RIP Philo

public school vs private

The president of our local board of education sends her children to the public elementary schools, but when they get to high school, she moves them to private schools. Isn't it her ethical obligation either to send her children to the schools she sets policy for and espouses as so wonderful or to step down from the board?
Permalink JoAnne Manse, Rutherford, N.J. 
March 25th, 2007 6:32pm
She can send her children to whichever school she wants and can afford.
Permalink Send private email xampl 
March 25th, 2007 6:39pm
Since when was ethics a relevant obligation for holders of public office?
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
March 25th, 2007 6:46pm
I think it's good to have the school board have a realistic understanding of the problems facing the schools. It seems like this school board president has such an understanding.
Permalink Practical Economist 
March 25th, 2007 6:48pm
It is not. It is the obligation of board members to strive mightily to make the public schools so good that even parents with the means to opt out choose to remain. If the public schools are not yet that good, the president may honorably send her kids elsewhere -- indeed, her duty as a parent compels her to. Even where a public school is excellent, parents may seek programs it does not offer -- religious instruction, for example.

Enrolling her own kids at a school she administers can give a board member intimate daily insight into how her policies are working out, a real advantage in doing her job. Yet voters must select board members not on the basis of where they send their kids, but on how well they manage the schools. And remember: Some excellent educators have no kids at all. Ultimately, a board member can home-school her kids for all I care (as long as she doesn't do it in my home); if she is savvy, dedicated and effective, she gets my vote.
Permalink Send private email Randy Cohen 
March 25th, 2007 7:39pm
"It is the obligation of board members to strive mightily to make the public schools so good"

I disagree. The purpose of the board, the administration and the teachers in public schools in to maintain order.
Permalink Practical Economist 
March 25th, 2007 8:06pm
Permalink Send private email Randy Cohen 
March 25th, 2007 8:24pm
If there were some infinite amount of resources she were being given to aid in her management of schools then I could see the argument.

As it stands, her job is deciding how best to use a finite amount of resources to meet the needs.

Using her personal resources to send her kids elsewhere may well underscore the lack of her belief in the system she manages but it need not necessarily be a fault in her management. It could be a fault in the lemons she's been given to make lemonade with.
Permalink JoC 
March 26th, 2007 4:58pm

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