Are you facing the tough decision between sending your child to a top private middle school or private high school, or sending them to the local public school? There are advantages and disadvantages to each option, and we'll explore them below:
- Private School Advantages
Private high school and private middle school curricula are usually more focused on specialized topics (like the creative arts) that prepare students for careers and higher education in a chosen field. Class sizes are smaller, the student-to-teacher ratio is lower, and coursework is more challenging. Most private schools have access to better books, supplies and classroom technology. Private school students generally have higher graduation and college acceptance rates, and earn higher degrees by their mid-20s.
- Private School Disadvantages
The cost of attending a private high school or middle school is higher than attending a public one. Since courses are specialized, students may have a smaller range of subjects they can pursue. Students usually have to pass an entry exam to be admitted. Private schools are also less regulated by the state, which means that teachers aren't required to hold teaching degrees and special education programs may be lacking. However, private school teachers are more likely than their public school counterparts to report being satisfied with their school and its educational climate.
- Public School Advantages
At a public school, students often have more diverse course options and wider access to sports, arts and music programs. Many parents and students in public schools feel like they have closer relations to the local community. Teachers are required to be certified educational instructors. Public schools are also low cost.
- Public School Disadvantages
Class sizes are often much larger, resulting in less individualized attention. Classes are geared toward a mid-learning level, which may cause more advanced students to lose interest. Access to learning materials and classroom technology is limited, and textbooks are often outdated and worn. Public schools also have more days off, which may challenge busy parents.
There isn't one choice that's best for every student and family, so talk to your child and try to select the school that best fits their needs.