Public vs Private the Great Education Debate


High school basketball team

One of the most important things a parent can do for their child is to select a school that will give them the best education possible. Many parents rely on public schools to educate their children, but a growing number are turning to private education for a variety of reasons. With so many educational options, choosing a school can be a daunting task.

What are the advantages of private schools when compared to public schools?

  • Many private schools are much smaller than public schools. 86% of private schools have fewer than 300 students enrolled. With fewer students, private schools tend toward smaller class sizes and lower student/teacher ratios. This enables teachers to give more students individualized attention. Smaller class sizes also allow for closer relationships between students, promoting life-long friendships.
  • Individualized education pays off with higher test scores. Nationally, the average SAT scores in Reading, Math, and Writing were 497, 514, and 489 respectively. Private high school students averaged 541, 579, and 550 in the same subjects. Private school students also tend to complete advanced-level courses more frequently than students from public schools, helping them prepare for college.
  • Students who attend a preparatory academy tend toward higher graduation rates and more acceptance into college, and, when compared to students from public schools, are more likely to have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher education by their mid-twenties.
  • Extracurricular activities are just as available in private schools as they are in public schools. In fact, many private school programs place an emphasis on the arts that is unable to be budgeted for in public schools. With opportunities in theatre and music, students are able to explore their interests if they aren’t comfortable with trying out for the high school basketball team.
  • Finally, many private school teachers report higher rates of job satisfaction than their public school colleagues, promoting a healthier learning environment for the students.

With so many reasons to consider private schools, it is no surprise that 24% of the schools in the United States are private schools, and 10% of students between pre-kindergarten and 12th grade are enrolled in a private school.

Financial aid is available for most families to offset some (if not all) of the costs of attending a private school. In addition, many schools have a counselor on staff to teach parents about the facilities and to help decide what the best choice is to fit the educational needs of the family. Helpful links.

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