There has recently been a series of articles in the San Francisco Chronicle about the local school system and its problems. One of the major facts brought up is that San Francisco has the largest percent of K-12 students attending private schools of any American city - 29% to be specific.
In less than two weeks I'm graduating from high school. I come from a white middle class family which owns its own house in San Francisco and which could have afforded to send me to private school for 13 years. According to the newspaper article series, the majority of the children from this background in San Francisco attend private school. However my parents never considered sending me to private school. Basically, they don't believe that private schools are any better than public schools (indeed my father suspects that public schools are better), so they obviously did not want to waste the money.
Now, if a family wants its children to have a special type of education, such as having a religious education, or going to a Waldorf school, I can understand them sending their children to an appropriate private school. What I do not understand is families sending their children to private school because they do not consider public schools to be an option.
In the articles, many parents consider only the high-profile public schools fit to teach their children (and I must confess, with the exception of spending three years at McKinley Elementary school, I have only attended the high-profile public schools), and other parents do not even consider the high-profile public schools to be good enough. However the only parent mentioned in the article who has sent children to both private and public high schools in San Francisco (albeit the most prestigious public high school in San Francisco) said that sending his eldest child to private school was a mistake, and that the whole private school movement is a mistake.
The articles offered reasons why parents are so biased in favor of private schools, but it doesn't really satisfy me. I tried to find an answer on this website ( http://privateschool.about.com/od/ussch ... minute.htm
), but this website is so saturated with the assumption that private schools are by defiintion better than public schools that it does not even address the issue. So I turn to the Textkittens to answer why in general
(not in specific situations, such as wanting a thorough Chrisitan education) would private schools be better than public schools for the welfare of children, in spite of the fact that it takes away money which could be used to improve the child's life in other ways.