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The subject I chose to discuss this week is whether or not private schools are affecting public education. My family is about to move to a smaller town that has the option of 1 public school each for primary, junior high, and high school and one private school for all three. Since my son will be attending school next year, I wanted to look more into this issue as I began researching each school’s academics.

One argument against private schools is that the networks and social experiences of kids in private schools are more privileged and that if everyone went to public schools, lower-income kids could have access to those same networks (Abraham, 2019). There is also the argument that private schools receive federal or state funds on top of their tuition revenue. Abraham (2019) argues that the value of private education is higher because they are not surrounded by poverty and that investing those funds into solely public schools would increase the quality of public education.

Those who favor private education argue that both private and public schools are beneficial, and all students have access to both (Forman Jr., 2010). Forman (2010) argues that there is no evidence that private schools only take the most elite students leaving public schools with less stellar students and they are not a threat to private school’s funding as many private schools rely on private donations.

The contradicting positions each make clear points on individual subjects but not as a whole. However, only one source provided evidence of their findings, and Forman (2010) even claimed that the way private schools operate in the future could change so more evidence is needed. Abraham’s (2019) article is guilty of the appeal to pity, repeatedly referencing that lower-income students are the ones who are at a disadvantage, and the fallacy of composition because he claims that only wealthy parents would pay for their children to attend school so all students who attend private schools must be wealthy.


Abraham, S. (2020, May 19). The problem of private schools. Current Affairs. https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/05/the-problem-of-private-schools

Forman Jr., J. (2010). Do charter schools threaten public education? Emerging evidence from fifteen years of a quasi-market for schooling (pp. 839–880). Georgetown University Law Center. https://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1444&context=facpub

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