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Youth / OPINION : Public Versus Private Schools: 'Great Things Come Out of Both' : VALERIE GRAB; Senior, 17, Long Beach Polytechnic High School

March 29, 1993|Compiled for The Times by Erik Hamilton

Where did we ever get the idea that private schools are superior to public schools? While public schools are required to publish statistics (such as test scores and dropout rates), private schools are not. Therefore, how can the two even be compared? However, if such an assumption is to be made, there are points that should be made in defense of the public-school system.

First, public schools are required to admit every student. While private schools take only the best and brightest, public schools take students who have handicaps, language barriers or discipline problems.

Second, private schools charge tuition that is paid by well-to-do parents. Many of the students who attend inner-city schools do not come from households where money is abundant. Let's face it, if a student is worried about where the next meal is coming from, the square root of 63.7 will have little meaning.

I am in no way claiming that our public school system is perfect. However, I am tired of public-school bashing. Just remember, public schools were established to educate everyone, not just the elite. When we say that the schools are failures, we are saying that the youth of this nation are failures.

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