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:
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Directories
A list of directories of private and independent schools.
What is the difference between a private school association and a directory? Associations are an affinity group, i.e., a group of private schools. A directory is listings compiled by a commercial or other entity. Several of these directories are very useful for finding out local knowledge. These helpful guides are usually written by a local expert who lives and works in the area. They will help you fill in a lot of blanks as you do your due diligence on schools in their area.
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Regional Associations
Some states do not have their own private school associations. Schools band together across state lines forming regional associations. These associations have the same purpose as state associations. More here.
Some states do not have their own private school associations. Schools band together across state lines forming regional associations. These associations have the same purpose as state and national associations which is promote private schools and to share latest and best practices. Also included are several associations in major metropolitan areas.
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State Associations
Do the schools you are researching belong to state independent school associations? If not, find out why not!
Most private schools belong to state associations. Besides the 'strength in numbers' which benefits them in state and local issues, schools learn from each other through seminars, workshops and conferences. State associations often provide listings of open houses and employment opportunities. Find out whether the schools in which you are interested belong.
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National Associations
As you research schools, check the national and state associations. Is the school you are considering a member? If not, why not?
Most private schools will claim to be a member of several national associations. These links will help you do your own due diligence to confirm that claim. They are also very useful for finding a specific kind of school in your area. Schools which are members of national associations inspire confidence because they are privy to the latest and best in private education.
 
This short video featuring a prominent private school head of school illustrates the purpose of private school education.
 
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What's a Private School?
Private K-12 schools are non-public schools. In other words, they are not part of the public K-12 education system. A brief history of K-12 education in the 17th and 18th centuries and more.

Private K-12 schools are non-public schools. In other words, they are not part of the public K-12 education system.  While private schools are regulated in the same way most businesses are with respect to safety, zoning and registration, they are not required to do many of the things public schools must do such as state testing and accepting any student who applies.

First, let's take a quick look at the history of K-12 education in the United States of America. What were the first colonists were up against as far as education was concerned? The challenges were enormous simply because there was nothing here. Native Americans did not have school buildings. They educated their offspring in their natural surroundings. The colonists, on the other hand, had left a country with an organized educational system. For example, King's School, Canterbury, opened its doors in 597. In the Middle Ages, the kings and queens of England established schools and universities to educate young men. In most cases, these educational establishments were founded to educate and train clergy, judges, and other public officials. Edward VI set up free grammar schools which were open to all, regardless of religious beliefs or ability to pay. Many of the great cathedrals and abbeys had choir schools where they provided for the education of boys.

Leaving a country with a long history of education, the earliest settlers in America arrived here in the early part of the 17th century and very quickly and resolutely set about providing schools.

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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.