Getting Schooled

So yesterday I got into a pretty intense discussion on the twitters about why people do NOT choose public school for their kids.

My initial tweet was simple:

It came about because it seemed like my twitter streams and facebook new feed were filled with moms trying to get their children into private and charter schools rather than going with the public school in their area.

As a public school teacher, this made my heart sad…and defeated.

The people I see doing this are educated, smart people with kids who I feel would probably thrive in any school they are put into.  So I started wondering…what factors make someone choose something other than the free option of public schools?

Is it a status/stigma thing?

Do people think the education is better…and is it?

I didn’t intend for it to be anything other than a statement.  Maybe get a couple replies.

I did not expect for it to become an hour long twitter conversation among many, MANY people.

It opened up a huge discussion about not just what we choose for our kids’ education, but what people think is wrong with America’s public schools.

So I decided I needed to do some more research.  Conduct a survey.  Do some interviews.

And put together a series.

I am going to do the series over at BNV since it belongs there rather than here on my personal blog.

I’ll probably do a post on why people choose each type of schooling choice and one that focuses on why Public Schools seem to be failing for so many.

I hope you’ll all come read.

And I hope you’ll help me out by taking the survey below.

Click HERE for the survey.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Kinda sorry I missed that tweet. . .

    Your survey has been answered. . .

    Can’t wait to see the series you come up with!

  2. Survey completed. I’m interested to see what kinds of responses you get!

  3. I am going to do the survey, but first wanted to say I am sorry that a public school teacher has to see that…but in many cases, public school education is just crap. I live in Miami and have dealt with it myself, and now am dealing with it for my daughter…when the school system treats teachers like garbage, they end up not caring about their jobs, and we see that in the way they teach our kids.
    That being said, my daughter IS in public school and is doing okay. If we could afford private, I know that she would be excelling, not just doing okay. Kinda sad.

  4. Survey completed!

    Both of my kids are in public school. I absolutely LOVE their school, but there are so many schools in surrounding districts that struggle – lack of funding, many “at risk” kids, and large class sizes because of schools merging.

  5. I am REALLY looking forward to reading those, both as a mom (who went to Parochial school while her husband went to public school) of future students and as a future public school teacher!

  6. Let me know if you want a public teacher perspective who 100% plans on sending her kid to public schools. 🙂

  7. Took the survey! I hope it helps.
    We had the kids in Parochial school up until last year. All are now doing well in public school. Now, if we were to ever move into the City again, back to the Nuns the kids go!

  8. I took your survery, I’m looking forward to see what you find. We send our son (and will send our daughter) to a private, Catholic school. That being said, we’re in a very large, albeit affluent, public school system. And, I think the size alone makes the school allow lower standards because they have to educate to the average student. The school we attend is very small, hard to get into and has a great student to teacher ratio…

    All that aside, the one thing that a public school cannot provide that our school can is religious education – which is among our top reasons for choosing schools. In this region, Catholic schools provide the best education for the kids, hands down. We were fortunate enough that we didn’t have to stand in line or sleep outside to get in…but if we had to? We would.

  9. We only have 2 choices in our area.
    Well three if you want to send your kid to a million dollar per year private school…
    We chose Catholic because well, I’m Catholic. Shawn is Anglican.
    While I loathe religion right now, I don’t want to deprive Chunky of what I was connected to as a child. Know what I’m sayin?
    My niece and nephews go to public schools and they’re learning the same thing. The only sad part is that Catholic schools in our area get more funding. Why? Because most parents send kids to the Catholic ones. Why? I don’t know. I only know why we did it.

  10. I am truly interested in your survey results on this one. My kids all attended our local Catholic schools and we were very active in that community. Unfortunately, for where we live the Catholic school system simply does not receive the funding it needs to keep up with our local public school system. So, my daughter transferred in 10th grade to public school and graduated last spring (she now attends the Univ. of Chicago, and is adamant about the fact that she would NOT have been accepted there if she had continued at the Catholic school, which makes me sad). My other 3 have also transferred to the public schools and are thriving. I suppose the bottom line will come down to this: you have to consider your local school choices and make your decisions based on that, not tradition or peer pressure or anything else. At least that is what influenced our decision.

  11. I was a public school teacher up until 5 years ago when we had our 1st baby. I would have never imagined that I would even consider anything but public school for our children. However, my perspective has changed and we are patiently waiting to get into a charter school. It’s looking unlikely since we are pretty far down the list so we’re going to send the girls to a Montessori school until we can hopefully get into the charter.

    Wish I would have been around yesterday for that conversation!

  12. Ooo, very interesting topic. I will be looking for the series.

    Mt 2 cents… I was raised in private schools and hated the experience. I wouldn’t send my kids to a private school if it was the last school on earth, I’d homeschool first.

    I will go and take the survey now. 🙂

  13. I’m very interested to see what parents have to say. i’m heading off to participate in that survey. 🙂

  14. Looks like I missed the survey, but I will keep my eye out for future posts. 🙂

  15. I missed the survey, but I’ll tell you that we put our kids in public school…when we bought our house I made sure it was a school that had a good reputation and I volunteer there and everyone knows who I am…
    If you don’t take pride in your child’s school and help them excel I don’t think it matters where they go

  16. It said the survey was closed. Bummer. I would have liked to participate. We made the tough choice last year to put our children in private school for various reasons… the main one was that my daughter was not getting what she needed in her school and was looked at as a number in the ever changing FCAT gamble. I loved her teachers and I know they did what they could for her… but in the end we couldn’t deal with the choices of the school administration. My children are now thriving and have never had a better school year and they are not being taught to the test anymore like they were in public school.

  17. I support public schools. My mother-in-law & father-in-law were public school teachers, my husband & I went to public schools. Now and again I think about other options, but how the heck do people afford it???

  18. As a public school teacher, I support the best choice for my child. Still looking into what that will be. Probably, public school but school of choice within our school district. We bought a house in the district I most wanted our children to go to in the future, but if things change, I know there are many other options in our area.

  19. I missed this… I’m looking forward to reading your research.


  1. […] case you missed my post yesterday, starting Tuesday on BNV I will be doing a series about different schooling choices people make for […]