Berkeleyside is pleased to announce the launch of our first Schools Guide — an easy-to-use directory of local private schools and after-school programs, released just in time to be helpful for parents and students contemplating a move to a new school.
The selection of schools participating in the guide is as diverse as the Bay Area itself. Not only are there schools for students of all age ranges, but the schools listed include programs of varying size and focus.
The listings also include several after-school programs that provide enrichment opportunities for children to try everything from coding to acting — even cartooning.
The guide, which comprises paid-for listings, is designed for easy navigation by city and includes contact information and links for each of the schools and programs.
Additional schools and after-school programs may be added in the next few weeks. Check out the guide.
I don’t have an education philosophy (we do have 5 degrees between the two of us).
I don’t have any expectation that school should be used as a socio-economic equalizer. If anything school should be the real world which is everyone, not some carefully-curated subset of it.
One can argue that going to a private school is like having the expectation that school should be a socio-economic differentor or segregator. I don’t know any private schools that try to mirror the real world in their population. They try to but can’t.
Will your kids ever get to interact or compete in a level playing field with the kids of the sandwich lady in a private school? If they don’t, that is elitism.
I don’t know anyone who goes private for supposedly higher academics (source of incontrovertible data?) Plenty of people go private to avoid the nonsense and reprogramming at BHS (rather odious and doesn’t really help the kids it is supposed to).
How would my (hypothetical) choice to send my kids to private school limit the opportunity of others, assuming that my taxes continue fund our local public schools? (Asking without rancor or provocative intent, as a parent who will probably go private for HS).
Stats for SF or all of CA, or Marin co. do not necessarily reflect what is going on in Berkeley, or the east bay. School districts around here differ enough to influence what percentage of the kids end up in private school. Case in point, integrated v. neighborhood schools. Being in one of those will theoretically result in more parents going the private school route, because their neighborhood may be nice and very expensive, but the school population is not like their neighborhood population.
There is growing realization that there is an economic ~20% right below that 1% that makes very specific choices that exclude everyone else from access to opportunity, be it the schools they go to, the summer camps, and other activity circles that are financially prohibitive to everyone else. The bay area is chock full of higher-income earners, so that 30% you quote may very well be skewed upwards due to all the folks in tech. IIRC, there is an article by David Brooks in the times talking about this. If you can’t find it, lmk.
There are all sorts of reasons parents go the private school route (and some of them are more understandable than others). Many of the parents I have spoken to do not articulate any concrete reason for why they went that way. What I keep hearing over and over is how much they interact with other power-brokers, or “very successful” people. I can only infer from that that belonging in a club of well-to-do people is far more important to them than anything else.
Your choice of the word sequestered is interesting. Your prejudice is showing. The parochial schools in particular are the only decent schools in many inner city areas that people of color can afford. Many of the last generation of black leaders came from the children of members of the porters union, many of the next from the parochial schools.
With respect it is not fixed. The placement, in your banner and in the “Schools” section is still indistinguishable from real news, unsolicited reporting on important events and issues of the day that you investigate and disseminate. Instead, you camouflage a commercial as legitimate reporting. If it is not your intention to trick your readership, why not identify ads for what they are?
Sorry, the elitist 10%. Such a difference. Public schools are paid for by everyone, in the same way that police, fire departments, and city infrastructure is. The fact that some choose to forego participating in the public schools, but instead decide to pay for a parallel system for their children sequestered from the rest of the community is their right, but in no way endears me to their financial hardship nor their spirit of community. There are many reasons folks may send their kids to private schools, but every last one of them is something other than seeking diversity.
You’re right. It was a genuine oversight not to have made it clearer that schools pay to be included in the guide. Now fixed.
Generally all of our sponsored items have a “sponsored” byline and obvious label that can be seen *before* you click through — which I imagine is where the confusion came in here. We always aim to be transparent; I’ve asked the editors about this.
Berkeleyside, why not be up-front with your ads? This pay-for-play private schools ad is listed under “stories” without crediting that the substance is written by private schools and not Berkeleyside editors and published for a price, facts not revealed until you open the ad itself. From the headline I assumed a Berkeleyside story about schools would at least include Berkeley public schools. That sort of hook makes me a wary fish. It’s not about public vs private schools, although that’s a good topic for genuine reporting in a time when vouchers have a strong governmental voice. For me, it just feels deceitful and diminishes your news reporting credibility when you are not straightforward in distinguishing revenue stream material from actual journalism.
It says “paid-for” in the 2nd sentence. Did you stop at the first sentence?
Ok, I’ll be the first to say it: the inclusion of the word “diverse” to describe your guide to local private schools would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Diversity of the 1%ers?
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