(Closed) Private school or public school?

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
784 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@becca83:  This really depends on so many factors we don’t have access to.  Public schools have a lot more resources than private schools, especially if your child ends up having any challenges like dyslexia.  On the other hand, kids in private schools all come from families that highly value education.  It also depends on your financial situation, and the specific public and private schools in your area.

Post # 4
1773 posts
Buzzing bee

I went to private, charter and public.


I abhorred public.


My private and charter schools demanded a lot and felt like a family. I couldn’t understand why nobody cared at my public highschool! I didn’t understand you don’t actually have to do the work in a lot of classes. I don’t need to read the 40 pages of bio homework to answer the 12 nightly questions. It’s all busy work.


Depends on the area and selection of both though.


I really hated public school and would never send my child to one.

Post # 5
2521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Honestly, it depends on where you live.  I live in the SF Bay Area and public schools here, unless you live in a very, very affluent area ($2+million homes), are awful.  California public schools in general have a horrible record in terms of standardized testing.  What I didn’t realize is how awesome the charter schools are around the Bay area.  They’re an affordable option if you can get in (many are on lottery systems).  The private schools are hit or miss and the tuition is a big indicator of it.

I attended public school in Indiana and had a pretty good experience in high school.  I went to one of the crappiest elementary schools (fewer funds because fewer rich kids attended it), a decent middle school, and an extraordinary high school.  The resources for students who were in advanced courses or wanted to do anything outside of the standard courseload were really awesome.  The one private christian school in the area couldn’t compete.  However, I’m starting to realize that’s unusual.  I’m considering homeschooling any offspring we have until jr high or high school.  We’re definitely not raising children in California for a variety of reasons but safety and education are two reasons.

Post # 6
3 posts

of course there are factors however, in my experience

i went to a private till 5th grade and went to public starting 6th. it helped a lot by setting the basics firmly with private and from then on i had more resources with public school as they had more students with various backgrounds. i learned so much more during public school years .

Post # 7
4045 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

It really varies. Some public school are awesome.

I really advocate public school for any child with special needs because the resources available almost always go above and beyond charter or private. My little cousin in at a charter school, and she went a full year without her required speech services because they simply didn’t have a speech teacher. Somehow the school is getting away with it, but not meeting needs would never fly in a public school.

Otherwise public can definitely hold some kids back. I was never really challenged in public school. Teachers have to meet the needs of all their students, so they can’t move on to bigger and harder topics until the struggling students have a grasp. That left kids like me bored and unproductive. I wasn’t pushed. Now when I got to high school it was different because of AP programs, but until then I never reached my potential, and I see that with a lot of kids still.

However, I’ve had friends who went to private schools, and it was no more challenging, and they hated how small it was and that it lacked a lot of programs.

I wouldn’t hesitate to start him off in a public school and see how he likes it. Go in and volunteer and see how things are run. Does his teacher differentiate her instruction so all needs are met? Is he being challenged? How are the social dynamics? If you don’t like him, then next year try private. Overall I do like public and will give it a shot with my own kids.

Post # 8
1130 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I think the quality of public education depends where you live. I live in Canada, and went to public school with no problems. The system is good here, but I’ve heard that public school is absolutely terrible overall in the US, compared to here. My brother is autistic and in a special needs program in a public school, and they’ve been nothing but wonderful, helping him get on track for the rest of his life. He goes to a public vocational/trade type high school and he’s training to be a mechanic.

Private education is good too. I think it largely depends on the kind of school you choose, like boarding school or day school, and which particular institution. Each place is a little different in terms of what they offer, what kind of resources they have, etc. You have a choice between co-ed or single sex education as well, generally. Overall, though, I don’t believe private school offers better education than public schools, since they all have to follow the same government curriculum.

Post # 9
4027 posts
Honey bee

@becca83:  I recruit students for a public charter school and I attended public school for k-8. I then attended private schools for high school and college. My advice to all families is to find a school that best fits the needs of your student and your family’s resources.  There are so many school options, good and bad, but some will be able to serve ylommomr student better than others. Try to find a school that will help your child grow/thrive and that you support its values/mission.


Post # 10
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I went to a not so great public elementary school and an ok public high school. In elementary school how a kid did basically depended on how their parents raised them. If there parents raised them to value education and work hard they did well. Those that did not value that fell to the bottom of the class. In high school kids were seperated by ability and even though the school was not ranked high I got a quality education because I was in the advanced classes. That is how the general middle-of-the-road public education goes. Inner city public education is generally horrible and very affluent areas aren’t great either because most of the parents send their kids to private so whoever attends public school is who is left over. 

Your kids should be fine in public school in general as long as you instill a good work ethic and make sure they have the skills and help to excel and be placed in the advanced classes. The teachers aren’t supposed to show favoritism but often the advanced classes get a lot of educational perks. Both my brother and I were in the advanced classes and went on to becomes engineers. Everyone in my advanced classes went to college even though our public school was not highly ranked.

Post # 11
3080 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@becca83:  it depends on where you live. I went to public school but work in a private school. parents send their children to private school (where I work) because the NYC schools are not that great. So, to them, private school (especially HS) is well worth the money. 

The public school where I went to growing up was very good. It was rated high (and the high taxes are at least going to something). But my parents picked a home here because of the district. 

Eta: the private school I work at is large and offers a ton of programs. Our music program is especially good as is our arts department. They offer a bunch of elective math, science, history, and English courses. So it really depends on the school. I mean we even offer yoga for a gym class. I would have LOVED to take that course when I was in high school. 

Post # 12
1856 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Our child goes to public school and we are very happy with this decision. Quality of public schools vary immensely not only from state to state and city to city but within cities – where I live, schools on the west side of town are well-funded, recruit excellent teachers, and have overall better resources, while the schools on the east of town are not so fortunate.

As parents, we don’t feel it’s the school’s job to do everything. If you expect to be involved in your child’s education, to be reading to and with them every night, to be available to help with homework and to discuss their class work, public school is perfectly fine. I don’t expect or even want my child’s teachers to do all of the teaching. But this is an issue for parents who cannot (or will not, but that’s a different matter) invest that time and energy into their kid’s education – public school won’t necessarily go the extra mile and children can and do slip through the cracks. The other issue we’ve occasionally dealt with is teaching to the ‘lowest common denominator’ – teachers teach the same material over and over until everyone gets it (which is important, as I don’t think kids should be left behind) but it occasionally means that other children in the class are left with repeating the same work rather than advancing. This may also happen in private schools, but I don’t have any experience with that.

Post # 13
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

It depends on where you live and the schools in your area. Also look at the curriculum and ethos behind learning at the school. Also beware that a small number of schools (or a lot depending on area) refuse to teach real science, and instead teach young Earth creationism. There are some excellent private school and excellnt public school out there, and the opposite.


Small note of interest though. Studies have shown that, once adjusted for factors such as parental education, US public schools outperform private and charter. This information was based on the 2009 PISA, however, so may be a bit out of date. And of course, it is an overall trend, not individual schools.

That trend was around the time that Charters were underperforming overall, however, and make have skewed the results. Waiting for the more recent PISA to release their report on it. (at the time Mathematica indicated that 17% of charters did better than contemporary public, and 37% did worse – that has changed somewhat with the more recent mathematica study, showing chaters outperfrom at about 20%, underperform about 20% and perform at similar levels about 60%).



Post # 14
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I went to private schools my whole life. In elementary it was great, i got a fabulous education and had a lot of good friends, and personal relationships with the teachers. All the staff really cared about the kids. But once i got to high school, it changed. All my friends in public school were talking about the cool options they were taking. My only choices were art, mechanics and photoshop.

Also, if I had gone to a public high school I would have had much higher marks. I am smart and did incredibly well in elementary and junior high, but in the last 2 years the teachers put too much pressure on us for the standardized exams. Looking at what my friends were doing, I likely would have had 90s if I had gone to a public school, but in the private school I never got above 85.

Post # 15
59 posts
Worker bee

I would say public school!  I am a public school teacher, and have seen many kids come into my classroom from private/charter schools.  The number one complaint i have heard with private schools are that they do not tailor to the needs of students.  One student in my class had an IEP , and when he was in his private school, they do not use them, so this child was not getting what he needed, and came back to public school.


i’m not sure where you live or what school distrcit you are by, but a lot of your child’s success also depends on the parents, were as some students might not get the support they need at home, and it shows in how they perform at school, making that school perhaps a low performing school.

Post # 16
1486 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I was in private school from 2nd grade all the way through 12th grade.  The local schools in my hometown were pretty bad back then, the local highschool was called “Heroin High” and the elementary schools were massively overcrowded…  so I understood, even at an early age, why I was sent to a private school.  


I think private school gave me a better foundation for my education and encouraged more interaction in classes. I had very small classes all through my years there, and I think that made connecting with teachers easier and thus with the material too.


I’ve heard good things about Charter schools too.  One of my college aquaintences went to a public Charter school that was arts focused, which seemed rather cool.    


My DH on the other hand went to public schools, and thinks private schools are a waste of money.  

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