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:
Updated May 26, 2016 |
Why You Won't Find Cheating in Private Schools
Strict codes of conduct are one reason why cheating in private schools is not a major issue. Not teaching to the test is another.

"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

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Updated May 25, 2017 |
A Timeline of Private School Events and History
What was the first private school? What's the oldest school? What are some of the educational philosophies commonly found? Some answers here.

You would think that education in the United States has been public since colonial days. But that is not the case. The earliest schools were private and religious schools. Only in the mid 19th century did governments begin to compel children to attend K-12 public schools. Here then is a brief timeline of private K-12 education through the years.

143 b.c.Chengdu Shishi High School was established in China.
69Marcus Fabius Quintillianus founded his school of rhetoric in Rome, Italy. Quintillian was a native of Caligurris in Hispania. Among his pupils were Pliny the Younger and the historian Tacitus. Quintillian wrote a 12 volume treatise on rhetoric, Institutio Oratoria, which is considered even in modern times a foundational document on education.
597The King's School, Canterbury, England was established. It has the distinction of being the oldest private school in the world still operating.
1441King's College Choir School, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was founded by King Henry VI for the purpose of educating the boy choristers of the King's College Chapel Choir. The Choir School has been in more or less continuous existence ever since.
1572Harrow, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex, United Kingdom, opens. The rivalry between Eton and Harrow is rather like that between Exeter and Andover. Perhaps it's best just to say that the four schools represent the acme of boarding schools and leave it at that. Queen Elizabeth granted the charter to a farmer to establish this school in the 16th century. Stuffy and
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Updated April 06, 2016 |
What's Happened to Catholic Education?
Schools are closing. Student populations declining. Why? Here are some answers.

The purpose of this article is not to cast blame. Instead, I want to highlight the disturbing trend which many of us have heard and read about, namely, that enrollment in American Catholic schools has declined severely over the past 50 years.
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."

This short video gives us an overview of the issue.


Personally, it saddens me to see any private school in decline. It is 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
The economy has been a major factor in the decline of the number

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Updated May 26, 2016 |
5 Things Every Parent Should Do
Every private school parent is encouraged to help the school in whatever way he can. Here are some things you can do to make a contribution to your school.
If you are new to the school where you child has just been accepted, you may think that the school functions like a well-oiled machine with little help from outside. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your help and support as a parent is essential and, indeed, expected. Let's look at some ways in which we parents can contribute time, talent and treasure to our children's schools.
1. Support your school financially.
Depending on where you live and what your schedule is like , supporting the school financially may be all that you can do. If you have the means to make a significant gift, then contact the development office to see how best to use your munificence. Leadership gifts are critical to any school's fund raising success. In any case give what you can. Gifts from parents are an important source of funding for most private schools.
2. Be a class parent.
Primary schools in particular will appreciate help with all sorts of things. You will be worth your weight in gold if you are the kind of parent who simply does what she is asked to do faithfully and without interfering with the teacher or children. Communicating with the other parents and getting them organized to do whatever the class needs done is part of the role of the ideal class parent. Chaperoning field trips and walks might also be part of your volunteer work. Class parents are especially important these days because so many parents work. If you can
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Updated March 29, 2016 |
Being an Expat and Educating Your Children Abroad
If you have the chance to move overseas, don't worry about educating your children. You have several options.

"Honey! They want me to run the Berlin office. It's a great promotion. They want us there in two months." After congratulating your wife on her thrilling new assignment, reality sets in as you wonder what you will do about your children's education. Will they be able to attend a school with classes taught in English? Will the curriculum follow American standards or foreign ones?

Relax. Your wife's overseas assignment has many perks, one of which is that her employer will pay for your children's educational expenses at a private school while you are abroad. Your children will be taught in English to international standards. Of course, if you prefer to have them attend schools where they will be taught in a foreign language, that will be an option. Most expats keep things simple and have their children attend international schools with classes mostly in English. Let's explore what's involved in educating your children overseas.

International Schools

You can find international schools in just about every major city outside the United States. International schools are schools which offer instruction in English, as well as the usual kind of college preparatory curriculum you would expect to find in an American high school, public or private.  International schools offer Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate programs. This video offers us a glimpse of what the Berlin Brandenburg International School offers.

In many major cities which have a lot of Americans, you will even find so-called American schools.

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Recent Articles
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Shootings, terrorist attacks, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, fire, and more are sadly commonplace happenings in the 21st-century. How prepared for the unthinkable is your school?
February 21, 2018
Raising children involves constant attention to their development and progress. Identifying learning disabilities must be part of your plan.
February 19, 2018
Think of the school search process as a series of checkpoints, each of which has a due date. We show you when to do the various items in the search process.
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.


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.