This week, I am registering my daughter at our excellent local high school. She is leaving her private school behind. The people at her private school are incredulous. A public school? Seriously? They keep asking us if we're sure. (Subtext: But, but... why? We're so uniquely awesome! We're not a school - we're family.)
It's like leaving a cult.
I was chatting with a guy this weekend, and within minutes, he told me he had two children at Sidwell Friends and a son at Stanford. His face lit up when I told him my daughter went to [private school]. Then he asked where my son went to school and I mentioned the name of our local high school. His face went blank. Didn't know what to say. I wasn't in his tribe anymore.
Many people who send their kids only to private schools seem to think all public schools are alike: filled with hordes of gum-throwing kids, criminals and bad teachers (à la every Hollywood depiction). Our local high school (one of the W schools) is an amazing school, with rigorous standards, lively teachers, and very involved parents.
(And some of its students end up at Stanford.)