School is a difficult thing for any parent to think about — because the fact is that where your child goes to school may greatly affect his or her future. Public schools have the advantage of being technically “free”, but take much of the freedom of choice away from the parent. Due to school district zoning laws, parents are forced to enroll their children in certain schools and don’t get much in the way of objection. Even if the school has subpar staff and is perhaps dangerous — if your child is zoned for that school, there’s not much you can do to fight it. This has many parents considering private schools. Many of the top private schools enroll children of all ages, from kindergarten to high school — and even in some cases preschool. Private schools offer unique experiences, and as they are privately funded they have more freedom in their curriculum. Private school teachers are often paid more, which is why these schools tend to be able to afford better teachers. While there is of course a difference in how much top private schools cost compared to public schools, for many parents the difference is more than made up for in the education their children receive. Let’s look into what attending private schools can do for children, and what types of options are available.
Private Schools Versus Public Schools: The Basics
Many are unclear in the difference between a private school and public school education. While it cannot be said that all public schools are horrible — by any means — many lack the funding necessary to really prioritize academics. In some areas, public schools have higher rates of violence among students as well. Private schools, on the other hand, accept students on a case by case basis. They’re able to be stricter about things like behavior and grades, and this tends to have better results. Private schools — even private high schools — also tend to be much smaller than public schools. It’s believed that on average, private high schools are less than half the size of public schools. For that matter, 86% of private schools have less than 300 students. This means that in the top private schools in particular, teachers are able to focus more on students as individuals. Private schools can also have religious angles, due to their greater freedoms. This means that a private school can be a Christian school, for example, with a Christian slant to its education. At the same time, many religiously-affiliated private schools still offer great educations and accept students that do not come from religious backgrounds.
Top Private Schools: The Results
But does attending a private school really make a difference in a child’s education? The answer is yes — and often, the difference a top private school makes goes far beyond that. One of the reasons why people appreciate private schools so much is that they set children on the right behavioral path. This helps both academically and personally. On average, the national SAT scores recently were 497 in reading, 514 in math, and 489 in writing. Children who attended private schools scored on average a 541, 579, and 550. That is a big difference. Studies have also shown that while only 57% of public schools students apply to college, 88% of private school students do the same. A private school education simply makes students more motivated and equipped.
Tuition: Is It Worth It?
While private school tuition isn’t nothing, it is certainly worth the long-term benefits given to children who attend such schools. As we’ve shown above, private school children are better educated, and indeed 72% of parents surveyed recently indicated that they believed their children were safe in private schools. It also should not be forgotten that some private schools offer scholarships to children in need, and some government-funded programs can help parents in similar situations. Ultimately, private school is definitely worth it.
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