In 1910, Piney Woods Country Life School opened as a place to educate the children of formerly enslaved Black people. That premise alone made it special. That Piney Woods still thrives, 105 years later in small town Mississippi as the top boarding school in the country for African Americans makes it historic.I don't yet have children and thus not sure what to do when it's time to send them to school. For the most part my only consideration is that they would go to school in Chicago. Likely sent to a local public school and hopefully with a good eye to insuring that they will get the education I believe they deserve.
Dr. Laurence Jones founded the school for poor Black people in the segregated South amid a culture of profound racism. Even the governor, James Vardaman, was a notorious white supremacist who did not want Blacks to get an education. Jones and his wife, however, did not cave in to the objectors.
White business owners in Ranking County, where Piney Woods sits, helped protect Jones and the school from the opposition. A white sawmill owner donated lumber, and Jones repaired the damaged sheep shed on the land donated by a former enslaved person.
Today, the school continues to produce countless bright young minds—a remarkable achievement considering its location in rural Mississippi, the struggle for aid, especially during the Great Depression, and the general substandard conditions of many schools that serve African-Americans in Mississippi and across the country.
At the same time as time went on I realized the best education may not be had in a public school. Perhaps I have to really do some homework to determine whether or not my children would be well educated before at least going to a university.
At this point I couldn't possibly afford my children (well non-existent children) with a private education. Perhaps I'll get there in time, but it's something I would consider. When it comes to K-12 education the emphasis has often been between parochial or public schools. Now I know about institutions such as these.
Bottom line is that I've heard that people believe in good quality public education. I say forget that, public or private our young people deserve a good education regardless who provides this service. Perhaps spending money on private education can be a better deal than simply sending your children to a public school.
What do you think?