Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

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gregf
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Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by gregf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:56 pm

Hey guys. I've been through some of the other (older) threads about schools in Chile.

My wife and I have been here 10 years this October. We have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. We had always thought we would migrate back to the USA when the oldest started kindergarten, but, with how things are now, we have lost all desire (not that we were dying to go back before).

We applied at the last second (not realizing the schedules here in Chile to apply by March for the next school year) to Nido. Accepted, but they offerd no financial aid, and it is just much to expensive. It seems like a great school and the only American school, but we are having to consider alternatives.

We live in Las Condes, we can afford most of the other private schools besides Nido. I was hoping to get some idea of where the schools stand in comparison to good public schools in the USA? In the parts of NY where I grew up, in the nicer suburbs, the schools are rated and thought of quite highly. Are private schools here offering as good or better education?

What are the recommendations? Our friends send their kids to Dunalastair and it looks like a nice school. I'm honestly pretty clueless to look for beyond being wary of a 'jock culture' school as Craighouse and Grange are rumoured to be. At least so far, my son doesn't seem to be that type but who knows! And who knows if those reputations are even accurate..

Anyway, ANY guidance , anecdotal or otherwise, would be much appreciated!

gregf
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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by gregf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:06 pm

I should add that my son speaks spanish (understands all english) but we would prefer a school that offers the IB or something like that? I'm really not sure :(

Donnybrook
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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by Donnybrook » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:14 pm

I am not sure what a jock culture is. The three schools have very complete sports activities but I am not sure if that is what you want to avoid. You might consider Santiago College to your list. The problem will be finding places in any of them. Two of us on here educated our children at the Grange and were both very satisfied with their education with excellent results in the IB and local university entrance. But the Grange no longer offers the IB, a mistake in my opinion.

There is no perfect school and ratings here tend to rate by results in the university entrance exams - which mean nothing anywhere except in Chile.

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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by admin » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:47 pm

A lot of the private german schools have agreements to enter german universities, and teach in english, spanish, and german.

Perhaps this is what you mean by the 'jock culture', but i think it goes way way beyond that. The jocks are a tool or symptom of the public school culture in the u.s., and really not the cause.

Let me see how blunt i can put this. I Personaly think sending a child to a u.s. public school, especially when parents know exactly what goes on there, is a form of state sponsored instutionalized child abuse and terrorism (sorry, stronger words to convey my dislike of u.s. public school system escapes me at the moment).

So i would not use the u.s. public schools as a standard to measure anything.

Once i got out of the u.s. public school system, and in to some of the better charter and private schools, including one on an indian reservation (indians had a lot if money to spend on education), i realized just how messed up the u.s. public school system was in the states.

I really realized it when i got to the university, and discovered the first two years of classes basicaly covered everything the public schools should have been teaching. They not only waisted education time from K-12, but then two more years in the university trying to 'fix' the crappy education.

You know in most of europe, they dont even recognize an undergrade degree from the u.s. as being a four year degree for admission to grad programs, because of the two years waisted catching the students up from the failures of the public school system? They treat them as two year associate type diplomas for admission purposes, and require american students to take more classes to apply for grad schools.

Much of it was driven by parents and local politics, that in turn was passed on in policies and behaviors by administrators, teachers, and students. Most of it was intentional, and not an accident. Most of it was about money, not education.

It is also not an accident that shootings in the u.s. happen in both schools and post offices. The u.s. mail service seems to have gotten a handle on it; obviously, the schools have not.

That does even touch the crap education that teaches to the lowest common denominator (if they even teach what that is anymore ), and super loaded political agendas in the curriculum.

By the way, most public schools i went to were rated top in the country at the time. Still not sure why.
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Britkid
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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by Britkid » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:50 pm

I'm from the UK and one thing I've noticed recently is that my son, who is in Trebulco (a private school on similar level to Dunalastair), is 6 and he cannot read and write. He can read and write some words but not whole pages or even sentences. And he is not falling behind, they just teach this later. When my daughter was 6 (in a UK public school) she could write a 10 page story and read books. She was perhaps a full year ahead.

My Mom taught me to read before I even went to school and I could read when I was 4. I tried to do the same with my own kids but they were not interested enough and I didn't want to force it.

This slow development in Chile is concerning, but I'm not convinced whether it's a bad thing or not. It may be that it's more sensible to wait until a natural age to learn something more easily when ready instead of forcing it.

I think that if we compare a Latin country (like Chile)'s education to a Western or Asian one, the kids might be less advanced academically, but more advanced socially.

The kids here seem to have a higher confidence and view a school play for instance as something to enjoy rather than something to be nervous about, seem to be more relaxed about their social life and so on. When you meet the teachers to talk about how well (or not) your kids are doing, they generally talk more about aspects of social integration and who and why they are friends with and behaviour. Whereas in UK they are more likely to give you a run down on results by academic subject, at my school in Chile such results are presented, but not discussed in detail for each subject.

Sports events are badly organised, always, and I can say this having attended events at half of the best schools in Santiago, and I have never yet been to one that was well organized or provided good information like a board or website to consult race times, and then things routinely run an hour late, students cross the track casually when a race is about to start, crowd around the edges etc. A Western public school would probably do better. Some Americans that believe in winning and competitive intensity might be disappointed in the relaxed attitude here.

The teachers at our school I get the impression that they are smart, and certainly they are enthusiastic at least (or good at faking it?). I don't think you would get a job at our school if you can't at least put on a convincing smiley face in the morning.

Would be interested to hear others' thoughts about this. I don't have enough reference points to state anything to confidently.
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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by admin » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:15 am

I'm helping pay for my nephew and niece (13 and 6 years old) to go the german school in frutillar. It's expensive, but i just remind myself my property taxes are nearly none-existant. I also remind the kids that when i retire they will need to pay for the mortage on my winter home in the south of france, so study hard. Never too early to teach them good education is not free, or at least how to roll their eyes at me.

They seem be enthusastic about going to school and doing good, so i guess that helps me swallow the tution bill.

Frutillar also offers some unique opertunities for the kids. My niece was drafted in to kids choir program at the theater del lago, run by a visiting broadway director. She likes music, so we have been paying for private music lessons for her the last couple of years. Other kids in town are in the saling club, there is a music school, horseback ridung club, and so on. Just all around the kids seem happier, while actuelly getting something educational. They both have german and english classes. Not sure how good they are, because they refuse speak english or german to me.

Really i think that is the key. Expose the kids to a variety of educational opertunities, and let them pick and choose what they like and dont like. Even if say they try something, and dont like it, they have at least learned they dont like it and what it is all about. Kids can learn much faster if the adults get out if the way and just provide general support services.
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gregf
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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by gregf » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:40 am

@admin I had the exact same experience entering University. I had some friends who went to quite good private schools (in NYC area) and who were way ahead of me academically. I had to work very hard to catch up and I was left feeling like the last four years of public high school were just a waste of time - and my school is rated quite well though not considered a top school or anything.

I was interested in a German school. I wonder if the University association works for non-German citizens?

By jock culture, I just read in a few random places about certain schools being focused entirely on athletics and the non athlete kids being sort of ignored and not having as many resources put into anything not sport related. My fear being that if my son and daughter turn out not to love sports, they might not thrive there (insanely preocupada i know but I can't help it :))

Thank you all. I certainly feel less worried about them going to a school here. My parents put a lot of pressure on me about moving back, and about raising our kids in the USA... yes they voted for trump. :roll:

I will keep this thread posted with info that I gather about the different schools and the info I pick up either directly or from others we run into and badger with questions!

gregf
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Re: Chilean private schools compared to good US public schools

Post by gregf » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:00 am

Thank you @britkid and @donnybrook. I think my third-hand impression about focus not being strictly academic but more integral has been the same. At least in my sons preschool that has been the case. I sometimes speak to friends in USA with kids about the same age and they are cranking out all these milestones and reading and writing their names etc and I sometimes feel guilty... but then, I can't imagine its good to be pushing kids hard like that all the time. Education isnt a race, right?

As for schooling generally I hope to supplement what they study with reading and conversation etc. Not quite homeschooling in its intensity but I hope to make reading and sharing and discussing things critically together something we all will do together...

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