Why Private School

A comprehensive look at private schools and why they might be right for your child. Explore the history of private school education, weigh the pros and cons of public vs. private school, and get valuable advice on making the best choice for your child. Learn more about the various types of private schools from military to progressive and review directories from a variety of resources including private school associations and offline publications.
View the most popular articles in Why Private School:
Private schools are generally set up in one of two ways: as for profit entities or not for profit (nonprofit) entities. The for profit version is typically used by either a corporation or a private individual in order to make a profit but not be eligible for contributions which are tax-deductible to the extent provided for by law. Not for profit status is what most private schools chose to organize under so that they may make money but also receive contributions which are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.  
 
What then are the advantages and/or disadvantages of a for profit versus a not for profit school? Is one kind of school better than the other?
 
For Profit Schools
 
The way in which a for profit school is set up is to allow it to be controlled by an owner. That owner could be an individual or group of individuals as is often the case with many pre-schools and some elementary schools. Another form of ownership is a corporation. This often is a corporation owned an operated by a group of local individuals. More typically, for profit private schools are owned by a corporation which has schools in several locations. For profit schools are usually in business to make money or turn a profit. They pay taxes on those profits. Parents pay for the school's services just as though they were customers. Examples of this sort of school include Le Rosey in Switzerland, Sylvan Learning Centers, the Nobel Schools, as well . . .read more
Christian schools as a genre have been around since the 1950's. Recently a subset of Christian schools known as classical Christian schools has become popular. This seems to have come about because standards in public education have steadily fallen. Many parents simply will not tolerate shoddy disciplinary standards, sloppy dress codes, violence in our schools and underachievement and low expectations. As a result they start their own schools.

A classical Christian school proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It also adheres to the principles of a classical education as set out by educators such Dorothy Sayers, John Milton Gregory, St. Augustine and Douglas Wilson. Parents and students enroll in a classical school because they too embrace the mission and teachings of the school. Teachers are required to sign a statement of belief as well. The result is a school community which is tightly focussed on its aims and objectives. Put another way, if you cannot subscribe to these beliefs, then you need to look elsewhere for your child's education if you are a parent.

You won't find computers and fancy technology being used in classical Christian schools. They use the trivium (grammar, rhetoric and logic). A classical Christian school seeks to produce excellent students well-schooled in their faith.

 

There are a lot of misconceptions about private schools. This is probably because private schools are indeed private. But unfortunately it has more to do with the reality that many journalists do not understand private schools. On the couple of occasions when I have been interviewed about private schools the interviewers asked very pointed questions designed to support their preconceived notions that private schools were only for rich kids or kids with issues. They were always surprised when I refuted those kinds of leading questions with facts. With that experience in mind here are some common myths together with the reasons why they are simply that: myths.
 
Myth #10: Private school teachers make less than public school teachers.
 
Not true. This might have been the case years ago. Private school teachers are not unionized. However, they do enjoy some perks public school teachers do not have such as housing, meals and reduced or free tuition for their children. But, as a rule, compensation is about the same in both sectors. The real disparity seems to occur within private schools themselves. For example, most parochial or religious schools tend to offer compensation which is on the low end of the scale.
 
Administrators are not unionized either. Deans, admissions directors, development directors, business officers and heads of school are generally paid competitively. You can research the facts by examining not for profit schools' Form 990 which has to be filed annually.
 
Myth #9: Private schools are for rich kids or kids with behavior problems.
 
Many private . . .read more
The Seattle area is home to many fine private schools as well as to major companies such as Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks.

 

Photo by Bina SvedaThe historic metropolitan Boston area offers a wide range of academic and cultural activities. Just as impressive is the area's selection of private schools which cater to almost every need.
 
A fine transportation network and the fact that the Big Dig is finally finished make Boston a wonderful place in which to live and go to school. After graduation, there are thirty-seven colleges and universities to choose from. Head north a few hours and you will find excellent skiing in the winter and a host of recreational activities in the summer. Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard to the east and south are treasures in their own right. Boston's accommodations and restaurants are decidely world-class. Perhaps one of these fine schools should be on your short list.
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Why Private School

About Private Schools

An in depth look at private schools, including history, a comparison to public education, and a glimpse of what's being taught. Learn about the benefits of attending private school, to both students and parents. Explore private schools options when living abroad, and debunk many of the myths regarding private school education.

Kinds of Schools

Private schools are just as varied as public schools. From Catholic to progressive, military to special needs, private schools offer a lot of options. Take a comprehensive look into the many types of private schools, weigh the pros and cons of each, and get helpful tips on choosing one that works best for your child.

School Life

Get a glimpse of private school life. Here you'll find a survival guide for parents, brush up on terms and jargon, and learn why extracurricular activities are so important.

Directories

We offer several directories to aid in your choice of a private school. Included are quick links to national, regional and state associations, a list of offline resources to aid in our decision, and local school directories for several metropolitan areas.