Back in your days, when you began kindergarten and then when you started high school, the odds are you that went to the nearest public school to your place. You might even have gone to the religious school that was at a distance of a short bus ride. The choice of which school their teen should go to was extremely simple. That, however, is not the case anymore.
Choosing the right school is not an easy feat. What makes this decision all the more tricky these days, is that the distinction between private and public schools is not as straightforward anymore. It could be that the local public school is a more fitting educational match for the teen than a private school that has a national reputation and is affordable. Even though some researches showcase the fact that some private schools have an inclination toward superior academic programs, this wouldn’t always be true. Despite the negative press, public schools are improving at the rate of knots.
Meanwhile, on the flipside, private schools are becoming more affordable than they are generally perceived, and hence they must not be ruled out merely on financial grounds.
To aid you in your decision-making, we have highlighted some of the advantages of both public and private schools.
Where Public Schools come on Top!
Teachers are more qualified
According to a renowned National Center for Education Statistics study, teachers in public schools are more qualified than their counterparts in independent schools with regards to both their experience and education. For instance, it is more likely that they would have a master's degree, and have more hours pursuing in-service study under their belt. The report also showcases the fact that teachers in public school earn higher salaries than private school teachers.
Core subjects are given more attention
The aforementioned study also shows that students in public schools study core subjects — that include math, English, science and social studies— 3 hours per week more than the students in private schools.
Public schools sponsor more
As far as offering academic support, extra-curricular sports and better learning tools are concerned public schools edge out private schools. Why? Public schools in most cases are bigger than private schools, and hence have sufficient students to successfully pull off a chorus, science fair or computer club. Furthermore, state and federal laws need public schools to have the provision for disability and diagnostic services. Public schools are also likelier to offer remedial and talented programs as well.
Student diversity is more
Private education is more often than not out of the reach of the poorer students, which basically means that your teen would not be introduced to students of various socioeconomic backgrounds and races. If it is important for you that your teen knows their age fellows from various walks of life, then you should go for a public school.
Where Private School have an edge!
Schools and classes are smaller
According to the study conducted by National Center for Education Statistics, private schools are normally half as big as public schools. Many experts opine that teens are not as likely to feel lost in the proverbial shuffle if they go to a smaller school, which in turn nourishes a community sense. Furthermore, the private school teacher-student ratios are considerably more favorable according to National Association for Independent Schools. Private tend to have a teacher-student ratio of 1:9 as compared to around 1:17 in public schools.
There's lesser bureaucracy
Since private schools are free from some state regulations, more time is consumed on instruction than on mandated paperwork. They also do not have compulsion to have any focus on test scores. And hence, teachers have more classroom autonomy and more creative control over their teaching methods.
There’s more parent involvement
Private schools not only encourage the participation of parents, but the parents of students from private schools have a stronger say in their teen’s education as well.
Nowadays education is a complicated topic in the national debate. Questions pertaining to school management, curriculum, accountability, quality, and teacher training, surface every single day. And we explore them in the newspapers, in the media, in the middle of political debates, and on dining tables all over the US.
What this basically connotes for you as a parent, as you mull over the best school for your teen, is that massive homework is needed. Choosing the high school for your teen is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most pivotal decisions that you will ever make. To make the right decision, you will have to make sure that you educate yourself so that you can become a savvy consumer. This basically means doing your research, networking properly, and ensuring that you comprehend all available choices for you and your teen.