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Private vs Public schools

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Can anyone who has experience in private AND public schools help illustrate some differences for me?
I know they are more homogenous, smaller in class size, and of course expensive. What else? Is there really much of a difference in the quality of education?
I have an older friend whose dd's went to a Waldorf, graduated from the 8th there. He swore by their education they got there, but a couple of years later said he would never do that again if he could do it over. That he paid close to $20,000 a year each year for both kids.
I know waldorf is pricey anyway, some private schools are reasonable.
Any input?
post #2 of 8
In a private school, the parents have more power to insight change or to affect the policies. Having said that many private schools I have dealt with are of the additude "if you don't like it too bad...we have ten people waitlisted to take your child's place"

In my exsperince, the public schools can be more inclined to give way on policy because they really want to keep your child and the funding they get.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks Bathrobegoddess! And Happy Wedding day!!
post #4 of 8
I would say that one big difference is spirituality or religion. If you are in a private waldorf school you get a dose of spirituality. If you are in a catholic school you get religion. Public schools can't have these things.
Private schools can also deny admission. Public schools have to accommodate everyone.
Private schools do not always have lower class sizes. Where I live the kids are packed in at the same numbers as public schools. As far as the quality of education goes, it matters where you live. I had a horrid public school education but my dh had a fantastic one.
post #5 of 8
I have been a student/parent/teacher in both private and public school.

There is little difference except for $ and unless you send your child to a religious school in which you belong to the community and you are part of the whole experience.
post #6 of 8
I agree you can't generalize. I went to a dreadful catholic private school up until 8th grade and a very good public high school. My nephew goes to the same catholic school now because my SIL is afraid of public schools. He's getting a lousy education that, while not extremely expensive, isn't cheap either. There are about 30 kids in a class, there is nothing in the way of arts, extracurricular activities, etc. There is lots of religion and english taught, but about zero math and science, just the way it was 35 years ago.

There are a couple of very nice private schools in our area. They cost $15-22K per year. The campuses are gorgeous and there are all sorts of enrichment programs. That's nice, but I just don't see it happening in my family any time soon. Actually, even if we had the money, I don't think I'd send them there because they are single sex and I don't want that for my daughters. I also don't want them to be in such a very homogenous environment.

Likewise, the public schools in my area vary quite a bit, too. There are some that are lousy and some that are excellent. We are, on the whole, quite happy with the school dd is in. We picked our house based on the school district and it's been a good choice for us, even though we could have gotten a nicer house in a different neighborhood.
post #7 of 8

personal experience with private vs public

I went to private school 10 years of my schooling (one was spent in public kindergarten and I skipped my senior year). I married a public highschool/middle school teacher and currently our oldest child is in public school.
This is all my opinion and based on my experience.

#1 The biggest thing I have learned about private vs public school socially is the segregation that takes place in private schools-- racially, religiously, and economicly. I did not go to school with "poor" children. I did not go to school with religiously diverse people (all christian, fundamental) I also was not exposed to different cultures or races. When I went to college it was a bit of a culture shock. I believe most of the private christian or catholic schools really shelter children from the diversity of the world and in my experience this is not a Positive but a Negative. I had a shock this year as a took my child to school the first day to see children that were poor. Children thats only balanced meals came from the school cafeteria. This broke my heart. My experience this year with my daughter has shown me to be a more compassionate giving person and my daughter doesnt have the judgements that we grew up among those who were lower economically.

#2 In some private schools your child can get an excellent education while in others it is mediacore at best. I have no interest in my daughter learning Latin at 5 and paying $10-20000 a year for that at one of the top ranked private schools in our area. My sister has her boys in a private christian school that is very to-do, and my kindergarten reads better than her second grader that has had the "best" curriculm. My husband went to a rural public school and actually received a far better education than I did. It prepared him for college, he scored high on the ACT and SAT, and got multiple scholarships. He also was afforded more opportunities in public school than I was for extra curricular activities.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply. I had relatives who also went to a private christian school in Alabama and agree, they were very sheltered from 'the real world' and I think are, pretty intolerant too.

I did a tour of the local public school Tuesday. My decision now is do I pull dd out of the charter school (also public) and let her take the bus and go to the neighborhood school? Their curriculum seemed about the same, minus the spanish..the charters math curric. is a bit advanced too (I have issues with this tho..pushing first grade math on kindergarteners..)
but, the regular ps had a nicer homey feeling to it, the classrooms were HUGE, teachers all nice, smaller class size.
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