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Private vs,. Public School

Posted by Michie1 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 2, 02 at 12:56

What is the real advantage of private vs. public schools? I was thinking of private schools in order to weed out the bad quality children & to provide them with smaller class size & a butter education, but some people say that it doesn't necessarily work that way. Any suggestions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Check out your local schools and school district offerings. See what kinds of standardized test results exist. See what kinds of programs exist to catch problems as early as possible, and what kinds of tutorial, remedial, and special educational resources exist in case anything (at any time) shows up for a child. If you can find out about school parent booster's organizations or things like that you can talk to the parents of children at the schools in question.
Private schools can take students whose parents can pay whatever fees are involved. They may be more likely to be responsive, in any number of ways to those paying parents who may be, in effect buying a 'product' (as if learning or education was something that could just be bought off the shelf so to speak). That can skew different kinds of test results.

Mental, and emotional problems of any and all kinds have some genetic underpinnings. Genes are utterly impersonal and their expressions cannot always be accurately predicted. More problematically, subtle functional problems people can have will not be apparent until further development takes place (some serious mental and emotional problems will not produce 'problematic' symptoms for people until older childhood, adolescence, or even adulthood). It's not really possible to 'weed' out the 'problematic' even if a school is lucky enough to reach an adult consensus about what 'problematic' means in real terms.

Try to find out how the different school manage problematic situations, and bullying. That can give you information about how problematic you would find situations in case your child is victimized (bullying, teasing, or other potential problems). Is there are a well thought-out comprehensive and school-wide program in place to deal with such matters? If parents have grievances, what is the procedure in place for resolving those situations?

Beware a school that emphasizes small class sizes as equal to or definitive of 'good education' in and of themselves (content, and responsiveness to the learners are probably at least as important). Beware a school that manages it's 'problematic' learners by simply weeding them out or expelling them. There may be some situations which are that severe, but if a school's main solution to problems with students is to remove the students involved that can be an indication that a school does not have good (even adequate?) problem solving or mediation skills or programs in place.

There are some really good public schools which exist. Take the time to explore your local resources and your budget and see what makes sense for you and your learner. If they are old enough to have and express opinions and preferences, it might also be worth getting your learner's input (the 'education system' whatever it ends up being has to work so that that person can learn, that's more important probably than what their parent might ideally envision).


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

My daughter went to private school from K through 4. Her grade had a disproportionate share of the type of children we were hoping to avoid.

Your #1 Question to ask, IMO: What percentage of your students are on tuition assistance/scholarships?

If it's a high %, run for the hills, because your child in going to end up with the sort of kids you're trying to avoid.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

My daughter started with catholic school (nursery) this yr & I can't tell you how happy I am with it. The teachers & administrators are wonderful & the parents I've met are fabulous & I really feel like I fit in. We hope to keep her there. I've talked to many people my age who've gone there & other who send their kids & so far this school has gotten an outstanding repuation! The one downside is that to keep tuition low there is always a fundraier.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

maybe higher standards- maybe just more pressure.

maybe smaller class size- maybe an elitist attitude to go with it.

maybe better equipment...maybe a higher instance of drug and alchahol abuse in the shockingly young-

hmm? 30 years ago, I was in private school. 17 kids in my 5th grade class (one of the bigger ones). the stuff some of these kids got into amazes me even as an adult- stealing coke from their parents, one was molesting his babysitter (and threatening her with losing her job and going to jail- then again, dad was the ultimate role model)

the only thing you can do is research...and don't stop when your child starts school. the only reason I survived is because my parents SAW what went on- they chaperoned class trips, popped in unannounced...and ultimately pulled me out, and while public school was a shock- it was also a comfort.

I still sing the praises of the academic background it gave me, and wear the old scar where three of the girls decided it would be fun to push the bookworm down the stairs...

but that could happen anywhere.

parental involvement is what carries the day.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

I guess you can get into all kinds of trouble no matter where you go to school. Thankfully so far I love having my daughter in the parochial school & have talked to so many people who either have kids there already or who've graduated themselves & everyone has very nice things to say about it. But you're right nothing replaced good ole parental involvement & being aware of what's going on.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

I strongly believe it depends on the school. We intentionally purchased a home in an excellent school district. I have a special needs child and there is no way a private school could attend to her needs as well as the public school she attends. They just don't have the same funding. My child gets one-on-one attention in classes she needs help with. My second child is an honors student and he participates in programs that I don't believe any private school could match.

I recall that as a child the private schools were for those kids who were kicked out of public schools. I believe any parent believing their child was getting a better education in those private schools might have been interested in just what type of "education" they were getting - from their peers.

All that being said, I'm certain there are excellent private schools out there. But you should not automatically assume your child will get a better education in private school versus public.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Private school (a good college prep one) offers lower class size, foreign languages at early age, competitive peers,cultural activities, high academic expections and an "in" at the end of the day to Princeton or other ivy league places. They are preparing your child for these higher institutions. The downside is no accomodations for out of the box" children with ADD etc. or disabilities, the more creative child etc. There were a few minority scholarships at my son's private school in the east, but these kids were known to all of the alumni and parents and I'm not sure that was such a great thing. I agree with Janetwilson that a good public school will offer more for diversity for various students. Good public schools also have enrichment programs for the high-achieving student, you just have to get into one of these districts or get yourself into one through the school district politica. PS at our private school, we had to purchase a laptop (4K) required for 4th grade. Also, the 16K tuition wasn't the end of it, there were countless fundraising efforts for almuni, grandparents the works. A simple $200 donation wasn't what they wanted, the cards and phone calls said you could also sign over stocks etc.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Your #1 Question to ask, IMO: What percentage of your students are on tuition assistance/scholarships?

If it's a high %, run for the hills, because your child in going to end up with the sort of kids you're trying to avoid.

I'd love for you to elaborate on this Carlotta. And, does it change things at all if (my) child would be recieving tuition assistance/scholarships?


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

If I had it to do over I would have scrubbed floors to put my boys in a church school. I learned later that they had less students to one teacher and they taught them what they were ready to learn. I am smart enough to know that people are the same all over. Money and private schools are not the answer to "quality of children".


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

It's definitely true that special needs are not met at private schools. My girlfriend has an ADHD son & another with aspergers & they are constantly advocating for their children & are able to get allot of what they fight for bt I've heard that private schooos, other than those specifically meant for special needs aren't able to fill those needs.

When we first purchased our home, which we love, we saw having children as being a thing so far away & didn't think that that even when we did we'd be discussing this sort of thing while she was in nursery, but you do - actually about a yr BEFORE she started nursery. So we knew that by the time we ever had a child we would either put our child in private school (there are several really good ones in the area) OR move to a better area. While our neighborhood is nice our school district is in the 80th percentile & that isn't good enough in my opinion. About 1-1/2 yrs ago we started looking for a house in 2 areas better than ours with great schools but the homes we could afford were in such horrible condition & much worse than ours was BEFORE we did all the work to it OR one of the neighborhoods I could boast abotu the zip code & the schools were great but honestly I'd feel better living in Harlem bc that's basically was what the surrounding border is like so we decided to stay put & go one of the Catholic schools in a neighboring neighborhood that we felt was very close knit & family oriented.

I've also heard before about how many private schools don't have the activities available to kids. Our school is located in the middle of 2 school districts so so far from my experience lack of activities is not an issue as we get notices for all the meetings for parents & also child activities that are offerred to BOTH school districts in addition to thos ethings only offerred for the school's students. That was news to me & a very nice surprise.

Carrie, I'm not sure I understand what will asking the % of students on tuition assistance or scholarships will tell me. about WHAT type of people I'd be avoiding if the school has a high % of that. Maybe this went over my head. Also wouldn't tuition assistance be for those who can't afford the education while scholarships are for those who exceed standards? I'd think they are two different things & thought if anything the two would each bring in a different types of crowd. Maybe I'm missing something.

While so far I am having a really good experience I defintley understand the need for being vigilant & will keep my eyes & ears open for all those things you guys are telling me could be a downside of a private edcation. Good things to know.

Michie


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Church school

A church school is considered a private school. As long as you pay tuition it's private.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Mitchie, I was quoting Carlotta in an earlier post. I was asking her the same thing. I'm not sure what she meant. And, you better believe I'd be begging, borrowing or stealing (well, actually, mortgaging my soul) to keep my kid out of Philadelphia public schools, most likely through scholarships or financial assistance.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

My DD went to Catholic pre-school. We were so happy with the education she got there. We had tried a "chain" private preschool, Goddard, but were not at all happy with it.

We also purchased a home based on school systems. But still, based on our preK experiences, we applied to Catholic Kindergarten. In Georgia, Catholic schools are very rare, and it's dog eat dog to get in.

We also toured her County school, that she's in the district for, and registered her, in case we didn't get accepted to the private school.

Then at the last minute, I got a call from the Catholic school, that my DD was accepted. I reviewed the situation, and asked what the current ratio was. At Catholic, it was going to be 25 students, with 1 fulltime teacher, and a part-time parapro.

The county school was 17 kids, with FT teacher and FT parapro. The schools' education curricula were similar.

And so I finally chose based on the ratio, and went to County. When I called the Catholic adminstrator to turn down the offer, I told her my reason. She said, "Well, so far no one has complained about our ratios."

It's probably because they have a captive audience, with very little competition.

I think all our school systems, private or public, can benefit from some healthy competition. Without it, the school adminstrators don't feel a need to look for areas of improvement.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

And things change over the years. When my boys were young, church schools were not so crowded and people were not trying to avoid public schools like they are now.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

At our private school, scholarships were few and were given to students who met all the same criteria as the paying ones (that is, extensive testing to make sure the potential student could handle the academic workload required). They also recruited minority students who were equally qualifed and deserving. If you were very wealthy and your kid didn't pass the tests, that kid was rejected. Some families had one child in the school, but the other sibling couldn't get in so that child went somewhere else No (known) exceptions. The type of students they didn't take were those with known behavioral problems and learning disabilities, children with physical disabilities that would require special accomodations or a private aide provided by the school. They would not accomodate these children because they didn't have to. There are also plenty of private school who take virtually any kid if you have the money. After all, Ryan O'Neal and Farrah had to put their kid somewhere. There are also good and bad religious schools. I would investigate very thoroughly any private school you are considering. Just because it's private doesn't make it better.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

My mother works with children at our church and the administrator of a local private church school offered her a teaching position. When she told the administrator that she only had a high school degree, the administrator replied "well, that really doesn't matter". I've heard similar stories at other church schools. I have a cousin that never graduated from high school but is teaching high school students at a private school.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

so, Janet...having had a grandmother with bookend master's degrees and a grandfather who went to work at 14, and was a damned sight better read than she was (he spoke and corresponded in 5 languages, as well as being a multi-instrument musician)

I gotta ask you what matters more- a degree that proves you can jump through completely arbitrary hoops from a school with unknown academic standards- or the ability to teach?


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Chinacat, I didn't even think of that. My Grandfather had to quit school in 3rd grade to help support his family when his father died & he was one of the most brilliant people I know, teaching himself to not only read & write but even things like calculus which are more abstract & certainly not necessary for a regular life. He loved to learn & he was so much fun to boot! You're right, if I knew someone like him would be teaching my daughter that would mean worlds more than any masters degree, but unfortunately educational criteria is the only standard we understand these days when it comes to being able to compare peoples abilities. Almost anyone can be book smart....but to have amazing values, be a wonderful person AND still loving learning & absorbing lifes new challenges & being able to teach them to others is far better.

Michie


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

I always liked private schools for my kids for the first few years mainly because the class size is smaller, they get more individual attention and the reading curriculum is better.

I strongly lean toward private school for middle or junior high age. When my youngest daughter was in eighth grade in public school she had a girl tell her, "Whew, giiiirrrrl, close them legs, I can smell that tuna from here!" This is too important an age to send them to school with kids like that. Last year there were a couple of girls at a middle school here selling oral sex for five bucks. They had made quite a bit of money too.

By high school I think public schools gain an edge just because they have the money. I think being involved in sports and/or music is important for teens and a lot of private schools don't have the money to provide those programs. Plus there are so many different programs and classes offered in public schools that privates have a hard time competing.

Overall, I think it really depends on the individual child and mostly on what's available where you live. I also favor private schools in general because if they have a bad teacher they can fire them. A lot of people go into teaching because you don't need a lot of education to get a job, you work the same hours as your kids, and you sure have job security. Thanks to the tenure system you can't get fired from public school teaching unless they SEE you shooting up with a student. I think overall the quality of teachers is better at private schools.

Just my observations from the last twenty four years of having kids in school.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

rosieo,

good insights but from what I have seen and heard through the years, going to private does NOT guarantee that there will be no teasing, no difficulties, no inept teachers.

It pays to do your own research in your own county or city. Every area has different school situations.

A lot of people go into teaching because you don't need a lot of education to get a job, you work the same hours as your kids, and you sure have job security.

I know a lot of teachers who would disagree. To get their jobs, they got their bachelor's, did a lot of student teaching, had to actually fight to find a good position in the school systems, the ones I know didn't get a job for 2 or 3 years after they graduated.

And at the end of the day, they all work FAR more hours each day than the kids are actually in school.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

I think the most important question is not private or public but what do you want your kid to learn and what is best and most appropriate for your kid's learning style.

(just for clarification, all pre-school are private. Public education only starts at kindergarten level).

I started my son when he was 3 at this very strict very academicly oriented catholic school. However, because of his personality and learning style he was miserable there. Later we got into this great preschool whose teaching method is "learn thru play" and he's very happy there. I've seen other parents who push their children too hard academically and the kids were so stressed out. That's really sad.

We are going to send him to public school next year for kindergarten. Granted that this is not the top school district and I heard stories from my neighbor about kids who say foul language, but that's life. Children do not live in a vacumn and even if you manage to find a *pristine* private school to send them you can't stop them from being exposed to these *bad things* at the malls, in the media, etc.

I truly believe the best protection and teacher any child could have are his/her parents. If you stay in touch with your children, knowing where they are at all points of their lives I think they will do well.

There is also the safety issue. Ofcourse if we live in the ghetto where you need to pass the metal detector to get to school, I will send my children to private school too.

A bonus of going to private school is the "connection". I know a lot of parents send their kids to private school because they believe that their kids will make friends at the "high and right places". Also, the parents ended up playing golf and dealing business together. The high tuition at these private school will serve to deter all the "rift-raft" so to speak.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

No not all pre-schools are private school. Many of the public schools now offer Pre-K, although no nursery.

Michie


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Katherine,
Here in GA, we have state-funded Georgia pre-K, but after visiting them, I chose parochial pre-K, because it was better suited for us. However, if I didn't have the means, I could have chosen the state-funded programs.

On our State program, pre-K is provided for 4-year-olds, so before that, you would still have to go private.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Pre-K that is affiliated w/ public school (here in CA) still require tuition. It's not free. (only public kindergarten & up is free). And tuition at pre-K affiliated with public school is comparable with a typical private pre-K. The only difference is that at the "public" pre-K they only have 1/2 days class and at the "private" one you have the option for full day (like daycare). Is pre-K in other state free??? That would be nice !!!

My son used to go to a Catholic pre-school and it was cheaper than this current state-affiliated program that he is in now. The current pre-school is affiliated with a state college so it's supposedly getting some funding from the state, but still we pay like 300$/mo for 2 morning (9-12). We paid the same $$ for the Catholic school but it was for 2 full days (7-6).


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Ours are state-lottery-funded. I believe a 6.5 hour day type program has no tuition cost.


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Free Pre-K

In our area each neighborhood school district may or may not have pre-k. If it's offerred by the district it's free. My district, which we don't even attend got rid of it's pre-k for next yr. Another local school district just built a pre-k & kindegarten bldg & it's FREE but only 2 days a wk for I think 2 or 3 hrs. By pre-k most kids in our area are doing min of 3 partial days & most 5 partial days (that's what we'll do). My parochial school is now adding 5 full pre-k days too. We'll wait for kindegarten to do full day.

Michie


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

There are just as many bad kids in private schools as in public.Probably more because the private ones are full of spoiled kids that have everything handed to them.That turn out to be the bad kids.There are two private schools in my area.They turn out some weird adults.Because they can not deal with society as an adult.They just can not hold a job.They were sheltered from everyday life and things like teasing.Then when they grow up and have to work with people who were not sheltered they can not deal with it.They work with those so called bad kids that there parents wanted them to be sheltered from.Only difference they were poorer and learned good work ethics.But they will not bend over backwards for the ones that were sheltered.Because they think they are weird and hard to get to know.Dealing with adults can be harder then kids dealing with kids.Would be a real slap in the face I would think.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

You are making some sweeping generalizations.
While neither private nor public hold any guarantees of success, to say that being in private school shelters them from teasing or from bad influences is incorrect. To generalize all private school kids as spoiled tells me you have not driven by my local public high school's parking lot and seen the Jags, Escalades and Hummers parked there by students.

Also - I know a lot of private schooled adults who think dealing with real life is a lot easier than dealing with the nuns in their catholic school.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

My children went K-8 to a private parochial school. It was a new school when my son went there and got better thru the years. I also have 2 daughters. The class size was the same as public. We were required to put time into the school and parish, fundraising, class participation etc. In other words we were forced to take an active part in our children's education. We knew all the kids in the school and their parents. For HS I let the kids choose between private and public. Only my youngest daughter considered private but after touring the school she backed out. OUr local HS is an excellent school and I think it prepared them better for college than a small private. Plus they were exposed to a diverse mix of cultures and the rich/poor comingled. About half of their classmates went on to the local private school - which basically was a rich man's school. The 16 year olds drove better cars than I do. Those kids were given everything and from what my kids told me there was a prevalence of drugs etc. These kids could afford it. We had the money to send them there and we could have bought them cars but I felt it was important that they learn to budget and take care of themselves. They each bought their own cars. They know that they've had a good life and they also know that others aren't as lucky. As adults I'm very proud of them.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

From a financial standpoint, remember that after years of paying private school tuition, there are still monumental expenses for college-bound kids. If you can do the public schools, saving college money all through those years, the college experience will be less painful money-wise.

Or....if you can move to a community which has public schools you like, that can work because if it housing is more expensive there, at least the higher property taxes are tax deductible, whereas tuition is not.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

One of the things that we would love to see changed, would be that ALL children take the SAME standardized tests. As a parent, it makes it very difficult to compare between a public and private school because the students do not take the same test. So you cannot compare whether the students in the private school are actually scoring higher, and getting a better education. IMO, there are some private schools handing out A's because they want the parents happy so that the tuition/donations they are counting on, keep coming in. The parents end up with more power than they should have, because they threaten to pull their kids out, and the school does not want to lose the tuition/donations, so in some cases they "cater" too much to these parents. Many of the public schools have their classroom sizes way down, so you may be surprised at the number of students in a class. Also, public or private, much depends on how good the teacher is. Both private schools and public schools have good and bad teachers. We panicked with our first born and put her in a very elite private school, foolishly worried about the influence of children from the guests on the Jerry Springer show.LOL We then started hearing so many great things about a certain public school, that we decided two years later to just try it for one year. We were so worried that if we gave up our "spot" at the private school, that we would not be able to get her back in. But we took the chance. We never regretted the change, and the public school has been every bit as good as the private school (with the exception of one teacher two years ago, but the rest have been truly excellent teachers). Granted that this is a public school with alot of parental involvement, in a better neighborhood. Our state grades the schools in how well they are doing, and this school was rated an A. If you have really good public schools in your area, take a look at them. Talk to other parents. What are they happy with? What would they change? But find out how their students/school as a whole scored on the standardized tests.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

In many states there are standard tests that all student's take. Ever hear of the Iowa Basic Skills Tests?...Many many schools use it as a measure of how well a group is learning.
The thing that separates public from private schools, is fees! In the US all kids are guaranteed the right to attend school. Some parents in an effort to have them learn other than that which is taught to all, send their kids to a school where tuitition is charged. You can be assured that those kids are in that school because their parents WANT them to be there are are willing to pay for the privilege. Hence more parental involvement....e.ven if it is only at the check book level. But, in addition, certain academic standards are in place. Ever hear of a kid flunking out of 7th grade at P.S. 17? But that does happen at a private school with high standards.

Four of my grand children attend private school and my daughter teaches at a private school. My other three grand kids attend public school in a very fine school district. I think the standards and acedemics for both systems are about equal. But if the public school parents moved a few blocks, the kids would go to another school, and then the private school would be much surperior!
What it boils down to is....look carefully at the school before you make your decision. Some private schools "specialize" in misfits and kids that lack direction and are wonderful for a kid with thsoe problems, some are just high acedemic standards, some are religeous in content, Catholic, Jewish or Christian and teach religeon as well as academics. Some parochial schools teach religeon to the detriment of academics, others do not at all.
You need to know more before you can make a desicion.
Linda C


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

We assumed when we sent our daughter to an elite private school, that she was getting a superior education in comparison to the education at the public school. We were wrong. Now that she is in a public school, we were a bit surprised to find that the education is every bit as good. The private school had a good marketing plan. they were in essence, "selling to the parents" to get them to believe that their school and programs were elite, and better somehow. We bought hook, line, and sinker. one class was marine biology ( this was kindergarden, and yes, this was our first child, and it all sounded sooo impressive). It turns out that marine biology was really where our child colored lots of pictures of sea creatures during the school year. Great name though. Quite impressive to parents wanting to believe that their children were getting something special, compared to what the kids at public schools were getting. And then there was the computer tech class...but who knew that public schools have computer classes too...not to mention impressive computer labs! Yes, there are good private schools, and yes, there are very good public schools. Start asking alot of questions, and quizzing alot of parents. Look at your state scores to find out which public schools score the highest in your area. then look at what the private schools offer. How do they actually differ?


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

In my area most of the private schools are religious, Protestant and Catholic. The classroom sizes are no smaller than public school classrooms. The academic standards are no higher. The only benefit is that they children also get religous instruction, if that is important to a family. I don't think the kids come from "better" families, maybe families with more money. There is also a Montessori school but not all Montessori schools are created equal. Kids with many kinds of special needs are often better served by the public school where there are programs in place to help them. My kids attended a secular private school for the first few years which actually did have higher standards and much smaller classrooms. It closed and the location became a public charter school which I've heard is very good. (charter schools are another good option, often with waiting lists) You can get a "report card" on each school in your area from the school district office. Often they are also posted online for each within a district. My son also attended a teeny little Catholic prep school one year when he was struggling badly in public school (arbitrary and controlling teacher, I actively wanted to strangle her) and was on the path to becoming the class clown/screw-up. It had a census of 50, K-12, and had a fabulous curriculum. It was a great place for him to get a grip!


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Well we're into our 2nd yr of parochial school so far (daughter is in Pre-k) & I still love it! Our class size is 12 right now, which is very small compared to public school & I love the disciplie & so far this yr's teacher is incredibly academic, but included it into fun everyday. I've already known several parents in my area who have put their kids into the public schools or who've had other kids in it before & many are choosing to stay in our school now b/c they find that the public schools are further behind academically & all their kids are repeating the information they've already learned, plus there seem to be allot of language bariers these days with kids not knowing how to speak english in the public schools, so the class has to wait for them. One of these districts is rated as one of the tops in the state & a friend of mine who is a kindergarten teacher pulled her daughter out & put her back into our catholic school b/c she was not happy with them & the curriculum. I've also heard over & over again how many of the public school kids are wild & rowdy & how whenever you see them being released from school their is nothing but chaos. Of course I can only speak from my area. While it's true you can be picked on in public & private schools I think Catholic schools don't tolerate that sort of behavior & I like the structure & discipline. Making this choice takes allot of involvement & research. I am so happy with my choice.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Keep in mind that at many public schools, you can have your children tested for the gifted programs. These classes will have children in them who are all working at a higher level than some of the other children in the regular classes, IF that is what you want for your child. It may involve more homework, and depending on the school, some of these programs/classes are awesome and the pace can be impressive.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

I went to private school from nursery to 3rd grade. It was a great school and eventually I tested into a gifted and talented program at the local public school for 4th grade. The ciriculum was basically the same, and so were the kids. Once I got to Jr. High, maybe some of the kids weren't as nice or well off, but it was a great lesson in diversity, and nothing bad ever happened. In 9th grade I continued in public high school, but regularily hung out with a bunch over-priveledged private school kids. These kids were basically NEVER supervised and had access to all kinds of drugs and alchohol. Their parents were totally uninvolved and completely clueless. None of the kids (at public school)I knew at that age were particularily involved in this stuff because their parents were around more, and there was less $ being thrown at them. I now have a 3 year old DD, who is in part time private preschool, but who will attend our local elementary school for kindergarten. Luckily the school is great! I think as many have said, RESEARCH is the key. Good public, bad public, good private, bad private, everything is out there.


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RE: Private vs,. Public School

Michie - in some ways I agree with you except for the ""picking on"" aspect. All three of my children went to catholic school thru 8th grade. My middle daughter who was incredibly thin and tall with braces was totally ostracized by her classmates. It was brutal and the school had no idea how to deal with it. I was about ready to switch her to public where the school had more than one class of 7th graders- so she would have more to chose in friendships when a new kid transferred in and they connected. Many of the boys (they were the worst) are embarrassed when they meet up with my daughter now (who is 25). She's a successful model/actress now- you gotta laugh.


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