Large class sizes
One of the reasons parents send their children to private school is for the individual attention small class sizes afford. You want your child to interact with her teachers. You don't want her to end up hiding in the back of a large class room. She's in private school because she wants to learn. So do her classmates.
When you have 12-15 students in a class, you really can teach. Discussions, analysis and explanations are much easier to facilitate with a smaller group. Everybody's opinion matters. From the teacher's perspective it is much easier to assess progress when you are teaching a small group. You can make eye contact with everybody instantly and determine whether they've got it and you can move on or whether you need to go back and reteach.
Small classes play to the reality that everybody learns differently. Students receive information in different ways. They process it differently. The skilled teacher is always assessing where her students are vis-a-vis the material being covered.
The other factor which is so important for effective teaching is that the class is homogenous in the sense that the students want to learn, they are not embarrassed to excel and they...
Perhaps you are considering homeschooling. While homeschooling is doable, the onus is on you to track everything and make sure all the paperwork is completed and submitted and approved by local and state authorities. It's a lot of work. Indeed it is a full-time job. Now contrast that with the kind of life and activities which your child can have at private school:
Private schools are not covered by NCLB. Consequently they do not have to teach to the test. So how are private schools held accountable? By you their customers. Parents and students. Simply put, if you are not satisfied with the job your private school is doing, you have the freedom to withdraw your child and put her in another school.
Private schools meet or exceed state academic standards.
The curriculum which each private school uses is chosen by the school. It is not dictated by the state or some other authority. The states generally require high school graduates to have a certain number of credits in core subject areas. But how those core subjects or any other subjects are taught is entirely up to the school. (That's why it is so important for you to choose a school whose teaching...
|143 b.c.||Chengdu Shishi High School was established in China.|
|69||Quintillian founded his school of rhetoric.|
|597||The King's School, Canterbury, England was established. It has the distinction of being the oldest private school in the world still operating.|
|1628||Collegiate School was founded in Manhattan, New York, USA. It is the oldest private school in America still extant and operating.|
|1799||Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi starts a school for orphans in Burgdorf. His writings on education inspired the study of pedagogy.|
|1809||Johann Friedrich Herbart establishes pedagogy as an discipline at the university at Gottingen.|
|1837||Friedrich Froebel creates Kindergarten or the Children's Garden. Kindergarten is the traditional first year of primary or elementary education for children in the United States.|
|1848||Stephen Girard's estate establishes Girard College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for poor, white, fatherless boys.|
|1874||The German Saturday School Boston was founded thereby established the first foreign language school in the U.S.|
|1887||The will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop founds and endows the Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii. Mrs. Bishop was the last direct descendant of Hawaii's royal family. She directed that the schools educate free of charge indigenous children of the Hawaiian islands.|
|1896||John Dewey establishes The Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Illinois, and thus begins the...|
The following is quoted directly from the National Catholic Education Association's Annual Statistical Report on Schools, Enrollment and Staffing.
"U. S. Catholic school enrollment reached its peak during the early 1960s when there were more than 5.2 million students in almost thirteen thousand schools across the nation. The 1970s and 1980s saw a steep decline in both the number of schools and students. By 1990, there were approximately 2.5 million students in 8,719 schools. From the mid 1990s though 2000, there was a steady enrollment increase (1.3%) despite continued closings of schools.
Between the 2000 and the 2011 school years, 1,755 schools were reported closed or consolidated (21.5%). The number of students declined by 587,166 (22.1 %). The most seriously impacted have been elementary schools."
Personally, it saddens me to see any private school in decline. It's even worse to discover that schools have closed. But the sheer magnitude of these numbers is just plain scary. Let's examine some of the reasons why Catholic education finds itself in this state.
The economy is a major factor. The Great Recession of 2008 has cost millions of people their jobs. If parents have to struggle just to make...