The quality of education your child gets from school is of great concern as it can affect their future. Consequently, when it comes to choosing whether to go for private or public school continues to be a challenging part for parents. Likewise, the constant debate on which one is better is endless tale in different texts.
Definitely, each has its respective advantages and setbacks that we must consider and weigh. Some people say that education in private school is no different compared to public. Here, we are going to have a few discussions on why enrolling your children in private schools is more beneficial than public. Nevertheless, to maintain balance, we are going to show both pros and cons between private and public.
Hopefully, by the time you reach the end of the article, you will have a better idea on which type of school will you send your children in preparing for their future.
Reasons Why Private Schools are Better
For some there is a silver lining between private and public schools in terms of providing quality education to the learners. True, there are similarities between them but there are also distinct differences which has a huge impact to the learning development of the student.
There are a few reasons why private school is better than public, which moved parents to have their kids enroll in the former. One major reason why they enroll their kids is the lower ratio between teacher and student. Some private schools have a teacher to student ratio of 1:15 or 1:25 while public have a teacher to student ratio of 1:30 or 1:40.
Why is this good? When the number of students in a class is small, the teacher can give enough time to accommodate questions and learning gaps among his learners. Unlike in public, there is a very huge class size where learning for each student cannot be fully monitored by the teacher.
Second reason is versatile curriculum and learning environment.Unlike public, private schools have more academic freedom in designing their curriculum that would fit their core principle, mission, and vision. Oftentimes, their curriculum are always supported by the facilities present in the school.
In terms of learning environment, private schools offer better quality of facilities and learning materials for their learners. Why? The source of funds is directly coming from the tuition fees, donations, and private endowments which has less bureaucracy to pass when certain improvements or facilities are needed for disbursement.
In addition, private schools are also affiliated with various religion which is one factor considered by parents. Some parents even look at private schools where there is exclusivity for sex (all male or all female school).
The third reason why it is better is because most students in private schools score better in various exams or admission tests. This is highly attributed to the quality of education given to the learners in terms of good facilities, and more teacher-student interaction and monitoring.
Furthermore, parents have more interaction as a stakeholder in private academic institutions. They can readily talk to the teacher and school administration for any concern or suggestion in improving the overall quality of the school.
In line with this, teachers in private academic institutions have more accountability in improving the performance and welfare of their learners as parents can readily check and raise concerns. Likewise, teachers’ employment can be terminated when the school admin see incompetence and disregard for the learner’s development.
Private School VS Public School Statistics
In the United States, the number of private schools operating is 34,576 which is 25 percent of the overall school population present. Based on the National Center for Education Statistics, there is still a huge population of students (50.7 million) enrolling for public school due to low tuition fees. In contrast, the student population enrolling for private schools is around 5.9 million.
Looking at the results, still majority of the student population are in public while only a few are in private schools. This shows that very few are willing and able to send their children to private schools because of the higher tuition fee.
However, a smaller student population in private academic institutions is also beneficial for their will be more teacher-student interaction and monitoring to ensure effective learning.
In Virginia, there are around 1,016 private schools and 133 public schools. These private learning institutions accommodate around 146,276 students while their public schools accommodate 1,265,419 students. From this, the number of students going in private schools is approximately 12 percent of the total population in public.
Even though there is lesser student population in private learning institutions, the overall quality of education is still better for teachers are able to provide more attention and time with their learners.
Education in public schools is also good, but with the huge numbers, it will be challenging for both teacher and student to monitor effective learning.
Private Schools VS Public Schools Test Scores
Aside from the population of schools and students between private and public, let us try to compare and see the test scores of students enrolling for the two types of school. The average test scores will be a good estimation on the performance of the students.
Here, we are going to compare the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We are going to compare the results of the grade 4 and 8 for both public and private in the subjects Science, Math, Reading, and Writing.
In Science, there are 12 percent more students proficient in this subject for Grade 8 students in private schools compared to public.
In Math, Grade 4 and 8 students in private learning institutions are more proficient in this subject compared in public. There are seven percent more students who showed proficiency in Math for each grade level in private schools.
In Reading, there is higher student percentage of Grade 4 and 8 students in private learning institutions who showed proficiency in this subject – around 15 and 23 percent, respectively.
In Writing, there is higher student percentage around 15 percent more of Grade 8 students in private schools proficient in this subject than in public.
Based on these results, we can fairly say that students studying in private schools have higher learning capacity compared to its public counterpart. There are several factors influencing these findings, and some of it includes smaller class sizes, customized curriculum, and better facilities.
Advantages of Private Schools Over Public Schools
As parents, we fairly feel that you want the best for the future of your children. Likewise, you would always want to get the best value for the investment you place for the education of your kids. An excellent quality of education is the best treasure you can pass on the future leaders of our society.
It is only fair that we know some of the highlight advantages of a private academic institution and why it is worth every penny you invest.
Advantages of Private Schools
- Customized Curriculum Content
Because private schools are not funded by the state of the national government, they have more academic freedom in designing a curriculum that would best fit their learners and the core principle of the institution.
These customized curricula are not a far deviation nor below from what is being implemented and considered standard by the state. The revisions done are aimed at enhancing some skills among the learners. Moreover, it comes more practical and genuine.
- Smaller Student Population and More Parent Interaction
Most private schools have fewer students which results to a lower ratio between teacher and student. Consequently, this is good for there will be more attention provided by the teacher to his learners and supplementing their weaknesses.
Likewise, parents can participate more on raising concerns and suggestions for the betterment of their kids and the school.
- Top of the Class Teachers
Teachers in private academic institutions have Masters or Doctoral degrees to enhance their knowledge and skills in delivering their learning towards their learners. Moreover, they have higher accountability as incompetence and negligence of duty is a strong factor for termination.
- Excellent and Updated Facilities and Learning Materials
The funds supporting a private school are coming from the tuition fees, donations, and private endowments. They have lesser procedures in disbursing funds which results to a faster implementation of improvements and projects.
- Better Test Scores
With a lesser student population and good learning environment, students from private learning institutions have better proficiency and test scores in various subjects and admission tests.
Private School VS Public School Pros and Cons
It is only just that you see the good and bad side for both types of school. This will give you a better and sound judgement on which school best suits your kids. Below are the pros and cons for both the two major types of schools.
- Free tuition fee
- Teachers also have good credentials. Some have Masters and Doctoral degrees.
- Free Bus Transportation Service
- They also provide extra-curricular activities for the students
- They also provide Special Education Programs for people with disabilities
- Due to limited government funds, there are fewer teachers to handle the huge student population
- There is less emphasis for students with various religions and coming from minority ethnic groups
- For the smart students, they will feel bored because there will be circumstances that class discussions will be slower to accommodate students who do not learn that fast
- Due to lack of funds, some extracurricular activities are removed because of the lack of a decent facility
- Curriculum content and structure is customized and challenging for the learners
- Extra-curricular activities are offered to students to balance academic and other practical skills
- Smaller student population, thus, better interaction and monitoring of learning
- More parent participation for student and school development
- Some private schools offer a distinct religion affiliation which can fit the student’s beliefs
- Teachers have good credentials such as a Masters or Doctoral degree
- Better learning environment and facilities
- High tuition fee
- Some have fewer electives if the school is not that big yet
Difference Between Private and Public Schools
So you have seen the pros and cons of the two types of school already. We think you now have some solid ideas on the differences and similarities of the two schools. Nevertheless, we want to further supplement what you have by sharing some of the things we have for the differences between the two.
Looking back in the previous sections, we can say that these two schools differ in the following aspects: funding, curriculum designing and regulations, student population, parent participation, and extracurricular activities.
- Private School: Source are tuition fees, donations, and private endowments from alumni
- Public School: State and national government
Curriculum Design and Regulations
- Private School: Can freely design and craft their curriculum
- Public School: Strict regulation and adherence to the standard implemented by the state
Student Population and Parent Participation
- Private School: Lesser student population and more parent engagement in the development of the school and student learning
- Public School: Huge class size and lesser participation of parents as stakeholders
- Private School: More variety of extracurricular activities offered for the students
- Public School: Lesser extra-curricular activities due to lack of funds and decent facilities to accommodate the activity
Private School Facts
Are you still with us? Before, we finally wrap things up, we have a few more facts that might be interesting for you. Perhaps, things you have heard for the first time regarding private schools in the United States.
- In 2015 to 2016, Catholic Private Schools account for 38.8 percent of the total enrollee for private academic institutions. This is followed by nonsectarian private schools at 21.8 percent.
- The average tuition fee in the United States for private schools K to 12 program is $13,640 per year. Then we have the average tuition fees for Catholic, Non-Sectarian, and other religious affiliation: $10,230, $8,160, and $22,440, respectively.
- For families in the United States earning $75,000 and higher, the percentage of families enrolling their children in private and public schools are 87% and 11%, respectively.
- In terms of parents’ satisfaction for private schools’ quality of teachers, 46 percent said they are very satisfied while 40 percent said they are satisfied. Overall, 86 percent of parents showed great satisfaction for the quality of teaching in private schools. This is a 12 percent higher compared to parents’ satisfaction for teacher quality in the public.
- A survey was conducted among millennials on their preference of school. The choices were charter school, home school, public school, and private school. The results of the survey were the following:
- Charter School – 8%
- Home School – 13%
- Public School – 28%
- Private School – 43%