Education: Private Versus Public

The issue of whether private education is better than public has been debated for several years. Strong advocates of public education feel that children grow and progress better in a mix environment. Although most private educational institutes do not harbor racial discrimination or discrimination against sexes, they do have certain classifications that may not suit the masses. For example, a large number of private schools are religious based. Additionally, private school education is not paid for by the state, thus children who attend these facilities generally come from a financially stable background. The danger in this environment is that students socialize and establish bonds with individuals who are just like them, which in some situations, may result in a false reality of how other children live their lives.

The truth is that there are advantages and disadvantages to both private education and public education. The theory is that private education offers a safer environment, and will better equip a student for higher learning. Some private schools move at an accelerated speed. Because of the smaller classrooms, the curriculum covers more than a typical public school. Public schools generally have classrooms of 25 or more students that learn at different speeds. Teachers may spend a great deal of time helping certain students grasp concepts that took other students minutes to retain. The curriculum that public schools follow is intended to meet the needs of the majority of students.

Sadly, many parents also have a twisted idea of public schools. Understandably, parents want to provide the best education for their child in the safest environment. School violence has increased in the past two decades. Everyday students across America are terrorized in one way or another. Some are victims of bullying, whereas others undergo constant sexual harassment. Parents wanting to shield their children from harm may swiftly move them into private schools reasoning that their learning experience would be better. Unfortunately, many parents have been mistaken. Various information provided about education are quick to mention that private schools have fewer crime incidents than public school, and that drugs are more difficult to obtain in private facilities. However, non-partial sources reveal that crimes involving private schools have risen in the last decade. Granted, the percentage of crimes that take place among children privately educated is less. Still, the noticeable increase makes many consider whether private school will remain a safer choice.

3% of private school students have been robbed while at school
(compared to 2% of public school students)

7.3% of private school students are bullied by other students
(compared to 8% of public school student)

There are obvious advantages to private education. As mentioned, privates schools offer smaller classrooms, thus student are given more individual attention. On average, teachers employed in public schools are forced to teach classes of 30 students, which do not allow them to focus a lot of attention on a student having problems. Of course, there is always the option of after school tutoring. However, teachers also have families and lives outside the classroom, which prevents them from remaining at the school for long periods at the conclusion of the day. In addition, teachers in some parts of the country earn a low salary. Understandably, they are less inclined to arrange for tutoring after hours. Many public school teachers are dissatisfied with their working conditions which may put private school students at an advantage.

An advantage of public schools is that all teachers hold at least a bachelors degree and have a state issued teacher certification. Private schools are not regulated by the state, thus teachers may be hired without all their credentials. Moreover, principals of private schools are not required to hold an advance degree. Another advantage of public school is that they increase the chances of a bright student being accepted into the top school of their choice. In private schools, all students are required to maintain a certain grade point average. Thus, the competition is fierce. In public schools, a highly intelligent youth may graduate first or second in his or her class, whereas if they attended private school their graduation rank may be fifth or sixth. Sadly, some graduating seniors from private schools feel that a public school education would have presented more college options.

The reality is that neither a private or public school education guarantees a safer, or better learning environment. Parents should make the best choice for their children. The truth is that some students have horrible experiences in private schools, whereas some who enjoy a public school education would perform better in a private school. Parents who are contemplating placing their child in a private school should choose a school based on the following criteria.

What is the Reason for Choosing Private Education?

Parents place their children in private facilities for a number of reasons. Perhaps the child is undergoing severe harassment at their current school, or the academic level of the current school as a whole is below average. Parents may even consider removing their children from public schools that are drug infested.

Which Type of Private School?

Three are three types of private schools: religious, non-religious, and independent programs. Religious schools consist of Catholic or Christian schools. Non-religious schools have a curriculum and schedule similar to public schools, whereas independent programs are private schools for gifted students, students with disabilities, or students in a performing arts or technical program.

Additionally, parents must also determine whether their child will be attending a boarding school or a day school. Boarding schools are typically located in cities away from a student’s hometown. These schools provide a learning facility, dormitory, meals, and supervision. Boarding schools are extremely costly, thus many parents select private day schools.

Lastly, parents must determine whether their child will attend a coed school or a same sex school. In situations where a child has had problems with the opposite sex, parents may lean more towards a same sex school. These schools offer little distractions, which allow students to concentrate on their education.

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