I went to an average public school. I've now got a Masters in Engineering and earn in excess of $150k pa. In my opinion the support that you get at home is as important as the school. There will be good and bad teachers in both public and private schools, but if you put in the effort then you can achieve what you want to.
I went to public schools and I can't say my schooling got me anywhere.
My primary school had a reputation for producing year 7 students, ready to embark on high school, who had the most appauling literacy skills.
My high school was a pretty bad one. You were definitely nothing more than a number there.
I think that's the key difference between private and public? Private schools have reputations to uphold so they have to be proactive and tend to students needs and address issues. If the bulk of students were failing in literacy for example, it couldn't just be brushed aside like public schools do. It would have to be addressed or the reputation of the school would be tarnished, potentially hindering future enrolments.
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I do still find that surprising though, as I've also noticed better grammar in private school educated people in general. Even on this forum when people reveal their own schooling I'm often not surprised many of the regular posters here who write very well were privately educated. I can't speak for schools these days though, I have no idea regarding their focus on grammar/speaking and writing well - I went to school 20 years ago!
I don't know that I would regard money spent on a child's education as being wasted because they went on to become 'just' an XYZ.
I tend to consider school education as helping lay the foundations for the adult a child will become - rather than just about ensuring a career.
If my daughter leaves school with a well rounded education I'll consider that the mark of whether any money I spent on it was worth it. As opposed to judging based on her chosen career. Or lack thereof.
I have a friend who is a primary school teacher in the public system (also went to public school) and her spelling is atrocious. The high school I went to felt like a waste of time. Too many kids approx. 1300, too many kids who mucked about.
I'm don't think you can judge the 'value' of an education based on the career path followed (and subsequent $'s earned).
If my children come away from high school with a well rounded education, safe and happy, having had a great range of experiences and opportunities and a good sense of who they are and what they want, then I will be very happy.
Dh went to a public high school and definitely was to his detriment. He was not pushed up achieve his potential in the classroom at all. Now as an adult he is in the defense force with a low ranking as he is simply unable to progress further due to his lack of education.
For a bright mind and his quick thinking skills its a tragedy. He as an adult has poor English written skills and is often grammatically incorrect.
I went to private schools and finished my degree and have been working as a scientist since graduating (minus mat leave). I would have been ok at a public school as I have inner drive to learn but for those that don't - a smaller more attentive school would be better. Public or private.
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I had both, I found the public schooling more inclusive of my diverse learning style, but the private school instilled better values.
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