The Differences Between Private and Pubic School Curriculum

Private schools account for 25% of all the schools in America and as of 2016, roughly 2.63 million students in the United States were registered in a private elementary school.

Would an education at one of the top private schools be right for your child?

In order to decide which type of educational system will benefit your child the most, the following information from Brook Road Academy offers some insight into the differences between the curriculum offered by public and private schools. Here are three of the major differences.

1. Private Schools Offer a Wide-Ranging Curriculum.
Due to guidelines mandated by the state, public school students are required to complete certain course work such as science, math, and English. This limits the possibilities for more specialized classes.

Private schools, on the other hand, are able to offer their students a more varied curriculum because they have fewer state or budgetary limitations. With a wider range of courses to choose from, more students are likely to find subjects they have a great deal of interest in, which promotes more enjoyment of the learning process.

2. Private School Curriculum is Individualized.
The success of public schools is based on criteria such as the average test scores of its students, the grade averages of its students, and the average graduation rate of its students. In order for public schools to achieve high averages in these areas, more emphasis is placed on the subjects which are the most difficult for students. Because of that, other subjects, such as music or art, may receive less attention. To meet these standards, teachers may also spend more time assisting students who are struggling in order to help raise the student's grades, thereby overlooking students who are doing well in their course.

Since private schools aren't bound by these criteria, the curriculum can be more easily geared to meet the needs of individual students, as it is in a performing arts school.

3. Private Schools Can Use Different Teaching Techniques.
Because public schools must adhere to guidelines regarding how students are graded, teachers must follow one specific method of teaching, such as the Common Core method. They must sometimes cover material more quickly as well. 

However, private schools permit more flexibility in this area and are able to utilize more recent teaching techniques, such as the conversational technique. This style of teaching has been shown to be more effective at capturing students' interest and improves their ability to communicate and make decisions. They also retain coursework better.

Understanding the ways in which public and private school curriculum differ, particularly with respect to the amount of variety and individualization of the coursework and the different teaching techniques employed, aids parents in deciding which type of school system will be the best fit for their child.

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