I use a lot of metrics to measure and rate the quality of life in different cities and towns. I haven’t seen anyone else use this particular measure but I think it provides a good insight into the sociological health of a place.
Where the cost of living (and private schooling) is amongst the highest in the world, some of the wealthy are opting to send their kids to public schools. There’s a twist as well – it’s foreigners who are leading this charge.
Why do they do it?
Interviewees, in one word, indicated “realness.”
“When they go to public school, they’re in a whole new world, a whole world of different people and different values, which is what the world is like,” said one parent. “Shielding them from that is doing them a disservice.”
One couple mentioned that at one of the private schools they considered, their children would have the option of seven different lunches everyday. These choices included sushi and macrobiotic entrees. The mother commented that this just didn’t seem like real life, not to mention the issue of “too much choice” that can actually detract from everyday life rather than enhancing it.
I encourage everyone to read the article: NYT – Public Education
(Photo attribution: http://thistgg.blogspot.com/2010/07/chinese-education.html)