Intellectual incest. Well put. My public school experience varied. Without my classmates and teachers, I would have died from physical and emotional abuse. Public school provided a vacation from my crazy Witness family. It pains me that children may not have the same choice. Since I don't have children, I may not be well informed. My parents were literate. Only one was a high school graduate. How does one learn so many different fields to teach your own children? Some friends believe degrees don't matter. I disagree. My field is relatively narrow. I read voraciously in History. American and British history.
There is no way under the sun with only a law degree that I could teach math or science. Yes, I read Shakespeare, Milton, Hemmingway but I don't understand these classics the way someone who has studied for a minimun of four years knows them. Society needs people with a solid base of core subjects. What if my child wanted to do ballet or study piano at Julliard? Yes, I studied French for many years. I am no French expert. Education made me very aware of one truth. I can only know a small portion of any subject.
We learned social skills in the playground. I loved the exposure to other kids. My dolls were more fun when other little girls played, too. B/c the cost was shared, I had access to many games and books my parents could never afford.
Public school is where I met Jews and Roman Catholics. It broke a lot of the JW brainwashing.
We had serious riots in high school. After the big one, the students realized we were pawns for adult politicians. They fired us up and we bled. Somehow a truce between the races emerged. There would be border skirmishes. It would be tense. The black guys would pull a black guy off the white guy and state it was not worth. The white boys would physically restrain another white who became too hot. It was a valuable life lesson. Don't take the bait.
School was full of such lessons. Public school allowed me to play in an orchestra. My parents had no musical experience. The band teacher saw that my brother had cerebral palsy. He selected an instrument that my bro could play with a spastic hand. During special events, it warmed me to see my cp brother in one of the coolest groups in high school, the dance band. We were Jehovah's Witnesses. School gave us a level playing field.
Public school was where Jesse Jackson paid a surprise visit only a few weeks after MLK's assasination. He read the riot act to us about achieving academically and being responsible in our communities. Elite colleges came looking for students from poor families. I saw college only b/c of school. It wasn't on the KH tour list. Poverty money poured in. We saw the ballet and opera. Sometimes I would cry b/c I was so happy to have the exposure. I never would have risked college without public school.
I trained to do a civics lesson in Philadelphia's system. Teachers do such awesome things. They are educated to teach. I don't have such an education. We live in a society. Schools should prepare us for society. The mere idea that I could teach my child a fraction of what my teachers taught me is a joke.