Author Topic: Private school fees surpass $40,000  (Read 7438 times)

UndergroundDaytimeDad

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #50 on: February 12, 2020, 08:31:45 PM »
There are a lot of high level reasons listed here.  For those of us in the great white north, specifically Ontario, the allure of private school is simpler: it actually takes place Monday to Friday and includes things like extra-curriculars and report cards.

Seem unbelievable.  Read the union's own directives.

https://etfocb.ca/  Specifically the ETFO Strike action section for the lists of all the things teachers are ordered by their union not to do. This is just one of the unions on constant rotating strikes in Ontario. A local news agency reported a tipped off source that all schools will be closed with no notice this Friday, as yet another day with no classes.  Depending on the area, only 2 out of 5 days this week will have all kids in the classroom. 


LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #51 on: February 12, 2020, 08:46:20 PM »
The question is, if they do worse, is that due to an inherent cohort effect (worse academic learning) or is it due to some other cohort effect (more advantageous scaling/better preparation for exams)? If the latter, then there might be a benefit solely for getting into uni, but there will be no benefit otherwise.

The current research suggests that private school children don't do as well as public school children with the same ATAR, which suggests that any cohort effect is likely to be a distortion.

https://theconversation.com/state-school-kids-do-better-at-uni-29155


It's definitely both, though how it'd be split is hard to say. Likely more cohort effect with not insignificant scaling - my guess would be 60/40, but that's so far a hunch I'd not want to wager on it.

That's not the most accurate summary of the research but it is an interesting trend, one has to wonder about qualities like determination, grit, etc, and how those are fostered through education. Though as a former teacher I don't love having to teach character, hopefully most parents know a bit of challenge is good for a kid.

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1. I'd be interested in how you've arrived at it being flat - how did you come to that conclusion?

3. I don't think the curriculum is set at the lowest common denominator - have you read the Australian curriculum skill points?

Growing up, my family travelled around internationally and I had experience of multiple school jurisdictions.

Australia had the flattest schooling system. There is little variation up or down. Streaming here is discouraged, which means that the top students are brought down to the average level and the slow students struggle without being given remedial classes.

The lack of streaming means that tailored teaching is very difficult. In the U.S., for example, I was streamed to +4 grade years (and other, smarter children were streamed to +6 grades - the range was from -3 to +6). In Australia, I've never seen a kid get streamed more than 2-3 years ahead. Teachers won't allow it. If you're good at a subject, you're encouraged to get perfect marks rather than being encouraged to keep learning harder stuff until you fail and exhaust your ability.

Indeed, our VCE subjects like Chemistry, Biology, Psychology, History etc only have one tier. Besides mathematics and foreign languages, there are few subjects with multiple tiers for more advanced or less advanced students. This leads to the stultifying of those at the top of the class, and the neglect of those at the bottom.

Right, thanks for clarifying.

However, I think it's important to re-iterate that systems that are less flat tend to do worse. Generally, not always, so I'd still not be advocating for policies around streaming or the practice more generally. I think there are much better ways to develop capable students rather than streaming, methods that have a large wealth of evidence supporting their success (mastery learning, peer teaching, for example).

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2020, 08:57:18 PM »
Can relate to this. I was the top student in maths, science and business. The only "streaming" that occurred at my school was for maths starting from Year 8 - advanced, intermediate and standard. In year 12, they were kind enough to allow me to do the extension 2 course.

There just wasn't enough resources to deal with the high achievers. The special-ed department was incredibly well stocked however. You had the kids with learning difficulties and those needing extra assistance getting quite a bit of special attention. The kids at the other end of the spectrum were left to their own devices.

It changed a little bit in the years following - opportunity classes where the top students were pooled together. But very very rarely were kids accelerated when arguably they should have been.

You only get that in the selective school system, and only for prodigies who are many years ahead of their peers.

So, ok, there's a ton to unpack here. Yes, special needs students are often over-resourced compared to top performers. To some extent that makes total sense. Sick people get more healthcare money than healthy people too, but that's sort of the way it has to be sometimes.

Generally parents and non-teachers see things like acceleration and streaming as good solutions to common problems, but the thing is that they, generally, do not deliver on their promises. Things that seem simple and effective often fall down in a complex system. Streaming I've mentioned, acceleration is often successful in specific subjects but detrimental to well-being, development and sense of self (not unlike homeschooling in that way), rarely is progression linear and acceleration only works one way which can fuck people up if they hit a snag, slow their learning down or have a rough patch.

So, let's flip the situation a little:

What are the most effective ways Australia could better challenge, support and develop students who are performing well?

If we start with that question (rather than a conversation around particular methods, which tend not to work) we can start to make much better headway.

From my point of view there are a few things that would foster meaningful improvements:
1. Emphasise mastery and peer teaching in primary school (very effective, low cost and supported by research)
2. From grade 5 to grade 10 have electives that anti-flat, but not streamed (opt in, built on teacher strengths) - streaming falls down when it's systematic but student self selection tends to be more accurate and more effective
3. Recruit and hire teachers who are subject experts, especially at a primary level and HS science and maths - generally those of us who are subject experts tend to get excellent results across the board, those of us who aren't struggle to support top end students
4. Kill tall poppy syndrome across the country
5. Develop assessments that are not tests or exams (SO pointless, so poorly implemented, such a waste of time) and are often cross disciplinary (for example an assignment looking at war time economy changes very easily involves significant reading, writing, history, maths and research skills) - a broad taxonomy of capability would be surface (I can add), depth (I can add well), transfer (I know when to add and when not to) - it's the transfer that's very often missed in Australia
6. If anyone says 'back to basics' they are banned from having an opinion about education until they read some books on it

ysette9

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2020, 10:05:38 PM »
There are a lot of high level reasons listed here.  For those of us in the great white north, specifically Ontario, the allure of private school is simpler: it actually takes place Monday to Friday and includes things like extra-curriculars and report cards.

Seem unbelievable.  Read the union's own directives.

https://etfocb.ca/  Specifically the ETFO Strike action section for the lists of all the things teachers are ordered by their union not to do. This is just one of the unions on constant rotating strikes in Ontario. A local news agency reported a tipped off source that all schools will be closed with no notice this Friday, as yet another day with no classes.  Depending on the area, only 2 out of 5 days this week will have all kids in the classroom.
That is a good point. A coworker was talking about kindergarten for her oldest and is considering private. When I asked why she said it was because the hours are actually conducive to two working parents. That makes total sense. It is beyond ridiculous that school starts late, ends early, had these silly minimum days (why??), super minimum days, and are closed all the time for holidays that no one else gets or teacher this-or-that days. Seriously, what do they expect parents to do with their kids? Most of us have to work for a living. We are definitely not the norm being able to retire by the time our kids hit school age. It is especially galling in a HCOL area like where we live where most people need two incomes to stay afloat.

charis

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2020, 07:25:23 AM »
There are a lot of high level reasons listed here.  For those of us in the great white north, specifically Ontario, the allure of private school is simpler: it actually takes place Monday to Friday and includes things like extra-curriculars and report cards.

Seem unbelievable.  Read the union's own directives.

https://etfocb.ca/  Specifically the ETFO Strike action section for the lists of all the things teachers are ordered by their union not to do. This is just one of the unions on constant rotating strikes in Ontario. A local news agency reported a tipped off source that all schools will be closed with no notice this Friday, as yet another day with no classes.  Depending on the area, only 2 out of 5 days this week will have all kids in the classroom.
That is a good point. A coworker was talking about kindergarten for her oldest and is considering private. When I asked why she said it was because the hours are actually conducive to two working parents. That makes total sense. It is beyond ridiculous that school starts late, ends early, had these silly minimum days (why??), super minimum days, and are closed all the time for holidays that no one else gets or teacher this-or-that days. Seriously, what do they expect parents to do with their kids? Most of us have to work for a living. We are definitely not the norm being able to retire by the time our kids hit school age. It is especially galling in a HCOL area like where we live where most people need two incomes to stay afloat.

Interesting, in our region, private schools follow the basic public school calendar except that they actually have fewer in-school days - more days off during the year and longer breaks.

iris lily

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2020, 07:52:17 AM »
There are a lot of high level reasons listed here.  For those of us in the great white north, specifically Ontario, the allure of private school is simpler: it actually takes place Monday to Friday and includes things like extra-curriculars and report cards.

Seem unbelievable.  Read the union's own directives.

https://etfocb.ca/  Specifically the ETFO Strike action section for the lists of all the things teachers are ordered by their union not to do. This is just one of the unions on constant rotating strikes in Ontario. A local news agency reported a tipped off source that all schools will be closed with no notice this Friday, as yet another day with no classes.  Depending on the area, only 2 out of 5 days this week will have all kids in the classroom.
That is a good point. A coworker was talking about kindergarten for her oldest and is considering private. When I asked why she said it was because the hours are actually conducive to two working parents. That makes total sense. It is beyond ridiculous that school starts late, ends early, had these silly minimum days (why??), super minimum days, and are closed all the time for holidays that no one else gets or teacher this-or-that days. Seriously, what do they expect parents to do with their kids? Most of us have to work for a living. We are definitely not the norm being able to retire by the time our kids hit school age. It is especially galling in a HCOL area like where we live where most people need two incomes to stay afloat.

The obvious answer to your question is that school doesnít primarily provide daycare services for your children. Itís  not their primary reason to exist. If this sounds smart ass Iím sorry but to me itís an obvious answer to the question ďwhat am I supposed to do with my children when school closes?Ē

But sure itís tough to find childcare when school closes or when your child is sick.

ysette9

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #56 on: February 13, 2020, 01:06:22 PM »
I recognize that, however the reality is that most households are dual income, which means that most schools are not serving the needs of most of the kids they are there to teach. It doesnít help anyone to set a school schedule that leaves parents stressed and struggling, and/or leaves kids with second rate options for how to spend a significant chunk of their day.

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #57 on: February 13, 2020, 04:46:50 PM »
It seems counter-intuitive to rag on a group who are striking so that they can continue to look after kids and educate them well.

There was a member of this board working in Ontario as an Education Support worker and had to quit - despite being excellent at it - because the salary topped out at something like $35k. So instead of continuing to help special needs students develop and learn, providing significant value in their lives and the lives of their parents, he left and (I believe) no works in real estate. Short term pain always irks parents, which sucks, but long term it's in our interest to retain skilled people and recruit new people based on excellent conditions and job prospects.

Ontario has a very high functioning education system and is, therefore, something worth fighting for.

Realistically, teachers who strike (me!) often hope affected families realise that we're hoping you get angry at the government bargaining team that often will deny us reasonable demands for months before strikes move things forward. If there was a better way it would be used.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #58 on: February 13, 2020, 05:28:16 PM »
I recognize that, however the reality is that most households are dual income, which means that most schools are not serving the needs of most of the kids they are there to teach. It doesnít help anyone to set a school schedule that leaves parents stressed and struggling, and/or leaves kids with second rate options for how to spend a significant chunk of their day.
Family life works better if you don't have 2 full-time equivalent jobs in it, but 1-1.5.

With less than 2 FTE jobs, there's less stress and drama in the household even without considering school stuff. And of course, this allows parents more time to supplement their children's formal education by anything from bedtime stories right up to homeschooling.

This means less income for the household, but not as much as commonly imagined, since a parent with less stress and drama in their day-to-day life is more likely to be able to improve their skills (my wife is doing a course this week, which she can only do because I'm here to do the dropoffs and pickups she usually does), is calmer and more focused at work so they can perform better and secure a raise, and so on. And of course, many of the things we purchase with money we can also purchase with time, eg eating at home vs eating out, etc.

And since everyone assumes this: no, this does not mean the woman does no paid work, it can be the man doing no paid work or only part-time, as in my household. And I think it's usually better for it to be the man.

It's not clear to me that it's the school's responsibility to make up for our lifestyle choices.

ysette9

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #59 on: February 13, 2020, 05:46:31 PM »
That presumes that you live in an area and have jobs that pay well enough to allow a family to live on 1.5 incomes. It presumes part time work is available. It presumes that one parent is happy taking him or herself off the career track to care for kids.

All of that assumes a certain level of privilege that does not apply to vast swaths of people. I think of people I know here who live five people to a one-bedroom apartment and work three jobs between two parents to keep them afloat. Think of assortive mating where college educated are more likely than ever to marry each other, meaning it is more likely than ever that both people will want to pursue their careers.

Continuing a system that assumes or almost requires a partial SAHP is not only archaic and counter productive but, in my opinion, a little offensive as it still seems to be the women who end up downshifting more often than not when that is required.

I realize the point of this site is to get to the point of being able to choose not to work. But we should not assume that is what everyone else wants at every point in their family life.

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #60 on: February 13, 2020, 06:42:23 PM »
Sure, but schools' hours are always different to working hours (well, most working hours) - it's a tough call to ask schools to keep the same working hours as 9-5 jobs, or, in some cases (as is sometimes common) 8-6 or whatever increasing hours end up being.

I do think the States (and maybe Canada) where schools start at 7 (in some districts) is totally bonkers. Here school is usually 9-3.30 (or thereabouts) which I think is not too bad. Most schools have After Hours Care if needed as well. It's not perfect and, as you say, some people always have more options than others, and things change as kids grow up and are more independent, but it's also not the worst deal either!

raincoast

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #61 on: February 13, 2020, 08:34:34 PM »
Sure, but schools' hours are always different to working hours (well, most working hours) - it's a tough call to ask schools to keep the same working hours as 9-5 jobs, or, in some cases (as is sometimes common) 8-6 or whatever increasing hours end up being.

I do think the States (and maybe Canada) where schools start at 7 (in some districts) is totally bonkers. Here school is usually 9-3.30 (or thereabouts) which I think is not too bad. Most schools have After Hours Care if needed as well. It's not perfect and, as you say, some people always have more options than others, and things change as kids grow up and are more independent, but it's also not the worst deal either!

I'm not aware of any Canadian schools that start at 7 am, although they may exist. My elementary school was 830-230 and my high school was 9-315. The schools where I live now mostly start between 830 and 9.

Do the American schools that start at 7 am do longer days, or do parents have to pick up their kids at 1 pm?

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #62 on: February 13, 2020, 09:14:06 PM »
I think longer days, from memory it's not uncommon for like 7.30-2/2.30. Though totally open to being corrected.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #63 on: February 13, 2020, 11:13:33 PM »
That presumes that you live in an area and have jobs that pay well enough to allow a family to live on 1.5 incomes.

In Australia, the full-time minimum wage is AUD19.40ph, which comes to a bit over $38k. 150% of that would be $58k. The median Australian household income is $50k. Which is to say that a bit over one-half of Australian households already live on less than or equal to the equivalent of 1.5 full-time equivalent minimum wage jobs.


And of course, most people who are employed receive more than the minimum wage.

Area is key, yes. You couldn't keep a family going in Toorak on such a job. It may take a few years to organise yourselves so it can happen. But this MMM website is all about people taking a few years to build the sort of lifestyle they want.

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It presumes that one parent is happy taking him or herself off the career track to care for kids.
I would suggest that if neither of you are willing to make sacrifices to have children, you don't really want children. Which is fine: there is no moral duty to have children.

The notion that our choices should cause us minimal or even no inconvenience is a peculiarly modern and middle-class one. 

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I think of people I know here who live five people to a one-bedroom apartment and work three jobs between two parents to keep them afloat. Think of assortive mating where college educated are more likely than ever to marry each other, meaning it is more likely than ever that both people will want to pursue their careers.
You live in an unfortunate country where people can be working full-time and still be impoverished, and where more privileged people are brought up to expect they need never make sacrifices for their chosen lifestyle. I feel for you.


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Continuing a system that assumes or almost requires a partial SAHP is not only archaic and counter productive but, in my opinion, a little offensive as it still seems to be the women who end up downshifting more often than not when that is required.
As I said, I don't believe it need be women. In fact I noted that more often than not it should be the man who stays at home with the children.

Both men and women get post-natal depression, but women at several times the rate of men; part of the cause is hormonal, but a large part is feelings of imprisonment and social isolation. Men will lack the hormonal trigger, and in general have smaller social circles, so will feel the psychological impact of preschool social isolation (the isolation fades off once the kids go to school) less than women. For these reasons, it is better for the man to stay at home than the woman.

It's estimated that 5-10% of SIDS cases are actually infanticide carried out by the mother, and there's a strong correlation between SIDS and female postnatal depression. Almost all infanticide leading to convictions is carried out by mothers. For these reasons, it is better for the man to stay at home than the woman.

Children with absent fathers - whether entirely absent because they've abandoned them, or present in theory but absent due to longer work hours - are more likely to be involved in criminal activity and drugs, have mental health issues, fail to finish high school, engage in early and unprotected sexual activity and have unplanned teenaged pregnancies. The more present the father, the better the outcomes for the children. For these reasons, it is better for the man to stay at home than the woman.

Women face systemic discrimination in the workplace which is made worse by their taking years off to have children; men don't suffer this discrimination. Women have a wage gap which is made worse by time entirely off work, and this gap will carry on through to her old age with superannuation and so on, making her less able to provide for herself; if the man takes time off work, then the gap will disappear. For these reasons, it is better for the man to stay at home than the woman.

I could go on, but you get the point. Part of why women end up at home with the children isn't choice, but it's simply assumed. It's natural for the first 6 months or so as the woman recovers from childbirth and, if she is willing and able to, breastfeeds. But past birth and breastfeeding, there's nothing a mother can do that a father can't. So immediately after birth if the child is not breastfed, or starting from 6 months when it becomes more practical to express and the child is starting on solids (40% of children are not breastfed at all from 6 months on), and certainly after 12 months when most are weaned - well, the man can be the full-time caregiver.

But too often sheer momentum carries the couple through with the woman remaining at home, they don't sit down and discuss it. It should be discussed more. Likewise the household tasks; if when she wasn't doing paid work she was always the one who did household tasks X, Y and Z, even once she's back at full-time work she tends to continue doing X, Y and Z. It's not discussed. If we simply assume it'll usually be the woman, then it won't even occur to many couples to discuss it. Let's not assume, and let's more often raise the points above, or if you disagree with them, whatever points you think good. Let's encourage more couple conversations to happen. Don't assume.

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I realize the point of this site is to get to the point of being able to choose not to work. But we should not assume that is what everyone else wants at every point in their family life.
I agree. For my part, I have every intention of doing paid work until I fall over. I'm puzzled as to why some people will work 40-60hr pw for 20-40 years so they can then work 0hr for 20-40 years. The first two years after a man's retirement are very dangerous, too often having depression, substance abuse and suicide. Why not just work 20-30hr pw your whole life? This accommodates children if you want them, and hobbies and study and leisure if you don't want children, or before and after children.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 11:21:10 PM by Kyle Schuant »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2020, 01:22:00 AM »
"Upwardly mobile middle class"

I don't really think that this exists anymore - does anyone? Wages are stagnant, wealth is increasing concentrated in the hands of older people, population demographics mean that young people can't vote in candidates that represent their interests with any consistency (while old people can much more easily), who is moving between classes (or more accurately ICSIA levels?), not too many people....
I'm sorry, where exactly do you think you are?

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2020, 11:46:45 AM »
Static, decreasing purchasing power middle class?

iris lily

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2020, 12:39:23 PM »
I recognize that, however the reality is that most households are dual income, which means that most schools are not serving the needs of most of the kids they are there to teach. It doesnít help anyone to set a school schedule that leaves parents stressed and struggling, and/or leaves kids with second rate options for how to spend a significant chunk of their day.
Then lobby for day care services at the school. Cheaper than teachers with advanced degrees and etc.

Its like the hospitalódo you want to pay for people who do not need skilled nursing care and advanced treatment options to lie around in bed for weeks recovering, when much lower level care could do that trick?

I dont.

ysette9

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2020, 02:19:54 PM »
I recognize that, however the reality is that most households are dual income, which means that most schools are not serving the needs of most of the kids they are there to teach. It doesnít help anyone to set a school schedule that leaves parents stressed and struggling, and/or leaves kids with second rate options for how to spend a significant chunk of their day.
Then lobby for day care services at the school. Cheaper than teachers with advanced degrees and etc.

Its like the hospitalódo you want to pay for people who do not need skilled nursing care and advanced treatment options to lie around in bed for weeks recovering, when much lower level care could do that trick?

I dont.
As it is we pay for my kindergartener to be in an after school program that is taught by teachers. So she gets quality activities all day long instead of just a few hours in the day.

I suppose this kind of setup perpetuates the gap between the advantages and disadvantages kids. Those with means put their kids in quality after school programs to fill up the entire day while those who donít have their kids in front of the tv, or whatever else they can cobble together.

It works well for my kid but it certainly leaves plenty of others in the dust. This isnít fair.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #68 on: February 16, 2020, 12:18:16 AM »
I suppose this kind of setup perpetuates the gap between the advantages and disadvantages kids. Those with means put their kids in quality after school programs to fill up the entire day while those who donít have their kids in front of the tv, or whatever else they can cobble together.

It works well for my kid but it certainly leaves plenty of others in the dust. This isnít fair.
Not necessarily. After all, homeschooled children are from all sorts of backgrounds, with parents of varying education and wealth, and they do as well or better than state schooled children.

https://responsiblehomeschooling.org/homeschooling-101/homeschool-demographics/
https://www.homeschoolingdownunder.com/australian-homeschool-statistics/


Interestingly, the rate of homeschooling is slightly higher among poorer and less-educated families. Higher income and better-educated families pay someone else to do it for them, poorer and less-educated families are more likely to do it themselves.

Surveys of white collar workers usually show they spend only about 2.5hr a day doing productive work. Primary school is from my observation quite similar. Mostly they're just stuffing around or waiting on other kids for stuff. There's only 1-2 hours a day of actual learning and practising of things. This matches what homeschooling parents tell me - they only have to do a couple of hours a day of formal learning to get the children to or past the state schools' standards.

Our children don't necessarily need several hours a day of formal schooling.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 12:24:10 AM by Kyle Schuant »

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #69 on: February 16, 2020, 12:42:58 AM »
I don't agree with that. I got drilled about 4-5 hours a day throughout Years 6-10 and also did 3 hours a day of homework. Without that sort of tuition I wouldn't have gotten as good at English and maths as I did.

It may be that you only need 2 hours a day to get up to scratch in a general capacity. But if you want to be a top student it is going to take a lot more work than that.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #70 on: February 16, 2020, 02:00:23 AM »
I've no doubt that if you want to be a "top student" you need more than a few hours a day of study and learning. Likewise, the people who report working productively for 2.5hr a day in their workplace are probably not the ones who are becoming manager, partner or whatever at record young ages.

Most people are content to do alright, or do well, without the need to do famously.

In one longitudinal study of men's health, they measured many things, including their fitness and strength, and then broke them into three groups - poor, middle and top endurance and likewise strength. They waited twenty years to see who dropped dead and of what. Having middle or top one-third of endurance reduced the chances of heart disease and some cancers; having middle or top one-third of strength made no difference to heart disease, but reduced the chances of other cancers, and other-cause mortality. But here's the thing: being in the top third did not lead to better outcomes than being in the middle third. You just didn't want to be in the bottom third.

It's much the same with education and income, in terms of how happy people are, how stable their relationships are, their finances and so on. People in the middle or top third of the class or of income are certainly better off than those in the bottom third. But top or middle third make little difference. Just don't be in the bottom third of education or income.

Looking here, we see that you do need something beyond high school to get much about minimum wage and have a good chance of employment - a certificate or two, or diploma. A Bachelor's or more bumps up the employment a few percent, and the income from cert/dip to B.(something) takes you from ~$1,050 to $1,436pw average income. That's good, but of course it involves 3-4 years of study and a significant HECS debt. You may or may not consider it worth the trouble.





In Australia, if you actually finish high school and then undertake some sort of further education, whether trade apprenticeship, diploma, some certificate in something - you're solidly the middle third. If you scrape through on a pass on a bachelor's degree than you're the bottom of the top third. More than that puts you well into the top third. Finish high school and do something and you'll be set up for a decent life.


You don't need to be a top student to have a decent life. Not everyone wants to be a neurosurgeon, a corporate lawyer or an architect.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 02:05:22 AM by Kyle Schuant »

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #71 on: February 17, 2020, 02:15:24 PM »
There's another aspect to consider, too. If multiple teachers did it, and/or it takes months or years for reports to be acted on, then it's systemic. It's a culture of abuse. We don't hear many instances of systemic sexual abuse at state schools.

It's like how in Afghanistan special forces have been implicated in war crimes but not regular infantry units. When you're constantly told you're "elite" and you run your own affairs without public scrutiny, you may get a culture of impunity. See also the culture of bullying which exists in surgery resident programmes at hospitals, but which doesn't exist in GP training.


Your child doesn't need to be a top student to have a good life, and there may be costs beyond the absurd fees.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-17/investigation-into-teacher-behaviour-at-st-kevins/11972138
« Last Edit: February 17, 2020, 02:17:11 PM by Kyle Schuant »

jeroly

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #72 on: February 17, 2020, 02:38:30 PM »
Here in Washington, DC, private school tuition costs from about $26,000 to $42,000 (about AUD 39k to $63k).

My GFís son has gone to public (government) schools, but he has been incredibly fortunate to have been zoned for an excellent elementary school and then won a lottery to attend a specialized math-and-science middle-and-high school with high academic standards.  For most children here, the public schools are pretty terrible (Iím saying that having attended public schools myself in NYC and taught in an average NYC high school and tutored in the local DC school).  Most folks here that can afford it (obviously, most canít) put their kids into private schools, and many others look to flee to the Ďburbs when their kids get to school age.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2020, 01:15:01 PM »
I donít get the private school thing. Okay, if I isnít have a public language immersion option then I would consider private. But otherwise Iím colored by my own experience as a kid. We went to a private Christian school for four years where the kids were beastly mean and the education was decidedly sub-par. Going to public school was initially scary but in the end was a breath of fresh air.

Same. I attended a private Catholic school for K-8 and begged to leave after being bullied straight through my 6th grade year. I wasn't allowed to switch until after two more hellish years during which I pretty much gave up academically because I was so miserable. The public high school was so much less stressful and had many more academic and arts options and many highly engaged teachers.

To be fair, we lived in a very good public school district (which makes it even more confusing why my parents nearly drove themselves broke keeping me in a Catholic school that I didn't like, at a parish that we all hated). I can understand exploring private/charter options in a poor school district.

Exact same experience as above! In fact, the similarities are uncanny.

Iíll also note that:

1) I got out just as a priest took over who was later accused of molestation.
2) Multiple elementary classmates (out of about 25) either died from suicide, became addicts, or went to jail.
3) I learned certain things for the first time in public schools, such as anything about evolution/reproduction, anything significant about the civil rights movement, and also that the Spanish conquistadors didnít treat the indigenous populations so well as was implied by my earlier teachers.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2020, 02:14:21 PM »
I've no doubt that if you want to be a "top student" you need more than a few hours a day of study and learning. Likewise, the people who report working productively for 2.5hr a day in their workplace are probably not the ones who are becoming manager, partner or whatever at record young ages.

Most people are content to do alright, or do well, without the need to do famously.

In one longitudinal study of men's health, they measured many things, including their fitness and strength, and then broke them into three groups - poor, middle and top endurance and likewise strength. They waited twenty years to see who dropped dead and of what. Having middle or top one-third of endurance reduced the chances of heart disease and some cancers; having middle or top one-third of strength made no difference to heart disease, but reduced the chances of other cancers, and other-cause mortality. But here's the thing: being in the top third did not lead to better outcomes than being in the middle third. You just didn't want to be in the bottom third.


I can easily agree with that, in a health context. But it's much more complex in an educational setting.

When it comes to health, for most of us the main goal is to avoid bad things happening. Therefore the extra exertion (on your muscles and joints) that comes with being a really good athlete is superfluous to the goal. Most of us aren't super interested in being a world class marathoner, but we want to be fit enough to jog 10kms.

When it comes to education, there are more discrete gains from being in the top third (as opposed to being in the middle third). Even leaving aside the intrinsic value of education, a higher degree of critical thinking ability and a greater facility with numbers/words will give you real-life benefits at work. That may or may not make you 'happier', but it will make you richer, and that's an important goal for many (including those on these forums).

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2020, 04:42:01 PM »
That's true, but there's a balance to these things. I know of a GP working 70hr weeks to put his children in private schools - and he's morbidly obese. So he's not with his family today, and he's sure as shit not going to be with them tomorrow. As Cats In The Cradle said, his son will grow up just like him. And then...


I would suggest that you and many others have misconstrued the purpose of the MMM philosophy. It's not to accumulate as much money as possible as quickly as possible, if that were the only concern we'd just become bank robbers.


It's viewing money as a tool to get us the lifestyle we want, rather than as an end in itself; thus MMM's referring to certain kinds of car "clown cars". Depending on the lifestyle someone wants, this might be accomplished with more money earned, or with less spent; and less spent may mean working less hours in a high-income job, or moderate hours in a moderate income job, etc.


With that in mind, a person may decide that endlessly ambitiously pushing themselves or their children isn't the best route to the lifestyle they want.


The 70hr pw morbidly obese GP dad is doing it wrong. And the parents who send their children to an overpriced school where they get molested are also doing it wrong.

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2020, 05:09:52 PM »
I don't see your points as really that divergent. Kyle's saying 'you don't have to be the best to have a good life' and Bloop's saying 'being better brings you more opportunities and options'. No disagreement here.

When educating someone you want them to be aiming as high as possible - even if they don't get there having a mindset or assumption of high achievement results in noticeable increases in learning and progress.

Though I'd definitely want there to be place and humane value given to people who are in the bottom third, one shouldn't have to achieve to live with dignity, similarly you're not going to get lauded for being average. I wonder how much correlation there is between something like career satisfaction and ATAR results or career capital and ATAR results. I'm not aware of any research around these topics (though there probably is some), an interesting consideration.

mm1970

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2020, 05:11:27 PM »
There are a lot of high level reasons listed here.  For those of us in the great white north, specifically Ontario, the allure of private school is simpler: it actually takes place Monday to Friday and includes things like extra-curriculars and report cards.

Seem unbelievable.  Read the union's own directives.

https://etfocb.ca/  Specifically the ETFO Strike action section for the lists of all the things teachers are ordered by their union not to do. This is just one of the unions on constant rotating strikes in Ontario. A local news agency reported a tipped off source that all schools will be closed with no notice this Friday, as yet another day with no classes.  Depending on the area, only 2 out of 5 days this week will have all kids in the classroom.
That is a good point. A coworker was talking about kindergarten for her oldest and is considering private. When I asked why she said it was because the hours are actually conducive to two working parents. That makes total sense. It is beyond ridiculous that school starts late, ends early, had these silly minimum days (why??), super minimum days, and are closed all the time for holidays that no one else gets or teacher this-or-that days. Seriously, what do they expect parents to do with their kids? Most of us have to work for a living. We are definitely not the norm being able to retire by the time our kids hit school age. It is especially galling in a HCOL area like where we live where most people need two incomes to stay afloat.

The obvious answer to your question is that school doesnít primarily provide daycare services for your children. Itís  not their primary reason to exist. If this sounds smart ass Iím sorry but to me itís an obvious answer to the question ďwhat am I supposed to do with my children when school closes?Ē

But sure itís tough to find childcare when school closes or when your child is sick.
Also, partly the school system hasn't changed in decades, or longer, since it was set up.  I mean, summers off (harvest), late start/ early release (matching the rising/ setting sun), random days off because: well doesn't everyone have a SAHM? 

Well, no.

It was much like that when the whole system was set up, but it certainly isn't like that now.  Good school districts adjust - our district has adjusted vacation/ holiday times over the last decade to align with families.   When they realized that a good % of students were not coming back after Christmas until a week later (because they went to Mexico to visit family for 2 weeks), the schedule was changed to make it a 2 week break.  Same thing with Thanksgiving when they realized a number of the middle class families were pulling their kids out for the full week, they changed the schedule.

As far as time of day goes, many of our schools now have before school care starting at 8 and after school care going until 5:30 or 6 for the families that have two working parents.

Let's not pretend that the whole system was set up ONLY for education and NOT for convenience of families, because that's not at all true.  The fact that many kids come back from summer vacation having lost a lot of what they learned the prior year is pretty much proof of that.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2020, 05:16:23 PM »

With that in mind, a person may decide that endlessly ambitiously pushing themselves or their children isn't the best route to the lifestyle they want.

The 70hr pw morbidly obese GP dad is doing it wrong. And the parents who send their children to an overpriced school where they get molested are also doing it wrong.

Yep. I agree with all of that. Even if you are one of those people who measures achievement by money or status, there is no sense burning yourself out to achieve it, or hating your work to achieve it.

And I also agree that within an educational setting, even if we decide we are going to push/stream/accelerate the most capable students, the worst way to go about it is to link it to ATAR scores, university entrance and the like. It has to be an intrinsic motivator, like learning for its own sake, or at least achievement for its own sake, that motivates the kids. When I was told to aim for a good ATAR rather than aiming for mastery of difficult content, my motivation as a student plummeted.

Which is why I think the Australian system is not good. We don't encourage mastery. In any sense. Except of the exam content, so that you can get into a university course. That sort of philosophy harms all students, both the more and less capable ones.

And the private school mindset is even more corrosive. If parents simply said "I send my children to private schools because the extra money pays for better teachers", I would have no problem with that (other than the fact that it might not be true). But few parents say that. Private school is not about better teaching. It's about better students, better facilities, better socialising, better outcomes - everything other than the actual education received. I think that says a lot about the cultural malaise and anti-intellectualism that affects our country.

Ynari

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #79 on: February 18, 2020, 06:08:10 PM »
I think longer days, from memory it's not uncommon for like 7.30-2/2.30. Though totally open to being corrected.

Aye, my middle school (grades 7-8) is 7:30-2:15. With after school activities three days a week (late buses at 4:30).

Oddly, it used to be the high schools that had this schedule, with middle school being 8:10-2:55 and elementary school being 9:20-4:05 (with before and after care available on a sliding scale). Then the research came out that teens should start school 8:30 or later, so they *swapped* middle and high school times instead of moving them both back a bit. Somehow they justified that it'd be better to wake 13 year olds up that early rather than 16 year olds? I get that the logistics of busing in a large county can be a nightmare, but that cannot have been the only option.

Streaming I've mentioned, acceleration is often successful in specific subjects but detrimental to well-being, development and sense of self (not unlike homeschooling in that way), rarely is progression linear and acceleration only works one way which can fuck people up if they hit a snag, slow their learning down or have a rough patch.

I agree that streaming is not a panacea, and that it needs to be adjusted to allow for both forward and backward (and lateral) movement for any singular individual. Both from my memory and what I see in the school I teach at, streaming is done to the nth degree - kids only see the same ~60 other students in all of their classes, despite being in a graduating class of 500+. It creates huge problems for diversity/"gap closing" initiatives and creates some odd socio-emotional development in all groups - even the "honors" ones. The highest placement for math in 7th grade is for students who score in top 10% of their aptitude tests - yet the kids who got 90th percentile feel like they're slow because all of their classes are filled with these same kids. Its really weird to witness a 12 year old have an identity crisis that destroys their love for math because they aren't quite as quick to pick up Algebra as their neighbors. The anxiety and mental health problems I see in this group of kids is heartbreaking. And yet the 99th percentile kids are still chafing at the pace - I have one kid in 7th grade self-studying calculus!

LonerMatt

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #80 on: February 18, 2020, 06:25:25 PM »
If teachers aren't givent he tools/capable at handling differing abilities there's no systematic change that will save them

Gin1984

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #81 on: February 18, 2020, 07:35:49 PM »
It seems like itís getting more and more expensive to avoid sending your kids to school with a bunch of low income kids.  And more and more expensive for wealthy people to insulate their kids from the upwardly mobile middle class.

AKA, low income children of color. At least in our highly segregated region.
The Catholic school that we sent our daughter to, in Iowa, was more racially diverse than the local public school. Income was about the same for the local private school and local public school parents in that town.

fasteddie911

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #82 on: February 20, 2020, 07:58:49 AM »
We are debating sending our kid to my alma mater private non-religious HS that now runs ~$30k/yr.  It's considered a "great" school and anyone with money tries to get their kids into there.  But I think their intentions are misguided.  Like someone else mentioned, I have no reason the believe the teachers are any better than public.  What they're paying for is the environment of like minded kids (or parents at least), social influences, facilities, extra-curriculars, etc. Part of it too is a status symbol and to show you're a "caring" parent, imo.  Outcomes of this school are great but studies have shown that parents and socioeconomic class are large predictors of student success.   While we could probably afford it one has to wonder if that money would be better spent on other experiences, extra-curriculars, etc. while attending a public school, and/or invested on their behalf towards college, grad school, downpayment or even their retirement.  Folks talk about investing in their kids education but arguably the ROI of a wad of cash could be more valuable and more reliable.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 08:01:28 AM by fasteddie911 »

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Hula Hoop

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #84 on: February 21, 2020, 06:17:35 AM »
This is one of things I like about living here in Italy.  Private schools don't really exist here apart from Catholic schools and international schools.  A lot of wealthy Italians put their kids in international schools so that they can become native speakers of another language (usually English) but my kids are bilingual anyway so we don't need to worry about that.  The "best" schools in the city where I live are all public and people consider private schools (mostly Catholic schools) to be of lesser quality and a place for kids who can't cut it in public school to go.  There is no zoning so kids can go to whichever public school they want.  Some schools are better than others of course but theoretically anyone can send their kid anywhere.

Anyway, I went to public school all the way through in the US and it was fine.    I'm from a (white)  middle class background and public schools taught me a lot as I mixed with a lot of kids who were way poorer and less privileged than me.  We don't have the money for private school anyway but if we had that kind of money we'd just FIRE faster. 

marty998

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2020, 05:37:38 PM »
I missed the past week's discussion in this thread sorry. But I think there are a lot of sensible ideas and suggestions coming out of it (obviously, because we are that sort of crowd that is sensible).

Lets break some numbers down. Because I do like maths and I've had a nagging thought that $40k is simply far in excess of what it costs to run a school.

$40,000 per student, and if you've got say 120 students per grade for 6 years in High school, means you are raising $40,000 x 120 x 6 = $28.8 million of revenue per year, prior to any government contributions.

A school of that size may require a teaching and administrative staff of about 70, give or take. If the average salary plus super plus payroll tax and on-costs is a generous $120,000 (it'll be less than that, but for arguments sake), you still have $20 million left over for buildings, insurance, power and water, maintenance, IT, school excursions, sporting events, subsidised uniforms and canteen etc etc...

Government and low fee catholic schools are doing all this on ~$15,000 per student. So yeah... there's an element that costs are higher because the private school needs to maintain its cricket ovals and swimming pools, but at some point the extra money is basically paying for the privilege of excluding your gilded sprog from the unwashed masses who are unable to pay for this.

https://www.betootaadvocate.com/headlines/30k-per-year-private-school-fees-still-not-able-to-guarantee-pedo-free-education/

Careful Kyle. Even among Australians, its amazing how many people don't realise this is satire.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2020, 11:43:21 PM »
In the 2016-17 financial year, apparently the public spending amounted to
$17,531 per student in government schools ($14,886 state + $2,645 federal)

$10,644 in non-government schools ($2,591 state + $8,053 federal)


It's interesting that it's basically the federal government keeping the private schools publicly-funded. Targetting those upper middle class voters, I suppose.


Now, comparing where the money goes, for government schools and non-government schools,


Govt schools have $21.8 billion of $43.7 billion of public funding going to teacher salaries. Non-government it's $10.6 of $25.2 billion. Non-government schools get about 30% of all the students overall, so you see they have just slightly more spent on them in proportion.


There are a few differences, though, one of which that government schools spend $2 billion on "capital expenditure" (ie new buildings and grounds) and non-government $3.3 billion. So they have less than 1/3 the students, but spend 50% more on buildings and grounds; proportionally, they spend at least 5 times as much.


Well, you can see that when you visit the different schools. Now, it's obvious that a child will learn better in a classroom where they fix the leak where the rain comes in, and better where they have airconditioning than having to sit there on 40C days. But it's not clear they learn better in a magnificent building than a functional one, nor is it clear that they learn better if they have a new boatshed. I mean, I think we can do better than the cruddy old portables, but...


Essentially they just use the flash new buildings to impress parents on open days. Well, okay.


State grants to private schools amounted to $2.6 billion and federal $8.3 billion. So the states could stop funding private schools entirely (or the feds drop funding by about a third) and the private schools could balance the books by reducing their capital expenditure so it'd be in proportion with government schools. 30% of the students x government school capital spending of $3.3 = ~ $600 million, and current non-govt school capital spending of $3.3 billion - state funding of $2.6 billion = $700 million left.


The non-government schools have some higher ongoing capital costs, since it costs more to keep a fancy building maintained, lit and heated or cooled than a grungy old one. So they'd still need more money than state schools.


It's odd how it's all worked out. Still, I've yet to hear of a government school where they had to get rid of five staff in one week because of molestation and sexual harassment issues. Thinking of themselves as "elite" while having a tradition of "we deal with our problems ourselves"... well, egos plus lack of scrutiny leads to a culture of impunity - and crimes. We've seen it with the SAS and commandos, and we've seen it with St Kevin's.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #87 on: February 24, 2020, 07:15:08 AM »

Govt schools have $21.8 billion of $43.7 billion of public funding going to teacher salaries. Non-government it's $10.6 of $25.2 billion. Non-government schools get about 30% of all the students overall, so you see they have just slightly more spent on them in proportion.

So the govt schools spend proportionally more on teacher salaries? Why would it be considered a luxury to send oneís kid to a place where the teachers are paid worse?

In my US city, we have a chain of charter schools where all the teachers are on one year contracts, although the pay is similar to our public schools. So if Iím a teacher, would I rather have a full time job or a one year gig? Full time job of course. So doesnít that mean the charter school has more of the teachers who couldnít get a job in the public schools?

Also, your notes about the culture of impunity in certain elite organizations is a good one. When I ask myself which type of school is more likely to engage in a cover up (thereby encouraging the pedos), I have to conclude it is the privately owned ones, where there is a financial interest in doing so. A public school principal who uncovers abuse will earn the same salary the following year, but the charter/private school principal has to consider the marketing implications and the attitudes of the owners.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Private school fees surpass $40,000
« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2020, 04:43:10 PM »
So the govt schools spend proportionally more on teacher salaries? Why would it be considered a luxury to send oneís kid to a place where the teachers are paid worse?
Other way around. Non-government pay more. But it's not huge. It's not like first year teachers get $55k at one and $110k at the other. There are other factors too, though, for a teacher choosing employment.

Obviously the non-government schools are generally more prestigious, and while the parents are demanding and entitled, they do care about their children's education, a situation which does not always occur at government schools. So they get more respect, and the children are easier to work with.

As well, the lack of scrutiny I spoke of is obviously bad for things like child abuse, but for the teachers it means a lot less bureaucratic bullshit and having to deal with stupid ideas from people who've never been in a classroom. For example, a decade ago it became fashionable to have "open classrooms", which meant that 3-4 classes would be in one long building with no walls in between. It was, of course, a total clusterfuck - but in theory it'd work great. Many teachers at government schools had to go through this, but it not tried at any non-government schools (except I think Montessori). So there's just less stupid shit for the teachers to deal with at a non-government school.

Quote
Also, your notes about the culture of impunity in certain elite organizations is a good one. When I ask myself which type of school is more likely to engage in a cover up (thereby encouraging the pedos), I have to conclude it is the privately owned ones, where there is a financial interest in doing so. A public school principal who uncovers abuse will earn the same salary the following year, but the charter/private school principal has to consider the marketing implications and the attitudes of the owners.
As with your previous comment, I think you're focusing too much on the money. This is natural on a site like MMM, but still. I think people do develop a sense of "team" and "us" and want to protect that little community or little empire. This is why for example our local councils spend far more money on things designed to prevent lawsuits than they ever would on simply letting them happen and paying them out. I mean they do dumb shit like cut down fruit trees put on nature strips, "because fruit might fall and injure someone." It'd have to be some fruit! Really they're just worried about bad publicity.