Forgot your password?

Public Versus Private Schools in the US

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Private School Versus Public School Debate

Differences in Terms of Teachers

The teacher's qualifications differ in private and public schools. This difference is based on the qualification standards that are required by both public and private schools.In public institutions, the teachers are required to be qualified with a bachelor’s degree and some other form of federal qualification.This is not so much a high requirement and therefore most people who have these qualifications will fit comfortably.

Private institutions on the other hand are at liberty to dictate their own standards for their teachers and they may require a higher level of qualifications such as Second degrees and higher level awards. This in itself is a sifting qualification and only the teachers who hold it stand at an advantage. This factor alone also mirrors the quality of education that students in each cadre of schools will receive owing to the qualifications that their teachers hold.

 Which of the Schools Offers Better Education

Generally, it is viewed that the quality of education in private schools is better than that in public . There are various factors that determine the quality of education. Key to the factors is the class size. Class size is important because it determines the teacher-student ratio and therefore consequently determining the level at which the teachers will interact with their students.

In a small class, the interaction is increased leading to more teacher-student consultation sessions and therefore better understanding of the subject of study. On the other hand, a large class means that the interaction will be to a minimal since the teacher has to cater for all the students and therefore not all the students concerns will be addressed.  Due to the low cost associated with private schools, there is more overcrowding of students than in private schools. This means therefore that in public schools there is a big teacher-student ratio and therefore education quality is compromised.

Difference in Curriculum for Private and Public Schools

Public schools are funded by the government and therefore are subject to the limitations imposed by the government. The  curriculum is among these limitations and should be adhered to as dictated by the state. Private institutions on the other hand do not use government funds and even where they get some funding, they tend to get very minimal funding. This means that they are at liberty to develop their own curriculum. The only test the curriculum for private schools is subjected to is that; the parents should be able to agree with the intellectual and philosophical basis which are incorporated in the curriculum.

This lack of interference from the government is of great importance since the school is allowed the discretion to use experts who are able to discern the specific intellectual needs of the specific bunch of students and how to meet those needs within the curriculum. Since the students within the private schools are drawn from a similar pool, it is easy to identify and  merge their academic needs.

On the other hand, public schools do not enjoy this kind of freedom. They are fully sponsored by the government and they must adhere to the strict restriction that the government puts on them even in terms of curriculum. They draw from a large pool of students with totally different academic needs, ideologies, discipline, religious affiliations and philosophical beliefs. Since the government is all inclusive, it is important that the  curriculum mirrors this inclusivity to avoid a situation in which the students may feel discriminated upon. The effect is that the curriculum brings discord while trying to cater for the various needs and the reality is that none of the students needs will be fully met. Most diversified needs will be met but they will be met half way. This then translates to the quality of education and is seen as to compromise it.

Socialization of Students in Public versus Private Schools

The decision between public and private schools is in most cases not a game of dollars neither is it a game of quality education but a game of social class. Studies have shown that when most parents choose to take their children to private schools, it is out of a desire to give their children a specific peer group based on social class, discipline, religious background or philosophical beliefs. This is because in private schools the teachers reserve the rights to expel students who do not adhere to specific rules as opposed to private schools where such right is not very apparent.  

Differences Between Public and Private Universities

This has also translated the quality of education in higher learning institutions and it is seen that the private colleges and universities produce higher quality graduates than the private institutions. Undeniably, the students who can afford private higher education are those from well off families and therefore at the end of the day, it translates to social class and the concept of social immobility.

Therefore, the success rate is higher in graduates from private colleges than that of public colleges. It has however been argued in recent studies that the success rates have no bearing on the quality of education offered. The quality is the same in both private and public universities . The results may be due to other factors including the social background of the students in the different institutions and their ability to afford and obtain education without much strain. unlike those in public universities who are sometimes forced by circumstances to indulge in work-study programs in order to support their education, those in private institutions are fully supported by their parents and have ample time to concentrate on studies. But at the end of the day, this is a subject of debate that requires intensive studies and analysis.

Differences in students who have a jail or troubled records

Private schools dictate the type of students whom they admit and they are also at liberty to dictate the disciplinary and the religious standards to be adhered to. They also reserve the right to expel students who display a deviant behavior and therefore students with jail records are fewer in private schools. Public schools on the other hand cannot control admission neither do they have the right to suspend or dismiss students at will. Therefore the number of students with troubled records tend to be higher in the public institutions.

Recognition of State Rewards or Accomplishments 

There is also a variance on the degree to which the state recognizes achievements in public and private schools. The government has less power in the affairs of private schools and therefore does not involve itself frequently in the day to day running of the private institutions. This is different from public schools in which the government has more control over and is aware of the day to day happenings in the management of the school.

The state requirements are more enforced in public schools and are rarely enforced in private learning institutions. The curriculum in public schools is mandated by the government and thus it may be justifiable why the government will naturally show much involvement in the academic achievements of public schools than private schools.Since private schools develop their own curriculum, the state is less interested in their achievements and therefore there is less recognition of the same. They even have their own tests while the public schools are subject to state tests.


 Overall  Best Choice to a Student

At the end of the day, the conclusion that most studies seem to agree to is the fact that the quality of education in private schools seems to be better than that in public schools and the contributing factors are the ability to develop their own curriculum, ability to regulate the manner of students intake, ability to decide on the caliber of teachers to hire and basically just the discretion to decide how to regulate their academic conduct. Public schools are associated with the major advantage of low costs but the type of education that one acquires is compromised and therefore the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. For those who can afford it therefore, education in private schools has proven to be of a higher quality than that in public schools.

Why Private Schools Should be Free Like Public Schools

There is an ongoing debate that the private schools should be free like the public schools. This is a way of creating equality and removing discrimination in that children will not be confined to one type of a schools based purely on the costs involved. While this is a good underlying philosophy, maybe the debate should focus on the base of the costs and the reason why one school cost more than the other. Public schools are free since they are sponsored by the government using taxes. There is therefore no need for parents in public schools to bother with tuition fee and other fees such as activity fee and the like. Private school on the other hand cannot afford to cater for the student’s tuition fee since they do not have sponsorship and therefore this burden lies squarely o the administration. To afford this, the administration transfers the same burden to the parents and they are therefore meant to pay for this in terms of school fees.

The truth of the matter is that, it is the cost that is paid by the parents that allows a private school to run. Without these costs, then the private school cannot sustain itself and therefore will be forced to rely on the government for funding. Doing so will mean that the government will assume control and that they will be subject to all the government restrictions including the curriculom and the tests as well as the students intake. The effect of this is to convert the school to a public one and therefore there cannot be a private school without the costs that are involved.



Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Lifestyle