"Admitting that she’s "judgemental," Benedikt says one reason she "feels so strongly about public schools" is that, while some teens like to read Walt Whitman, "getting drunk before basketball games … did the same thing" for her. My girl deserves to be in a place where she won’t face diatribes from judgmental students who call her names just because she chooses to buy into her own educational aspirations. She should have the opportunity to read Whitman with sober, like-minded friends knowing that they, too, are getting what they bought in for."
Is it just me or does this part reek of the author imposing his will on his daughter? Of course, I understand his underlying point: from their children's early years, parents must decide if they should prioritize "coolness" or education (depending on which education system); but saying that it's the daughter herself who is buying-in to an immersive education seems like a bit of a stretch, imo, esp the part at the end where he completely dismisses the basketball anecdote for his daughter... Sounds an awful lot like "My daughter isn't one of THOSE kids .."
I agree there's no way his 4-year-old daughter has chosen to buy-in to her education. I understand his underlying point to be that, by sending her to a private school like SLOCA, he is positioning her to choose between reading Whitman or getting drunk when she becomes old enough to make that choice. If he sent her to the nearby public school, reading Whitman may not be compelling enough to even count as a choice.
The author's tone is very defensive. He reminds us many times that he attended public school and has spent his career teaching at public schools. It's like he's justifying to himself his decision to send his daughter to private school.
A lot of people believe the question we should be asking is not how do we find ways to circumvent the public school system (e.g., by sending our kids to affordable private schools), but how do we make public schools (which educate 90% of the country) more engaging?