Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Private Schools ARE Better Than Public

Many people make the argument about the superiority of a private education to that of a public education. Well, I am going to go out on a limb and AGREE with those people. Indeed, many private schools do outperform public schools. Furthermore, many private schools also outperform public schools while doing it for less money. However, here are some advantages private schools have over public schools. I waste spend time defending public education on my local media's websites from time to time, and I do not believe I've received any responses to these arguments, especially the first one.

  • Private schools have admissions offices. Private schools do not take all interested students. The admissions offices are not there to provide orientation services or to provide parents with enrollment paperwork once they show interest in sending their child to the school. They are there to screen and test students to make sure they fit the school's academic standards. 
  • Private schools can dismiss students very easily. Private schools can suspend or kick out students who do not perform academically or behaviorally without too much hassle. This allows the school to maximize the educational experience of those students who are making good choices and whose families stay in line with the school's vision. Students in public school are given due process rights that they are not necessarily provided by a private entity. Many of the public schools in the wealthier neighborhoods have plenty of students who were kicked out of a private school at some point in time.
  • Paying for a product or service causes the user to value it more. Though it is not true that all people who receive free items or services waste the resources, I am a firm believer that people tend to take better care of things in which they have made some sort of personal investment. You're going to take better care of the car you bought and are insuring yourself more than the car that was given to you and insured on your parents' policy as a teenager or college student. Those parents are not putting out $15,000-$25,000 per year in private tuition for their child to get an inferior education. Those tuition rates do give the parents the responsibility of making sure the school is performing well, but equally high expectations are placed on the child. 
  • Private schools aren't beholden to state mandates. Private schools do not have to administer the state exam (FCAT in Florida), submit to the school grading system, use textbooks form the state approved list, comply with the new evaluation system that bases teacher performance on tests scores, etc., even if they are receiving state money through the voucher program. I believe that many of these policies play a role in the current state of education. If these reform practices were so great, private schools would be jumping on board to implement them. They are not doing that. 
These are some of the advantages that private schools have over public schools. No wonder they perform better...

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