"Everybody does it." Sadly that excuse is one of several reasons why there is so much cheating in America's high schools. Children learn by example. When they see adults cheating, they assume that there is nothing wrong with cheating. Adults cheat for a variety of reasons although I suspect that expediency probably tops the list of reasons why. Students seem to cheat because they are under tremendous pressure to be successful. Getting the best marks constantly so that Ivy League colleges will accept them has been many students' mantra ever since they could remember. We parents are to blame for putting that kind of pressure on our kids.
Michael Winerip's article on the cheating scandal in Philadelphia public schools underscores one of the intrinsic differences between public and private schools. Private schools do not have to teach to the test. Public schools do. That is as a result of The No Child Left Behind legislation which required that minimum test scores be attained, among other requirements. The consequences for not achieving the benchmarks are serious. The net result is that some unethical teachers and administrators are alleged to have cooked the books in the Philadelphia schools. And they got caught. A similar situation occurred in Atlanta's public schools with several educators jailed for their role in a wide-spread cheating scandal.
Private schools are not covered by NCLB or its replacement legislation the Every Student Succeeds Act. Consequently private schools do not
|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|
International schools can be found in just about every major city outside the United States. These are schools which offer instruction in English as well as the usual kind of college preparatory curriculum you'd expect to find in an American high school, public or private. Advanced Placement courses or International Baccalaureate programs will generally be available.
In many major cities which have a lot of Americans you will even find so-called American schools. Your children will almost feel as though you never left home. Whether you choose to expose your children to a true international school with children from all over the world as well as a few local children or decide that sticking with an American school is best is a decision you will have to make based on what you feel is best for your children.
There are several sites you can use to research schools. For example, using our hypothetical transfer to Berlin, a search of the Council on
|Private Schools||Public Schools|
|Administration||Local school support staff manage the day to day operations.||Local school and district layers of administrative staff support the day to day operations.|
|Admissions||Selective. Students must meet whatever admissions standards are set.||Students must meet residency and age requirements. Students are admitted without regard to academic ability.|
|Arts||All kinds of arts programs are essential in a private school education. Orchestras, bands and choirs are part of the performing arts offerings. Fine arts and theater are also part of the program.||Arts programs are generally considered extras in a public school budget. They are usually the first area of expense to be cut when savings must be found.|
|Class Size||Private schools generally have small classes with 12-15 students the norm.||Depending on the staffing in a local school public schools can have as many as 25-35 students per class.|
|Curriculum||Private schools teach the subjects they wish to teach as well as meeting the state minimums. They use a variety of assessment methods to determine how a child is performing.||Public schools must teach what|