(Closed) The Great Debate: Public vs Private School Part 2

posted 7 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 17
3173 posts
Sugar bee

It depends on the situation. I went to public school and thought it was fine. I taught public high school for two years and now think that a lot of them are terrible.

When I taught, I saw a ton of bullying, fights (I’m 5’0″ and had to pull a boy off of another boy because all the administrators were so far away), overcrowded class rooms, cheating on the part of the administration, teachers, and students, “passing” along, and allowing students to graduate even though they did not do the work necessary to graduate. Every school system is different though.

DH went to private school and was bullied all through school but he also had a great education that was harder than the public university we both attended.

When we (probably, maybe, someday, we’ll see) have kids, I think we’ll start out in public school and then transition them to private school depending on the school system. If they don’t like the private school environment then they can go to public school.

Post # 18
3723 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@rbuchanan09:  I would send my kids to the place where they got the best education in the best environment. For my parents, that meant we all went to private school. If I were to have children, I would either ensure I lived in a super high quality school district where they could get a good public education or send them to private schools or both. Bullying, like many PP’s have already stated, happens both places so it would depend on where I lived and the needs of my child first and foremost.

Post # 19
745 posts
Busy bee

@rbuchanan09:  Public school.  I went to public schools my whole life, as did DH.  I think it’s ridiculous to spend money on actual tuition for school that’s not college lol.

However I will add that we live in the town where I grew up, which is pretty affluent and has one of the best public school systems in the state.  So I think that informs my opinion quite a bit – it was specifically one of the reasons we chose to buy our home where we did (well, plus it’s near my childhood home and my parents who still live in it 🙂  

If we lived somewhere with a crappy public school system we might have to choose private, but then I think we’d probably move before we would do that.  

Post # 20
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I hate to say it but I think private gives a better education. Though I hate all the religion aspects to it.  I bounced back and forth from public to private.  

I did my first half of elementary education in private and 2nd 1/2 in public.  My penmenship was leaps and bounds ahead of all the others (that did not stick I have chicken scratch now) I could tell time on a clock!  I met kids in HS then that still coulden’t, and just things like that.

I went back to private for middle school and high school was public.  I did notice differences like people who went through public school never diagramed a sentence in their life.  Now I was no fan of the diagrams but they were really helpful.

As for bullying it is also strange in both cases the bullying was by far worse in public school when it came to student on student bullying.

In both of my private schools it was teacher on student bullying.  I’m not conviced which one is worse since I have aweful memories from both.

But as a whole education in the US sucks ass.

Post # 22
2156 posts
Buzzing bee

@rbuchanan09:  Depends. A lot of private schools are subpar to some public schools, and vise versa. 

My home town has notoriously bad city public schools, amazing suburban public schools, a few awful private schools, and a few great private schools. 

Not all private schools are great, and not all public schools are great. 

The most important factor in choosing a school for your children is doing your research. 

Post # 23
2240 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s not as easy as public school is better or private school is better, because the quality of schools is different in different places. In some places, public school is nearly as good as private school; sometimes it may be better based on the diversity of the students and faculty, and other factors. In other places, the public schools are mediocre or even bad, and private school is the better option. Sometimes, neither public or private schools are sufficient, and homeschool or some other type of schooling is better. 

Basically, the answer depends on where one lives, what the child needs, and what the parents can afford. 

Post # 24
9948 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I went to Public… back in the day (1960s & 70s) … when the Education System was a lot different / better than it is now.

I look back & feel it served me well, and I ended up well educated.

I cannot say the same for today’s reality in the Ontario School Systems.

With my Ex… we sent the Kids to a mix of both Public ** & Private (Nursery School thru High School), as we believed that different things were offered at each (and so kids needed different things at different times in their lives)

Definitely thought that Private was better overall… but that wasn’t a cheap decision.  And so each decision was made with a lot of fore-thought / planning.

** NOTE – In Ontario, Catholic Schools are considered part of the Public School System (referred to as the “Seperate” School System, as they have their own Boards of Education & Schools.  If at least one Parent is Catholic, children can attend a Catholic School).

My Ex and I utilized all the education resources at our disposal… so over the course of their education, had experience with both the regular Public School System as well as the Catholic / Seperate School System.  At least where we lived, the Catholic Board Schools out-performed the regular Public Schools academically.

Hope this helps,


Post # 25
10634 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I don’t think it’s an issue of public/private, but of getting a student into the right school/program for them.  I know of a great private school for students with learning disabilities.  For some students that’s probably the best place for them, for others, a public school with an AP/IB program would be more appriopriate, and their needs wouldn’t be met at that private school.

There are also Catholic and separate schools that aren’t private, so it isn’t just a public/private issue.

Post # 26
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

View original reply
@Atalanta:  In general, I agree — quality private schools are better than MOST public schools.  However, Catholic schools aren’t going to produce critical thinkers…so if you remove religious schools from the mix, I totally agree.  

I did a summer program at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Husband (where my dad went…also John Kerry went there), and the level of academic difficulty was SO much higher than my regular public school.  

On the other hand, there ARE public schools around the country where the level of academic rigor is HIGH, and the students are challenged and doing well.  However…those schools are basically nonexistent in most communities.

Post # 27
5184 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I have no experience with private schools so I can’t comment on them, but I have no complaints about public school. I think school is all what you make of it. If you choose to slack, you’re going to fare poorly no matter who your teacher is or how well the school is funded. I received a very well rounded education from public school. There were no sudden surprises in college, meaning I didn’t find myself lacking anything that was required.

Post # 28
885 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I am pretty flexible.  We bought our house in a very good neighborhood with an A-rated school system from elementary all the way to high school. As such, I will most likely be taking our children to public school.  However, if for any reason we find that the school they are attending is problematic in any way, we will switch to either another public school or a private school.  

I am of the belief that a child’s upbringing and education will be most influenced by parental support and what they see at home.  We will sit down with our children every afternoon to do homework; we will have mandatory reading time, and we will pay for tutoring in the event our child needs extra help in a particular subject.  However, I do not see the point of going to private school where you have a good public school system readily available to you, for free.  I honestly prefer to use any money we will be saving toward tutoring and a college fund.  

I grew up poor; I am the third person in my entire family (going back lots of generations) to have gone to college, and the first to go to a graduate program (law school).  I paid for every cent of my education, for all test prep courses, for everything related to my education, and having some financial help from my parents would have been very helpful because having to find the money for everything was very difficult.  I want my children to have it a bit easier, so that’s why for us saving for college is a huge priority. 

Post # 29
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I am a STRONG supporter of public schools for political reasons. Also, in the US, many MANY private schools do not make accommodations for students with disabilities or parents are forced to pay for those accommodations themselves–I am hugely opposed to that.

If there is ANY possible way for us to do so, Fiance and I will be sending our kids to public schools. We would definitely move to a better school district before sending our kids to private schools if it was in any way possible. Obviously, I would not put my child in an unsafe environment, so if moving to a good school district was somehow out of the question, I would consider private school.

Also, I lied about my address all through high school to go to the awesome public school I went to! Embarassed

Post # 30
14490 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I went to both private and public, my public was supposed to be the premier n the state, what a laugh. Private was more challenging, more advanced, more disciplined, better socially, gave greater college opportunities, and gave much better individual attention. That was my experience anyway.

With Common Core being implemented in most states, we have offered to help pay for my nephew to go to private school. My family is making a huge effort to keep him out of public school from here out, no matter the cost. If our kids were still in school there is no way I would put my kids into the disaster that is Common Core.

Post # 31
1339 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@rbuchanan09:  My mom always said, it’s always about what you [the student] put in, and to a degree, she’s entirely right.




I went to both private (grade school) and public (high school) and I personally would rather send my (possible future) kids to private.




BUT – I live in NYC and know the public school system is not the greatest. It’s partly why my parents put in my private school. But, bad stuff can happen just as easily in a private school as a public school. My sister was bullied horribly in private school. She went to teachers, yes more then one, and was given the response, “I didn’t see it, so I can’t do anything,” more then once.




Some older boys attemped to assult a male friend of my brother’s in the boy room… my brother happened to be in the bathroom and intervened and they left the kid alone… that time. Don’t know if they ever tried again when my brother wasn’t there.




However, I do feel my education was a lot better in private school and education does matter to me. Although, as stated above, public schools make a lot of effort and accommodations for kids with learning disabilities, SE and other “issues,” behavorial or otherwise, that kids might have. Private schools are less accomodating. Their thoughts usually run along the lines of “tough.”




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