kids (that’s code, y’know). God forbid poor little Madison’s parents should have to take an interest in their community and work to improve the public schools.

      All the money poured into private schools for these pussified, entitled, little brats could go a long way towards improving public schools for everyone.

      The more people buy into the whole private school chic, the more polarized U.S. society becomes. We’re working on our own 21st century fascist state, crap like this just helps it on its way.

    • Brainspore says:

      So if I can’t afford to buy a new house so my kids can get into a better Kindergarten, does that make me a bad father?

  7. Childe Roland says:

    I only wish I lived where good public schools were an option. If you live in a state controlled by the Tea Party, you have to factor in private school for your children as part of your cost of living. 

  8. Marc45 says:

    Two of the most important things in life…education and health care…
    and how does America deal with it?  It makes me sad.

  9. koko szanel says:

    You can always send your children to Europe for free quality education.
    Just look at ACM-ICPC contest winners and ask yourself – are those private schools worth it?
    Anecdotal evidence – there was a huge spike in US born Asians learning Polish lately, all because our educational system is 3-10 cheaper compared to US while archiving significantly better results.

  10. blueelm says:

    You have to be careful as well, since not all private schools are actually great. Some are really just dumping grounds for delinquent kids whose parents buy space in them because no one else will take their kid. 

  11. laukarlueng says:

    This is another bubble just like housing. It too will pop. Place your bets now people!

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      Roughly in time for the next round of congressional elections. So I’d say two years from now.

  12. bcsizemo says:

    I’ve had a handful of wonderful teachers in my life, but I don’t really see how education is the end all be all of having a wonderful life.  Even if all my teachers had been fabulous it doesn’t mean I would have turned out vastly different than I am now.  No one can teach you to have that type A driven personality…my contentment does come from money or my job.  (In many ways not having that drive is both a gift and a curse.)

    • blueelm says:

      Yes, but if most if not all of your teachers had been terrible, barely qualified to teach, and that was the norm in your area for so long that the majority of people were grossly uneducated that *might* be the problem people are talking about. And a driven, type A, personality can also make you a great dealer, pimp, or stripper.

      • Brainspore says:

        And a driven, type A, personality can also make you a great dealer, pimp, or stripper.

        The most interesting and intelligent characters from “The Wire” were great examples of this.

  13. John Maple says:

    This reminds me of South Korea’s current situation where parents spend half of their monthly budget on education for their children.  Some spend much on sending their kindergarten student to English classes after their regular kindergarten classes.
    This is harmful to the kids, IMHO, because they don’t have much time to be kids.

  14. knappa says:

    Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular.

    Note the well worn weasel words indicating that this story may as well be totally made up. 

    • Cefeida says:

      Oh, no, those sources look credible. Private school experts and loangivers, what would they stand to gain from hyping up the trend?

  15. Scott Croom says:

    The article failed to mention one of the big sources that I know of for this kind of debt when people’s children attend public schools: tutoring. I worked for a large learning center chain and YTS was our go-to for financing our services. YTS would loan amounts at ridiculous but they were nothing in comparison to the alternatives like other 3rd class loan companies or the “self financing” option. 

  16. MollyMaguire says:

    Our kids cheated on their preschool standardized tests and got scholarships.

  17. Guest says:

    Debt peonage? It’s the new slavery. …only it ain’t so new.

  18. SKR says:

    While many will claim you can obtain a quality education from public school, I have yet to meet anyone who has obtained such an education whether from Europe or America.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Maybe you’re hanging out on the wrong corner. I got a great public school education in Massachusetts. Of course, I graduated in 1975.

      • taintofevil says:

        The nasty secret that school reformers don’t want you to know is that it really is possible to get a decent education in public schools.  It is more difficult the farther down the income ladder you are.

        • Brainspore says:

          Absolutely, not all public schools are created equal. My mom put our grandparents’ address on our enrollment forms to get my siblings and me into a good public elementary school. (A practice that can get you jail time nowadays, at least if you’re poor and black.)

          My two sisters are now practicing physicians, my brother is a mechanical engineer and I teach college. Public education still works, but not for nearly as many people as it should.

          • Donald Petersen says:

            Public education still works, but not for nearly as many people as it should.

            That’s true; it can work, but sometimes it’s an incredibly uphill battle.  My wife attended California public schools (almost entirely post-Prop. 13, when the budgets were gutted), and went on to attend Wellesley College, alma mater of such luminaries as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madeleine Albright.  My wife and I both strongly desired to send both our kids to public school, but the state of CA schools today (particularly in the Pasadena Unified District, where we live) is disheartening in the extreme.  We applied to a couple of promising charter schools in our area, but after placing 118th on a waiting list for an incoming kindergarten class of 14 souls, we’d just about resigned ourselves to mortgaging everything we had to get our kids into one of our local progressive private schools, which hits you in the neighborhood of $20k per child per annum.

            But no.  Those schools may be better than the best local public schools, but probably not to the tune of $20k per year, especially since we’re committed and caring and involved parents.  Since my wife teaches in the LA Unified district, we’re able to send our daughter to an LAUSD school at which my wife used to teach (one of the two halfway-decent ones Sandra Tsing Loh shows on her depressingly hilarious map of the LAUSD inside the front cover of Mother on Fire), and I can’t tell you how glad we are that we’re able to do that… and how depressing it is that this particular school, one of the most coveted in the entire district, has had to pay for at least three full-time faculty members through parent fundraisers for several years now.

            Yep.  Bake sales to subsidize payroll.

            Things are so, so much worse than they were when Prop 13 began.

    • ffabian says:

      “from Europe” 

      You clearly are talking out of your ass. For the US that may be true but not for Western Europe. 

    • mjfgates says:

       So I should put back all those AP classes I took in high school, the ones that made those universities offer to start me as a sophomore?

    • EvilTerran says:

      I went to a completely state-funded school in the UK — by my estimate, it sent a couple of people to Oxford or Cambridge universities pretty much every year.

      You were saying?

    • Mister says:

      I went through a public school system in the US and got a fantastic education. My high school sent quite a few students to the University of Michigan each year, and a few to Ivy League universities as well. I myself went on to earn three degrees, including a Ph.D., from two top-10 universities (if you put any stock in US News & World Report rankings, anyway) in two different engineering fields.

      Yes, I know there’s a difference between “anecdote” and “data,” but you did say that you “have yet to meet ANYONE”….

    • mniejiki says:

      I went to a public school in the US that sent so many students to the Ivy Schools there was an informal quota against us.
      Private school don’t do well because they’re private schools. They do well because the parents of their students are the type who will fork out $20k/year for those schools. That’s night and day with a single mom who doesn’t have time to even read he kid’s homework (or even worse, is too drunk to do so). The other parts I’d say are bureaucracy (or lack thereof) and market pressures (which can be both and good things, parents are self-centered usually and not always who you want to cater to).

    • taintofevil says:

      This only makes sense if you’re still in boarding school and spend your holidays on the family’s private island.

    • TimRowledge says:

      Really? Seems you probably don’t meet many people from Europe then.
      I went to public schools all the way from 5y.o. through several degrees. All paid from public purse, including maintenance grants during the degrees. That is to say I got paid like a job to go to college. Several times. As a result I’ve made more money and thus paid more taxes, which would have benefitted later students if only governments across the west hadn’t decided that educated people are too much trouble. A few years after my time at university the never-to-be-suffiently-damned UK govt. went down the path of student loans and huge fees and privatise everything that they can lay their hands upon.

      NB; ‘public schools’ is used counter-intuitively in the UK where it means a privately owned and run school that usually costs a not-so-small fortune to send the child. In deference to the audience I did not use ‘public’ in that manner above.

    • Kludgegrrl says:

      What a silly statement.  Magnet schools in the US (such as Stuyvesant or Bronx science) are among the best schools in the country.  The problem is not that there is no good public education but that so much is lousy.

    • doggo says:

      That you would make such a statement proves you wouldn’t know a “quality education” if it bit you on the ass.

  19. tw1515tw says:

    In the UK, there is a well trodden path of prep school (4-11 years) to public (=private) school. 

    Fees are roughly £3000/year for prep school (+school uniform, after school activities etc) and £15,000/year for high school. There are discounts for siblings. 

    They are often funded from family trust funds (granny or granddad),  mum going out to work, one or both parents being very well paid, or by sticking it on the mortgage.

    Many children go to a state run primary school, and then enter the private system at 11. 

    These schools are charities as they were originally set up to educate the poor. There are scholarships that can reduce these fees. 

    About 5-7% of British school children go private. However, about 30-40% of Oxbridge students went to private schools. The establishment (BBC, legal system, political system, the press etc) is still dominated by former “public school boys”.

    Come the revolution…..

    • EvilTerran says:

      > About 5-7% of British school children go private. However, about 30-40% of Oxbridge students went to private schools. The establishment (BBC, legal system, political system, the press etc) is still dominated by former “public school boys”.

      … I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, here. See, to me, that looks like it means “in the UK, private schools seem to give a better education than state schools”. But context suggests that you think it’s some kind of old-boys-club conspiracy — which I find unlikely, as conspiracies tend to be.

      • tw1515tw says:

        I’m trying to acknowledge there are two sides to the argument, but the issue of class privilege and social inequality is something that persists in the UK education system.

        There has been a long standing criticism in the UK that establishment bodies hire people in their own likeness. People with the right accent, children of colleagues, particular degrees. “The old boy network”, “the old school tie”.

        If you’re spending £15k/year on your child’s education you’ll want/need to believe it’s much better than the state system, even if it isn’t. If you’re hiring staff, you may favour the privately educated person over the state educated person.

        Entrance to Oxbridge involves an interview and used to include an exam, and the private schools were/are able to guide candidates through the process. 

        If you want to become a barrister, you need to get a pupil position in chambers, and it helps if you have the right contacts or if your parent works in a chamber.

        However, a school is likely to deliver a better education if it is full of motivated children, where the disruptive kids can be kicked out and where you only have 15 to a class. 

        Schools like Eton encourage networking amongst pupils (via clubs) and they invite the great and the good to speak to the different societies. This helps raise students expectations and gives them a contact point for the future. 

        There’s also an argument that, if you’re going to spend money, then what better way than on your children’s future.

        The current plan of the UK government is to copy a model tried in Sweden and make state schools become more like private schools – give them more autonomy. One big issue in state schools is how to deal with disruptive kids – they don’t have the luxury of simply kicking them out.

        • Scurra says:

          The idea of giving state schools more autonomy is great – except for, as you note, the disruptive pupils problem.  If you have a “local education authority” (which I guess would be the equivalent of a “state level” system in the US), then you can operate a variety of different types of schools to handle different sorts of pupils, and cross-subsidise them.  If each school is an independent entity then any pupil that doesn’t fit the nice simple model is going to be very badly affected as there will be very little support for them.However most people won’t notice or care about this, in the same way that most people don’t notice or care about edge-case health service provision.  
          It’s only when they have need of those edge-case services that they start to understand.
          (Hmmm.  Why do all those stories about US Republicans suddenly converting to supporting Gay Marriage spring to mind?!)

      • A Nonny Moose says:

        I think it escaped you (as it almost did me) that “Public Schools” in England are actually the private schools he refers to, as opposed to the state-run schools he also references (IE: Eton is one of England’s best known “Public Schools”, although it is private. I don’t claim to understand the English school system, I just know that it is very different from the set-up we have here in the U.S.).

        Also of note, the Old Boy Network is very much alive and well in Her Majesty’s domains.

        • tw1515tw says:

          UK:
          Public school = Privately funded
          Private school = Privately funded
          State school = Publicly funded
          Grammar school = Some publicly funded and few privately funded

    • mniejiki says:

      And in the US the Ivy league schools are filled with Asians, got to be a conspiracy as well? All those, mostly, white professors deciding to accept all those Asians that look just like them. In some places that 5% of the US population is almost a majority of students.

      What you’re missing is the single most important factor in a child’s education. Their parents. Parents who are willing to spend that much money of education are also ones who care about education. They will make sure their kids learn, they will spend time with them, they will punish them for not learning and so on and so on. From the day they are born.

      That makes them better educated than their peers. Dump those kids into public schools and they’d have still done better because their parents would have made their backsides bloody if they dared not to.

  20. a_w_young says:

    Total morons.

    “Better” education doesn’t come from expense or privatizing a child’s education.

    It comes from teaching a completely different way.

    North Americans in particular have weird ideas about learning and expanding the mind and creating useful workers and thinkers.

    Watch/read some Sir Kenneth Robinson to learn a bit about how we’ve failed. (he’s got some great TED Talks)

    If you want to see how much you can limit a child, send them through school and doom them to a fate based on a system of scoring memorization and research skills, designed for only a couple types of people.

    If you want to see how much a child is capable of, give them real problems that we need solved that we’ve been unable to and access to all the tools to do it.

    I think then we’d hear a lot more about the amazing things children are doing than how often they’re failing.

  21. Daemonworks says:

    Americans, if you really want your kids to get a good education, move out of the US.

  22. Guest says:

    America is a case study in what happens when you let selfish pricks rule your society.

  23. heretofore says:

    The United States needs a discussion on what public education means. Currently, public education means daycare, the conveyance of basic skill sets, one of the last forums of community involvement, and for the fortunate, the opportunity for gifted teachers to mentor and inspire gifted and promising pupils.

    I was fortunate to attend a good public school system. Were my parents fortunate enough to buy me a fast track to success I would be so much better off but hungry and miserable.

    Our concepts of education and success are not in line with the definitions of these terms. Public schools are great (leave the dangerous thinking to be taught by parents or colleges); they serve a social function and more or less work. We can agree they could work better.

    Taking out a loan for kindergarten? Utterly ridiculous. Watch me have to do it in two years.

    • machinestate says:

      My public school experience was certainly not a safe environment, but I did manage to transfer to the most-celebrated public high school in the city, with over a dozen AP classes on offer to jr’s/sr’s
       The gang-bangers in that school looked up to me, despite being a straight-edger, goody-two-shoes, etc.  People notice when you take hours of your own time to mentor a fellow student to make sure they “get” the material, just because you get off on helping others.

      Bottle up all the caring, intelligent kids into private schools, and of course the public system will go into a death spiral.  When there’s nobody left in a public school except thugs, thuggery is going to become most students’ career goals.

  24. digi_owl says:

    game over, man, game over…

  25. machinestate says:

    In spite of its public schools (which are unfairly lumped together like  everything else) the US retains a jealously-defended title, of having the world’s best university system.  How do I know this? I graduated from both, and not being some foreign with a visa & corporate sponsor, I’m saddled with student loans I’ll never be able to pay (despite a partial scholarship and plenty of free AP credits) because I was degreed in a “wasteful subject” that I wanted to do, and was once useful in the US – computer & electronics engineering. 
    But when these engineering companies at my freshman year job fair were promising stateside jobs, they were already responsible for populating American universities with foreign-visa students from the four corners of the world – most particularly those corners where engineers can be paid cheap, and companies don’t have to worry about unnecessary labor expenses like OSHA, FMLA, etc – just replace your worn-out and sick with new graduates.   Hell take two, they’re cheap. 
    Anyone sending your kids off to private schools can GFY.  At least going into hock to send a kid to a fancy college isn’t so bad – you just got taken like everyone else who thinks college is your kid’s golden ticket to live their dreams, you still believed in the system.  People wasting money on private primary/secondary schools do so because they stopped believing in the system, in the power of the public.  Essentially stopped believing in American unity.  So, GFY.  That’s all.

  26. IronEdithKidd says:

    Lake Trust Credit Union?  There’s a branch right down the street.  Why would Michigan parents be seeking tuition for their young kids?  Oh yeah, the Govinerd and the rest of the Republican’ts in Lansing have spent the last two years defunding public schools.  

  27. Ultan says:

    I attended many different schools in several different states, both public and private as my family moved around. There often isn’t much difference in the quality of education, and rarely enough to justify the cost. One school I attended that cost less than $10,000 per year in the late ’80s now costs over $40,000 per year – and claims to spend over $70,000 per student per year. It has fantastic facilities, but the only real advantage over the public high school I attended in one of the poorest counties in Texas is the small class size. The Texas school actually had more choice of classes in science.

    The ultimate in small class sizes is home-schooling. One can buy a lot of personal tutoring as well as science and other gear for what a single year in a top private school costs. Ultimately what a student learns in any setting is determined by the student’s own reading, thinking and doing, and home-schooling gives much more focus on that than even the most expensive regular schools.

    Among colleges, too, I have found that the main determinant of quality is small classes. A good community college class is better than the average Ivy League lecture.

    The real problem is that the system and the culture which produced it do not actually care about education, knowledge or individual thinking – its really all about the brand name, the credential, the certificate of conformity. I hope we can get beyond that shallow, faulty way of rating people, and find better, more nuanced and inclusive measures. Until then the system will continue to be warped by perverse incentives.

    • BrianOman says:

       I think the perversion of education comes from business executives running schools.
      1) Universities are run by boards who are made up of admins with business and admin degrees. Therefor, the universities run themselves as businesses. If you succeed in university, it is by bending to the structure of business.
      2) School boards are run by admins who have graduated from said businesses… er, universities.

  28. Kludgegrrl says:

    While there is a vast amount wrong with public education in the US, and I do not doubt that getting into a good private school can give children a competitive advantage down the road (ie, when trying to get into a competitive high school or later university) , anyone going into this kind of debt for kindergarten is a fool.  Period. 

    They are the kind of person who has to own the latest [insert posh brand here] car, even if s/he can’t pay for it.  It is a misguided status thing.  There are a lot of ways one can provide a higher quality education (moving to a better district, hiring a tutor, being a tutor…).  Going profoundly into debt into debt in the belief that a private kindergarten and grade school will make the difference is just stupid.

  29. MollyMaguire says:

    Because spending money is always easier than actually getting involved.

  30. michael b says:

    What a silly life we create.  The best education I ever had came from reading books, not from a teacher, not from a school, and not from a lesson plan.  Of course these people are buying into the idea (and rightly so) that upward mobility can largely depend on the contacts you have and the circles you exist in.  The library down on the corner will give you all the information you could ever need, but most of the time, it won’t get you into the global country-club for the movers and shakers.  For that you need contacts and provenance.  

    • Brainspore says:

      The best education I ever had came from reading books, not from a teacher, not from a school, and not from a lesson plan.

      And who taught you how to read them? Either a teacher or a home-schooling parent, I bet.

      Books are great but there are many reasons that books alone are an insufficient substitute for all other forms of education.

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