Public School or Private? And why? — The Bump
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Public School or Private? And why?

I'm having a conversation with my coworker about this right now.  We (DH and I) honestly have no idea what we will do when the time arrives.

 Does anyone here have a plan?  Why are you planning on going that route?

And GO!

Re: Public School or Private? And why?

  • Our plan is to put our children in private school.  Both DH and I went to private school (me K-10, him K-8), then public school and we both agreed that our experiences in private school were much better.  Because O has NF, he has a much higher chance of having a learning disability and ADHD so we want to be sure he is in a smaller class and has consistency - going to the same school with the same kids who know his condition.  Going on my experience alone, the private school I went to paid a lot more attention to the students and cared, I had good relationships with the teachers and it was much more structured.  In public school, I was one of 450 in my class, never knew my counselor and it was completely different.
  • As a former public school teacher, I'm sure I am biased, but here are my thoughts...I think it depends on the public schools in your area. If they are good schools, then go public. If the quality of education is not good, then go private. I went to both public & private schools. The only time I was sent to private school was when we lived in a place where the public schools were terrible. FWIW, as a student I preferred public schools.

    Be sure to do a thorough check into whatever private school(s) you may be thinking of. Not in all cases, but often the quality of education in private schools is not superior to public because they don't have the same standards as public schools must meet in staffing, meeting special needs, etc. Many private schools do not require licensed teachers & may not have the resources to deal with certain needs because they are limited to a smaller staff.  Also, in my experience, private school is often just paid segregation (of class/wealth, not necessarily race). I may get flamed for the statement, but just voicing my experience. 

    Personally, I was challenged academically a lot more in public school than in private. I was a student who needed advanced classes and there weren't always the resources available in private school to meet those needs.

    Also, I'm a firm believer that school is there to teach you more than just knowledge, but social skills as well. I think public schools do a lot to prepare children socially for the real world with a wide variety of people, not kids that are just like them. I could go on & on about my opinions on one versus the other, but I think I'll just stop.

    I like the public schools where we live now, so J will go public. I will, of course, reserve the right to change my mind & opinion in the future once my child is actually in school for the best choice for us. :)

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  • Our plan is public school if we stay where we are. We're in a good area of our county, with some of the best schools around us. DH is a public school teacher, so obviously we believe in the public school system.

    There is a chance that we may move for DH to teach at a private school in a foreign country. If that were to happen, our kid(s) would go to that private school for free.

  • I'm a strong supporter of public schools.  I pretty much agree with everything BTP said.  As long as we're in an area with good public schools, that's where our kids will go.  If one of them had a special need or something, of course we'd consider other options and do what was best for him/her.  Otherwise it's public school for us.

    I also wanted to add that I think middle & upper class families pulling their kids from the public school system only contributes to the problem.  It's GOOD for kids to be in an environment where their peers are not all like them.  A little diversity never hurt anyone.  I know it's cliche, but it seems like most kids I know in private schools come across as sheltered and socially immature.  Just what I've witnessed in my personal experience.  IMO, public schools better prepare kids for the real world.

    I also think public schools are better if your child is an athlete.  Not that I expect either of my kids to become a professional athlete, but if they play sports, it's just so much more competitive in the public school system and there is alot more exposure.  Obviously not a main deciding factor, but something else to think about in addition.

     

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  • DH really wants them to go to private school.  He feels he didn't get the best education in public school and thus, he feels the girls would get a better education at private school.  I on the other hand thought I got a great education through public schools.  I think it all depends on the teachers and the resources available.  You can have good or bad teachers in both situations.  I don't think it's necessary that they go to private but DH is holding pretty firm on this one. 
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  • Well Mikey and BTP pretty much covered all that i think. My stepson is in public school and the school he is at is awesome. He has ADHD and they've done a great job at helping out in any way they can. BTP is right in saying tehre are usually more services for kids in public schools then private schools. Now if it was slated for J to go to really bad schools i may feel different but for now public it will be.
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  • imageECUGirl2004:

    There is a chance that we may move for DH to teach at a private school in a foreign country. If that were to happen, our kid(s) would go to that private school for free.

    What's this??? you may leave us.  :(  Sounds like an exciting opportunity though.  What country?

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  • Racey, we'd be moving to Singapore. I really don't want to say much more right now since this is a public board and anyone can access it. It's definitely not certain yet, but it's a real possibility.
  • I have a while to decide on schools but I personally have experienced both private/Catholic (3-10, college) and public (K-2, 11-12) and I will be looking for a private school for my children when the time comes. I did all my elementary/high school education in WA state so I can't speak for this area and I know that each state/county varies. The standards and expectations I was given in private school FAR exceeded those I had in public school. I remember my senior year in public (transferred after a move) one teacher surveyed the class wanting to know who was planning on going to college. Maybe 15 percent raised their hands and only one student beside myself was intending on enrolling in a 4yr university. I guess this would also boil down to the fact that the expectations/standards I had in private school aligned with those of my parents. It was never a question of do you want to go to college, but where. Not pushing myself and giving it my all academically wasn't an option. Another experience stands out that validates my opinion. A couple years ago I was at dinner with some friends and one girl attending I didn't know well but knew she was a public school teacher in the area. She was talking about the sexting problem they were having at her school and said that she had caught a couple students engaging in the activity in her classroom, but it was at the end of the period and "the next teacher can deal with it." She keep going on and on with stories of unruly students, how she resents them and "they can't be helped anyway." I was mortified. I couldn't believe the lack of respect coming from both teachers and students. Now, let me please say that I have friends who teach in both types of school and they are some of the most professionally passionate people I know. I would absolutely trust them in the classroom. There are bad apples wherever you go. I also know that the strengths and weaknesses of private/public schools vary by region and I don't exactly disagree with the PP who said that private school could be looked at as paid segregation in some cases... though outside of financial means, I think there's a correlation with academic values and public/private school systems. While I have a bias towards private schools I'll be looking at all my options when the time comes. I'll be looking for a safe, respectful and challenging environment where my kids will be surrounded by peers of similar values. Do I expect to find that at a private school first? Absolutely. But if that's not the case and a public school outshines my area's private school option, then I wouldn't hesitate with that decision either. I know this is a touchy subject and it was not my intention to offend anyone here. I am enjoying reading arguments from both sides!
  • Public unless there is an issue and/or our financial situation changes.  I doubt we could afford two in private. 

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  • If we have another child, both of our kids will go to public school. We have awesome schools in our area, and I wouldn't blink an eye at sending my children to most anywhere in our area. I've always been a supporter of public schools, and never had any plans to look into private schools. I went to public schools, and let's be honest...I turned out awesome. Wink

    However, in the last year or so I'll admit I've at least a slight change of heart seeing how well Holly has done in a Montessori environment. I would love to keep her in Montessori school through elementary school. There is a magnet Montessori school in the Wake County school system, but it's pretty far away from us. We probably wouldn't consider it because of that, but who knows--maybe we would once we get to that point. DH and I have also talked about how much we'd love to send her to a particular grade 6-12 private school in our area, because of the opportunities it offers it's students, and because my DH's company offers scholarships.

    However, based on cost alone, unless we find a magical money tree, that would not be an option for us if we plan to have another child. I'm pretty sure I want another (lately I think DH could be swayed either way), but if we decide that we're done with just Holly, we will strongly consider the private school option.



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  • Money is a huge factor in this for us, but even if it wasn't, C and N will both go to public school.  I have nothing at all against private school but I'm with pp when they say that there is more to be learned in public school besides academics.  In my area schools are really pretty decent.  The high school I went to is nationally ranked for academics (but this is not the school they would go to unless we move).  I am perfectly ok with the elementary school they would go to and maybe even the middle school but DH and I would love for them both to go to my high school (we definitely plan to be moved by then).  But even if we are not, I still don't think we would consider private school. 
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  • imageECUGirl2004:
    Racey, we'd be moving to Singapore. I really don't want to say much more right now since this is a public board and anyone can access it. It's definitely not certain yet, but it's a real possibility.

    Very exciting! :) 

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  • We'll either have our kids in public school, or we will home school. I'm not sure which way we'll go yet. 
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  • I agree with BackthePack's 1st/2nd/4th/5th paragraphs as well as mrsmikey's 1st/2nd paragraphs.  I actually have exact opposite experiences from their 3rd paragraphs, but their main points of the other paragraphs I agree with completely.

    I think it not only depends a lot on the public schools as pps have mentioned but also on the specific private schools that one is considering.  I went to public school from K-5 and private from 6-12, and I only switched because the specific private school was so amazing and I got in.  It wasn't to get out of the public system at all -- they were great schools too.

    I'm a big believer in public schools, and I'd have to be really convinced that the private school was a much better fit to send my girls to private school.  There are two private schools here that I adore as far as fit (one is a Montessori just like Kira goes to now, and one has many similar qualities and I very much respect their programs), but I'm not sold, at least not yet, especially for elementary grades when I'm a sucker for the social skills (especially as it relates to diversity) learned in public school.

    As long as I'm dittoing, ditto the first half of mualamonica's second sentence too. ;)

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  • I have also had exp. with both and I honestly just think it depends on the schools themselves vs. whether they are public or private.  We sent Chloe to a private school for a few years and we had a HORRID experience there. The public school she is going to now is a magnet school and we LOVE it.

    That said, if we stay in the same house we live in now and if we can swing it, we will be sending Keira and Callie to a private school. (They can't go to the same school as Chloe--we live in a different city.  We were lucky to have a choice for her school since we have 2 main addresses for her  and 2 different districts to choose from.) The public schools in our county are not good at all and we would definitely go private because of that.

    If we move, there is a good chance they will end up at the same public school we are sending Chloe because it's one of the top rated schools in the state. 

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  • imageBackthePack:

    As a former public school teacher, I'm sure I am biased, but here are my thoughts...I think it depends on the public schools in your area. If they are good schools, then go public. If the quality of education is not good, then go private. I went to both public & private schools. The only time I was sent to private school was when we lived in a place where the public schools were terrible.

    B

     

    All of this, except that I am not a former public school teacher. I went to both public & private schools.

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  • imageraceyrae:

    imageECUGirl2004:
    Racey, we'd be moving to Singapore. I really don't want to say much more right now since this is a public board and anyone can access it. It's definitely not certain yet, but it's a real possibility.

    Very exciting! :) 

    I have a friend who has made a career out of teaching in international schools (she's now in India), and all of the schools where she's taught have been excellent! And if your child(ren) can go for free? Awesome!

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  • What is a magnet school?
  • Obviously we don't have any kids yet, but I am a public school teacher and I will take our children to whatever school I'm working at.  I teach in Durham and I love the school I work at.

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  • I pretty much agree with everything BTP & Mikey said. I went to both private and public. The only reason I ended up in private was b/c the middle school (for my address) was terrible. That would be the only reason I would put my kid in private school. I'm a big proponent for public schools. Socially, you just don't get the best experience in a private school. Not to mention the diversity. Additionally, I really didn't feel like I got much out of the education there. When I transferred to a public high school, the curriculums were totally different and I had to play catch up. Basically the private school taught whatever they wanted to in whatever order...not the standard that the state uses. There were also not as many elective options as you would get in a public school. As far as athletics, you get a better experience in public schools as well-more visibility and more options.

    @mualamonica: I know you had that experience in WA but I went to public school in this area (Triangle) and the big push in high school in this area was where were you going to college and what do you want to do. We planned our classes that we took based on what we planned to major in/do so that we had the best chance of getting where we wanted to go (both academically and professionally). Most of the kids that went to the private school with me either really excelled after graduation (college degree, good job-like <5%) or stayed at home and didn't know what they wanted to do (majority). Not that there is anything wrong with that (hell, my husband was the same way), but I felt the school gave them no direction/advisement on what to do after graduation. So I think it just all depends on the school....not always a private vs public issue.

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  • Very interesting points ladies!  Obviously, I'm still not sure what we will do.  We aren't leaning either way at this point because we have quite a few years.

    This definitely provided some interesting insight.  Thanks!

  • imageECUPirate04:

    Very interesting points ladies!  Obviously, I'm still not sure what we will do.  We aren't leaning either way at this point because we have quite a few years.

    This definitely provided some interesting insight.  Thanks!

    Are you in Greenville? 

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  • Not at the present moment :)  We don't live there however we visit often.
  • imagejenwill:

    I pretty much agree with everything BTP & Mikey said. I went to both private and public. The only reason I ended up in private was b/c the middle school (for my address) was terrible. That would be the only reason I would put my kid in private school. I'm a big proponent for public schools. Socially, you just don't get the best experience in a private school. Not to mention the diversity. Additionally, I really didn't feel like I got much out of the education there. When I transferred to a public high school, the curriculums were totally different and I had to play catch up. Basically the private school taught whatever they wanted to in whatever order...not the standard that the state uses. There were also not as many elective options as you would get in a public school. As far as athletics, you get a better experience in public schools as well-more visibility and more options.

    @mualamonica: I know you had that experience in WA but I went to public school in this area (Triangle) and the big push in high school in this area was where were you going to college and what do you want to do. We planned our classes that we took based on what we planned to major in/do so that we had the best chance of getting where we wanted to go (both academically and professionally). Most of the kids that went to the private school with me either really excelled after graduation (college degree, good job-like <5%) or stayed at home and didn't know what they wanted to do (majority). Not that there is anything wrong with that (hell, my husband was the same way), but I felt the school gave them no direction/advisement on what to do after graduation. So I think it just all depends on the school....not always a private vs public issue.

     

    I'm surprised at the percent of private high school grads that were so lost after graduation! There definitely is a huge spread in what different areas offer w/schools.  When my husband and I were buying our house we wanted to spend more money to be in Wake county (we were considering a house in Harnett) so that we could have the option of Wake county schools, and also knowing that'd be a great re-sell point.

     

    Being new to the area and completely new to the South, I wonder if the private school thing takes on a different culture down here?  There are as many churches here are there are Starbucks in Seattle!! In looking for daycares I noticed that nearly every place of worship also has their own school attached/associated with it.  Comments about a lack of diversity and curriculum are a little shocking to me but I can see how that would be if a family is involved in their church and their kids go to that associated school with their church friends.  I could be completely off, but it's an interesting connection and makes sense to me.  My experience in WA was definitely different!  

  • imagemualamonica:
    What is a magnet school?

    A magnet school is usually a school run by the public school district that has a selective enrollment process and perhaps a specialty of some kind.  There are different levels of competition - some require you to test in, some have lotteries, and depending on the focus of the school that test might be different.  In Charlotte I know there is a magnet tailored to performance arts, one tailored to  STEM education, I think there's a Montessori, and several language academies with immersion programs.   So I'm guessing to get into the arts school your kid would have to show some kind of arts proficiency, for the STEM school some kind of math proficiency, etc. 

    Magnet schools are also usually open to anyone in the district as far as living requirements, and if your kid gets in it will offer transportation to the school.

    If I can get my kid into a good magnet he will definitely go there.   Private school is really a last resort for me.

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  • imagemualamonica:
    There are as many churches here are there are Starbucks in Seattle!!

    Having been born and raised there and having lived here since college, I had to laugh!!!  Stick out tongue

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