This was actually said to me by the mother of one of the tigling's yearmates in the supermarket this afternoon. WTF?
Apart from the distraction that I'm pretty sure she's a teacher's aide rather than a teacher (so why tell me a fib?), this attitude is important. It's one that I'm seeing more and more from the middle-class suburbanites around me, coupled with horror stories about the gangs and criminal parents at the local State high school. Obviously, if all the educated and socially-aspiring families opt out of public education, we'll end up with public schools that are even more underfunded and unable to provide their students with all the facilities that a parent could wish. I wonder how many of these parents realise they're buying into just another example of white flight type hysteria.
I went to an inner city high school open night this week, looking at a high school for the tigling, and was very impressed with the facilities. The tigling's eyes were popping at the art rooms, she was thrilled by the science lab demos, and the band made her sax-playing fingers tap. And they support girls playing rugby (her most recent dream). This public high school has matriculation results equal to the best private and selective schools.
I realise that not all public high schools are as well resourced as this one I visited, but if people were committed to public education instead of making life even more financially difficult for themselves by running away from it to fees-based schools, more and more of our public schools could be like this one. More of our public high schools are safe, supportive, enhanced environments than most critics and rumourmongers would credit - they just can't be bothered going to take a look.
Some great posts this week about public vs private/"independent" schooling at Crazybrave and Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony.