I read an editorial this morning that touches on Lakewood parents’ push to “choose Woodrow” over private school. I visited Woodrow the other day for the first time when I met with a couple teachers involved in the upcoming Sound of Music production – I was especially impressed with the high level of expectations they held for their students. (One teacher, the music director was in fact a 1999 graduate of Woodrow – that in itself tells you there’s something attractive about the school.)

I’ve always believed — and I’ve experienced both public and private high schools — that the school didn’t matter as much as the degree of involvement from the parent and student.

When parents get involved and students participate in sports and extra curricular activities there is a better probability of success/achievement. A kid is just as susceptible to drugs and undesirable cohorts in a private school as they are in public, but when they are accountable to coaches, parents and teammates they are more likely to rise above negative influences. Woodrow’s healthy emphasis on drama, music and sports gives students motivation to excel.

What I find really interesting is that, for many of the parents supporting the public school option, price is not an issue. I think if I (a mother of modest income) lived in Lakewood and was trying to decide whether to send my child to a $12,000 per-year private school or the local public school, it wouldn’t be tough to sway me. I’d say to the parents leading this campaign, “Tell me more!”

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