I’ve been told that enrollment at some public elementary schools dips in the upper grades, as families with means or scholarships transfer their children to private schools. Many others, I hear, make the switch before middle school.
I bring this up because it’s private school application season, and a Thornhill Elementary School mom tells me her school won’t write personal references for those applications. She thinks that such a position puts kids who attend public schools — but who might want to go to private school in the future — at a disadvantage.
Here’s what the Thornhill notice said, according to my source:
“Our ongoing focus is on teaching and learning. Additionally, it is in conflict with our philosophy supporting public school education to provide subjective references/recommendations for students applying for private or charter schools. Therefore, staff members will not be completing personal references for students. The school will release, upon written request by the parent, copies of records for your child that will include attendance/tardy records, report cards, and test scores from prior years. There is a $5 copying/postage courtesy fee per school request. Thank you for your understanding and support”.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject, on or off the blog, since I’m sure Thornhill isn’t alone in this stance.
What positions have other principals and schools adopted about personal references? Are such policies intended to protect teachers from being overloaded by additional duties, or to promote public education? Or something else?