Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Public or Private?

Should you send your kids to public or private school? This is a tough question. I remember public schools were shun by my friends who went to private schools. Maybe this was the case because they knew that my parents were poor and had no choice but to send me to a public school. Actually, I did very well in school. I was in a high reading group and for about a year in gifted and talented. I was also placed in gifted and talented for music since I played the clarinet. High school was a different story. I decided to rebel and didn't care about school. Then I realized I was only hurting myself once I became older and began going to college. I graduated Cum Laude from school.

My friends who went to private school did well for themselves, too. So the question comes which is better? I ran across an article in Yahoo that states that public schools outperform private schools when socioeconomic status is taken into account. I guess it depends on what kind of private school you go to. The private school I teach at in no way shape or form compares to the schools I went to. My children would not for the life of me go to the school I teach at. But I'm being biased.

What I believe it comes down to is the parents doing the homework. First of all you can't automatically assume because it's private that your child is getting a better education than he or she would at a public school. You have to remember that public schools run many types of tests on children to make sure that he or she will succeed in the environment he or she is placed in. Chances are if you're not allowed inside the school, your child will not learn much (as is the case in many private schools). If your child is falling behind at a public school, you will be notified. This is not the case in some private schools.

You have to see what kind of programs the private school offers. Do they provide counseling for the students? Is tutoring offered? Are there music classes, arts and crafts, and clubs? These are all very important. Always listen to what your child is saying about the school. Kids like to talk and they will talk about anything. You just have to listen. I find out more about home life than I would care to know. I don't even ask.

I know I sound as if I am against private schools, which I kind of am. That said I cannot say that every private school is horrible because I'm sure there are great ones out there. My concern is that people usually assume that a private school is far better than a public school, which of course is not always the case. So, do your homework. Find out what kind of schools are available where you live. Or if your planning to move, always find out how the schools are in the area you're moving to.

I made the mistake of not finding out about schools in Miami. The fact is that most of the schools don't do as well, private or public. There are A+ schools available so it's not hopeless. Dan and I haven't been concerned about schools in reality because we don't have any children. Now that we're getting older we have to worry about this type of stuff. Within the next couple of years we will be having children. So we have to start concerning ourselves over the kind of schools will be best for our children.


Anonymous said...

Hey check out www.greatschools.net I've spent LOTS of time on that site during my home search. Salo.

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