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?
She can send her children to whichever school she wants and can afford.
March 25th, 2007 6:39pm
Since when was ethics a relevant obligation for holders of public office?
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.
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.
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.
I'm RANDY COHEN. YOU CAN'T DISAGREE WITH ME!!!!!
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.