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March 30th 2008 - The Sunday Edition
The Lilith eZine Sunday Edition
Letter from the Editor
week we've brought you something important, but often ignored. The
increasing privatization and commodification of schools and education,
not just in North America but from vistas all over the world.
A team of university students from York University have voiced
their scholarly opinions on the growing trend of private schools and as
a high school teacher myself I am quite worried about this trend.
taught chemistry at a private school in Richmond Hill (Ontario, Canada)
briefly and it was not a pleasant place in retrospect. Dress code alone
was almost intolerable. Apparently I can't wear sandals when I teach
but high heels are perfectly acceptable.
I now teach at a Toronto high school and despite the larger classes
and the smaller computer labs, overall the students are basically the
same. They may not have parents who pick them everyday in the family
SUV, but their reasons for being there remain the same. They all
struggle to learn, most of them want to be there and they are all
looking forward to college, university and/or the future.
The one defining difference is that some of the private school
students have a sense of snobbery, that somehow they are superior just
because they have wealth and a supposedly better education (although
seriously, the margin of difference can be measured in the size and
shape of the computers and computer monitors in the classrooms/labs).
To me private schools are a matter of wastefulness and prestige. They
don't get you from diapers to university better than a regular school,
they just get you there in luxury.
The problems these days however is that there is a growing trend
(pressure from the private school industry) to create more private
schools and buyout/convert public schools into private schools. Corrupt
politicians who favour private schools for their own children are part
of the problem. They see the results of their own children going
through private schools and assume falsely that the private school is
Private school students have more free time, better computers, more
complete libraries and pricier sports equipment and more school trips.
Those things can make a difference in how much a student learns and how
motivated they are to learn, but it is no guarantee they will learn to
be successful in life.
And while we waste all that precious cash on wealthy kids what is
happening to the impoverishing children who don't even have computers
and barely have enough food to eat, let alone cash for the latest
school trip? Poverty is a real threat these days and the more we ignore
it the larger the problem becomes. Poverty and lack of education leads
to crime, destitution, welfare and beggars on the streets.
Many criminals can trace the root of their problems back to school
when they were basically told they were too poor / too average
intelligence to ever amount to anything of value. Wealthy parents will
have little problem sending their kids to university or college (no
matter how brain dead their kids are) and the smarter kids will get
bursaries and scholarships to go to the schools of their choice. So
where does this leave the poor and average students?
It leaves them in crippling debt or worse.
Editor of the Lilith eZine
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The Erosion of Public Schools in Ontario
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The Feminist eZine
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The Politics eZine
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The Impact of Disaster Capitalism on Hong Kong's Education System
Privatizing Education in China
Privatizing Education in Sweden
New Orleans: Natural Disaster or Disaster Capitalism?
Disaster Capitalism in Brazil's Education System
Privatizing Education in New Orleans
The Shock Doctrine Revisited
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The Art History Archive, Feminist eZine and Lilith eZine are subsidiaries of the Lilith Gallery Network.