When we talk about “private schools” we are usually talking about grade schools or high schools for young people in their teens. The latter include neighborhood places of learning, founded by churches, secular, so called, “magnet schools” for gifted children, and finally boarding schools with years of tradition and experience.
It is very difficult to generalize about this issue because most of the pros and cons depend on the particular school in question. In general, when looking for a good school, you will want one with a long history. This will assure you that the school has institutional memory or experience in dealing with academic, social, financial and discipline needs of its students. Simply put, a school that has been in business for a long time is usually a safe bet. In this business, you are only as good as your last year. The exception to this are schools that are subsidized by churches or church organizations and not dependent on students and parents for their budget.Learn More
First let’s look at advantages of most private schools.
1.) The student will likely get a better education.
This is no small point. After all, this is the purpose of school. Beware, there are terrible private schools too, where students graduate without barely knowing how to read. But compared to the public school system in the United States and in many countries abroad, a private school education is far superior.
2.) The student will mature more rapidly.
Students attending boarding schools, in particular, will learn how to clean their rooms, take care of their own laundry, and be forced to deal with personal conflicts in a way that can never be learned in the protective shell of home. Some of the world’s greatest leaders, sports stars and entertainment figures had a boarding school education. This includes numerous American presidents, European Kings and Queens and British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
3.) Private schools usually have better teacher – student ratio.
This is an important factor in learning math, science and foreign languages. In contrast, a student in a large classroom setting can sometimes get lost.
4.) Private schools have better discipline.
This is because public schools in most countries are forced by law to accept all children in their geographical areas and are paid government money based on the number of students in attendance. This makes expelling a student both difficult and expensive.
In a private school the reverse is the case. A troublesome student upsets teachers and fellow students and can cause others to drop out if he or she is not expelled immediately. Parents are suddenly involved. They have paid money for their son or daughter to attend the school in question and they will become more insistent in assuring that their child cooperate.
5.) Students from private schools are more likely to graduate from a university and with better grades.
Again. Nothing can be assumed and much depends on the particular school you attend but in general, private school students are more likely to advance their education at the university level. This is often because they are forced to develop study habits in the private school setting, especially at the boarding school where peer pressure and dorm rules require completion of home work.
6.) Private schools are safer.
They have a better safety record over public schools. This may be in part because of stricter private insurance requirements that public schools do not need to fulfill.
Now let’s look at some disadvantages of private boarding schools.
Here are some of the negatives sometimes associated with private schools.
1.) Private schools can be very expensive. Make sure you chose wisely.
2.) Students are sometimes shielded from social challenges.
Private schools usually prohibit the use of drugs, alcohol or sexual activity. These choices are sometimes left to the student in a public school setting. Some parents feel that their children need to be faced with such choices and learn to develop their own judgment.
3.) Public school curriculum tends to offer diverse philosophical curriculum, allowing the student to see the world through the lens of many different ethnic, religious or sexually oriented ideas.
By contrast, private schools are often founded in a religious tradition. In the United States most private boarding schools were founded in the Catholic or Episcopalian tradition. (CCA is the oldest, continuously operating, evangelical private boarding school in America. )
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