Parenting & Family

Private Schools - Would you send your kid if you had the money?

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  • Nov 8th, 2018 4:47 pm
Newbie
Oct 24, 2014
7 posts
Richmond Hill, ON
I went to private Montessori school in Markham and after the experience, I would not send my kids in any private school. Unless you are loaded so you can keep up with every student, my school was full of rich kids that only cared about the money an ironically, because their parents had so much wealth, the kids had no motivation and drive to become someone themselves.

It was a very lazy environment and I felt like teachers "fixed" marks so the school looks good. The yearly fee was $20,000 and most of the people who graduated from my class, ended up being nobody or just taking over their family businesses. Also, my parents had friends and their both kids went to very prestigious private schools in Toronto, the boy went to all-boy school in Aurora, very expensive. He would tell me how all the kids would organize car racing with their dad's porches and maseratis and if you would want your kids to be in the inner circle, that is what yur child would have to drive. I surely would not fit in with my brand new Mazda Protege at the time and was considered a "poor kid".

I must add that there were 20% of students that truly were there for education and most of those 20% came from parents who were not rich so I guess that was the motivation for those kids making sure to wisely use the opportunity. But I think those kids would have done just as well in any school. My 2 cents and just personal experience
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Dec 7, 2009
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I think if we are going to live in a society and pay taxes, that part of the social contract is to take ownership of the results, and work to improve them where necessary. Individualism, insofar that you bypass the social solution and pay for a direct and more perfect result for the privileged minority is socially irresponsible, selfish and a huge cop out.

The only saving grace is that at least you still pay for public schools through taxes, and your toe-headed mongrel is one less kid to take attention away from the others.. But don't think for a second that you or your kids are in any way superior. You are spoil sports, opting out of the team effort and using money to rig the game to your advantage. You suck.

You want to make a difference? Stop obsessing over your legacy money for a minute and get your hands dirty. Work in your community; coach a sports team, monitor lunch breaks, take kids on a class trip. The world doesn't revolve around your offspring alone, and paying to make the world a little more centered around them is cheap and ugly. Be a part of the bigger solution.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

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Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
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Syne wrote:
Oct 25th, 2014 1:23 pm
I think if we are going to live in a society and pay taxes, that part of the social contract is to take ownership of the results, and work to improve them where necessary. Individualism, insofar that you bypass the social solution and pay for a direct and more perfect result for the privileged minority is socially irresponsible, selfish and a huge cop out.

The government you're proposing sounds awfully like communism... people should have freedom of choice.
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Dec 7, 2009
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I'm not proposing a new government. The fact is, we have a publicly funded primary and secondary education system. People should want to elevate it through their tax dollars and their hard work.. but I feel like the private system is more about their kid, and their kid alone.. and screw the ones with less means because they aren't as important.
In a perfect system, corporations would fear the government and the government would fear the people. - David Wong

Check out caRpetbomBer's picks in this thread.
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Mar 29, 2008
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Syne wrote:
Oct 25th, 2014 1:23 pm
I think if we are going to live in a society and pay taxes, that part of the social contract is to take ownership of the results, and work to improve them where necessary. Individualism, insofar that you bypass the social solution and pay for a direct and more perfect result for the privileged minority is socially irresponsible, selfish and a huge cop out.

The only saving grace is that at least you still pay for public schools through taxes, and your toe-headed mongrel is one less kid to take attention away from the others.. But don't think for a second that you or your kids are in any way superior. You are spoil sports, opting out of the team effort and using money to rig the game to your advantage. You suck.

You want to make a difference? Stop obsessing over your legacy money for a minute and get your hands dirty. Work in your community; coach a sports team, monitor lunch breaks, take kids on a class trip. The world doesn't revolve around your offspring alone, and paying to make the world a little more centered around them is cheap and ugly. Be a part of the bigger solution.
Going to a private school and coaching a team, taking kids on a class trip, volunteering etc. are not mutually exclusive. Not sure why you would imply that they are? Or imply that going to private school means parents believe the world revolves around their kids (though all parents' worlds probably do revolve around their kids!)?

Why did you go to university? That gave you an unfair opportunity over those that couldn't afford to go, both in Canada and the rest of the world. Was that rigging the game to your advantage?

In fact, didn't you grow up in Canada? Quite an unfair advantage over most of the world no? How's that silver spoon of yours?

We will give our children every opportunity that we can afford to. And I don't feel one bit guilty or apologetic about it. Grateful that we can? Yes. But guilty? No.

I'm not even sure what you mean by "toe headed mongrel" or "obsessing over your legacy money".
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Jun 9, 2003
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Michael Zehaf-Bibeau went to private school. Just sayin'
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Oct 6, 2005
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Syne wrote:
Oct 25th, 2014 5:14 pm
People should want to elevate it through their tax dollars and their hard work.. but I feel like the private system is more about their kid, and their kid alone.. and screw the ones with less means because they aren't as important.
Parents do - in the good neighbourhoods; York Region has a disproportionate amount of "top" schools versus the rest of the province.

But in some areas, good academic achievement just cannot be obtained in a public setting due to cultural, social, and demographic factors.
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Feb 10, 2013
3925 posts
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Richmond
go with public. They usually have more facilities. You have no idea of your kid's interests. No idea what he's interested in. Local private school had to borrow my high school's fields for outdoor p.e classes since they did not have the facilities themselves.Some private schools have also been accused of fudging marks. Some unis have wised up and make them take an entrance exam or kick them out in the 1st year.

And if your child's marks aren't good enough they'll not let them take the provincial exam, which for most students if they did poorly all year round and studied like crazy for the final, it could boost their grade one letter grade. :) I went from a C- in english to a C+ just on the strength of one final exam. Do you want to drive your kid to another provincially designated place just to take an exam that your kid needs desperately to raise his/her marks for post secondary entry? Public schools might be prone to strikes but really the teachers do their best despite appearances.

It doesn't matter how badly situated the school is. Heck my mom's friends kids went to a school in the east end (slums of vancouver) and they came out ok and ended up going on to uni and having a successful career. All it matters is the kid and their willingness to learn. if they are lazy, then no amount of perfect schools will help them.

Plus some private schools end up having kids and their parents show off their financial status. is that something you want to teach your kid? That material things matter more than anything else? No humility or having a sense of appreciation for what they have? Thankfully public schools don't have much of that show off stuff.
Newbie
Oct 29, 2014
5 posts
Toronto, ON
My son goes to a private school, and I don't understand why most of the people here are against private schools. He loves it there and the kids there are like any other normal kids. Students of private school aren't a different species.
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Oct 6, 2005
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JonaBaker wrote:
Oct 30th, 2014 11:41 pm
My son goes to a private school, and I don't understand why most of the people here are against private schools. He loves it there and the kids there are like any other normal kids. Students of private school aren't a different species.
Really depends where you live ... in my area, there really is no need to goto a private school, as academically, all the schools are very well regarded.

But if you live in other parts of the GTA, private school maybe something to consider if your local schools are questionable.

In the end, I'm not sure if students who goto private school end up doing much better in life. It would be interesting to evaluate the ROI of private school education versus public. Personally I think it's better to save the money for a good university rather than spend it in Elementary/High School.
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May 31, 2009
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coolspot wrote:
Oct 31st, 2014 1:29 pm
Really depends where you live ... in my area, there really is no need to goto a private school, as academically, all the schools are very well regarded.

But if you live in other parts of the GTA, private school maybe something to consider if your local schools are questionable.

In the end, I'm not sure if students who goto private school end up doing much better in life. It would be interesting to evaluate the ROI of such an investment. Personally I think it's better to save the money for a good university rather than spend it in Elementary/High School.
My kids go to private school, but the above point is correct. Which is why most people pull their kids out of private school when kids are JK age, or Grade 1.

Why would you spend 100k on elementary school for your child, when your child may still be a caretaker (no offence to caretakers out there).
Would you rather not use that money to pay for university, once they have committed to focussing on a specific profession?

If you have extra money, by all means do it. But an ROI analysis would definitely be interesting. I'm leaning towards pulling them out in Grade 1, and save that extra money for their university education.
Member
Jan 8, 2011
413 posts
85 upvotes
London
Public school teacher, here. No real problem with private schools except when people think that private school teachers are better than public school teachers. I imagine there are good and bad in both.

When you pay for private school, you are paying for: a more homogeneous student population (SES particularly), more financial resources (meaning possibly nicer/newer facilities, more up-to-date student materials, and better technology), smaller class size, and a school that likely can more easily kick students out if they don't "fit in" with the morals and academic expectations of the school (children with behaviour problems, children with special education needs, etc.).

By all means, all of those can affect a child's learning experience, so I can understand why people would be willing to pay for it. However, I truly believe that in 95% of cases, what a student achieves in life has more to do with SES, parental involvement and expectations, and general temperament/attitude toward learning. Plus natural ability.

I went to a "rough" elementary school and an even "rougher" high school. I was at the top of my class, but I know most people (i.e., parents who had children at more highly regarded high schools in the area) figured my high grades were simply a result of lowered expectations at my high school. However, when I got to university, I continued to excel and graduated at the top of my class there as well. I succeeded because I was bright (though not gifted), a naturally good student, and was raised to have good work ethic and high expectations of myself. My older brother, on the other hand, who is likely "smarter" than me, barely graduated high school because he had no interest in school, is not naturally ambitious, and was probably not raised to have the same work ethic and expectations (at some early point, my parents gave up on fighting the lazy, particularly when it came school). I don't think him going to a different (i.e., private) school would have made a lick of difference and perhaps would have made him rebel even more against school (and the parents who put him there). In the end, we both turned out OK (both gainfully employed, married with children, own nice but modest houses, law-abiding citizens, etc.)...but I think it had little to do with our schools and more to do with our parental support.
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Oct 6, 2005
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Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2014 9:07 am
It is not mainly about ROI. It is about an educational and social experience. Very hard to explain to people who haven't gone to such a school.

Havergal/BSS/UCC/SAC are the Stanfords of Canadian pre-tertiary education.
Good that not all private schools are equal. Still, I know several people that went to the schools you mention and they have not done any better in life than those who went to good public school.

Some public schools in certain areas of the city are very affluent as well ... and I don't think the demographics or social culture are much different than a above average private school.
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May 31, 2009
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coolspot wrote:
Nov 1st, 2014 10:55 am
Good that not all private schools are equal. Still, I know several people that went to the schools you mention and they have not done any better in life than those who went to good public school.

Some public schools in certain areas of the city are very affluent as well ... and I don't think the demographics or social culture are much different than a above average private school.
Same here, know a few people that went to SAC and UCC, and yes they did go to university.
But now they are doing labour jobs that don't guarantee steady income, and they are struggling to even pay their rent $800/mth.

Some of the other guys that I know that went to SAC and UCC have done decent (Managers at big firms), but its about the same ratio as the people I know from public school.
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Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 1st, 2014 9:07 am
It is not mainly about ROI. It is about an educational and social experience. Very hard to explain to people who haven't gone to such a school.

For sure there are very few bad government schools in Canada. In the States, you have a surprisingly high number of schools that graduate kids who can't read or write, and this has persisted for generations. Everybody gets a decent education in Canada. If a decent education is your goal, there is no reason to pay $50k/a to Havergal/BSS/UCC/SAC.

It is a similar situation on the university front. The average Canadian school is better than the average American school. But there are some American schools that are head and shoulders above what any Canadian university can offer - Stanford/Harvard/MIT. Havergal/BSS/UCC/SAC are the Stanfords of Canadian pre-tertiary education.
Any thoughts on Havergal vs. BSS and UCC vs. Crescent? I thought I'd be sold on Havergal but now I'm leaning towards BSS, and my wife is completely feeling Havergal... UCC just seemed so big, though to be fair we haven't observed a class like we have for the girls' schools...

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