Do you have a child entering school? How about a student in school who is struggling? To give your child the best chance at academic success, you need to know the difference between private and public schools.
Knowing how the two differ can help you decide which environment is best for your child. Then, you can watch them grow as a student and person.
Keep reading to learn more.
One of the most significant differences between private and public schools is teacher certification. Public school teachers have to have state certification to get and keep their jobs.
However, private schools can choose to require certification or not. Some private school teachers have gone through certification. But some teachers may have a degree in the field that they teach without a teaching degree.
This doesn’t mean that public or private school teachers are better or worse. Private school teachers can be just as good at teaching even without state certification.
Anyone can attend public school without having to do anything. That means some public school students don’t care about school or doing their homework.
One of the benefits of private school for students is that there’s a strict admissions process. Students usually have to have a certain GPA, and they may need to interview with the school.
Because of this, private school students may have more motivation to succeed once they enter the school. Having other motivated students around can help maintain that for your student.
Speaking of admissions, that’s another big difference between private and public schools. While the exact admissions process can vary from private school to private school, it’s there.
A private school can choose not to admit a student that doesn’t perform well academically or that otherwise isn’t a good fit. However, public schools generally have to admit every student.
The main exception to this is charter schools, which are public but may have a lottery system. Royal Public Schools is an example of a public charter school.
Cost to Attend
One of the benefits of public school is that it’s much more affordable than private school. While public school students may need to pay for school supplies and certain fees, that’s about it.
However, private schools can charge thousands of dollars per year in tuition. Tuition is essential for private schools because they don’t receive as much outside funding.
Now, some private schools will offer scholarships to help students whose families can’t afford the tuition. But the school will still need to make up that cost with donors or other funding options.
Private and public schools can have student diversity, but the source is different. Public schools generally admit students from the same neighborhood or city.
In some cases, they can have students from all socioeconomic statuses. However, a smaller public school may not have this diversity.
Because private schools don’t rely on a student’s residence, they can have more diversity. A private school in a city may attract students from all over the area, allowing for more diversity in that way.
One of the benefits of private school for students is that they can access smaller class sizes. Private schools almost always have fewer students than public schools.
Even if there are fewer teachers at the private school, the school can offer smaller classes to students. That way, students can receive more attention from teachers to succeed.
Public schools can offer smaller classes, especially through offering advanced placement (AP) courses in high school. However, it can be hard to offer a lot of small classes.
The available classes can also differ between private and public schools. A private school doesn’t have to follow state curriculum, so students can access more specialized classes in the arts or STEM fields.
Some private schools specialize in these areas, such as performing arts. That allows the school to outline the entire curriculum based on the students’ interests in certain subjects.
On the other hand, a larger public school may be able to offer more classes in terms of volume. Private school teachers may not be able to teach as many subjects to their students.
Many private schools follow a college preparatory curriculum, so they can prepare students to further their education. This can be great for students who know they want to go to college.
Public schools can also offer college preparation, but it can be more difficult. Having to teach more students makes it difficult for teachers to prepare their students for college life.
If you want your child to have college preparation help, ask the school directly. Then, you can make sure there are enough resources for your child to succeed.
Since a private school has fewer students, that means there’s less competition to take a leadership role in clubs or classes. Being a leader during high school can help a student prepare for college and their career.
Students can join a club and become president, vice president, or secretary. In some cases, a student may even be able to start a club if what they want doesn’t exist.
Public schools also have leadership opportunities, but they may be more competitive. Students may not have a chance to be a leader until their last year at the school.
Other Student Opportunities
One of the benefits of public school that comes from the larger size is access to more activities. While a student may not hold a leadership position, they can usually participate in different things.
A public school may have sports, music ensembles, art classes, and theatre productions. Private schools may also have these things, but there might be fewer options.
For example, a private school may only have one team for each sport, instead of a varsity and junior varsity team.
The Difference Between Private and Public Schools
When deciding where to send your child for their primary and secondary education, you have a lot to consider. The difference between private and public schools is one of those factors.
While some students can succeed in a traditional public school, others can benefit from the smaller environment of a private school or charter school.
Consider these differences to help figure out where your child can do their best.
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