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.
View the most popular articles in About Private Schools:
Updated   May 25, 2016 |
5 Things Not To Like About Private School
What are the five things critics like the least about private schools? Start with the fact that everybody who goes to private school is rich. Or are they?
When critics inveigh against private schools, they tend to pick on issues such as the following.
 
Everybody's Rich
 
 Actually if you look at the beginnings of most private schools, you will discover that their original clientele were not children from wealthy families. Many of the founders of schools back in colonial times - the Phillips family, for example - saw education as the way forward for the infant democracy which was the United States. In order for the nation to survive it needed a literate, educated, proficient population. European crusaders like Dr. Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner - the founder of the Waldorf Schools movement - began their work among the poor and working classes. Their teachings captured the imagination of American middle and upper classes when their movements spread to the United States.
 
Over time as the schools expanded, they became highly prized for what they accomplished so very well, namely providing an excellent academic education, combined with sports and solid core values. Market forces conspired to drive the cost of education up. Social forces conspired to make private schools the place where the elite sent their children. In the 21st century egalitarian ideas once more have the upper hand. Private schools seek out and encourage applicants from every social and economic strata. Diversity rules. Not everybody who attends private school is rich.
 
Compulsory Sports
 
What's not to like about sports? Schooling throughout the centuries has always had a physical education component. Think Olympics. The ancient Romans had their ludi or games. You
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Updated   June 10, 2016 |
Why Do Private Schools Not Have To Teach To The Test?
Private schools don't have to teach to the test because they do not accept public funds.
One of the most compelling arguments for private education has to do with curriculum. Because very few private schools accept public funds, they are not required to comply with federal and state rules and reguations regading what is taught. In other words, they do not have to teach to the test. George Bush's No Child Left Behind does not apply to private schools.
 
Private schools use a variety of curricula according to their mission and needs. For example, a Jewish day school will blend Judaic studies in with a core curriculum designed to accomplish two things: to raise observant Jews who are well-schooled in their religion as well as producing well-prepared matriculants ready for the rigors of a college education.

A Classical Christian education will emphasize traditional subjects such as rhetoric.It  will also infuse every aspect of its teaching with evangelistic fire and purpose. Religion in a Classical Christian school is not an option any more than it is in a Muslim or Jewish or Roman Catholic school. All these schools can take valuable teaching time to accomplish their missionary objectives because they take no state funds. They basically can march to their own pedagalogical tune as long as their clientele is satisfied that the school is doing a good job.

What about prep schools? Religion for most prep schools is merely one more subject offering on the curriculum menu. That does not mean that religion and spiritual values are not taught.
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Updated   October 24, 2017 |
10 Misconceptions About Private Schools
There are a lot of misconceptions about private schools. This is probably because private schools are indeed private.
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. This video discusses some of the things schools like to see in your application file.
 
 
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
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Updated   May 15, 2017 |
Which School Did They Attend?
Many famous children have attended private schools. Here is a sampling of schools and the famous folk who graced their hallowed halls.
Many famous people have attended private schools. Here is a sampling of schools and the famous folk who graced their hallowed halls.
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Updated   May 25, 2016 |
How Diverse Are Private Schools?
Decades ago private schools could have been accused of being elitist. You had to have money to attend. The student populations were fairly homogeneous. Fortunately that has changed.
The answer to that questions hangs on whether you look at statistics or community. Having 10% of your student population from a certain ethnic group does not necessarily mean a diverse school community. Diversity is more than numbers and statistics. Diversity is an attitude.
 
Teaching children to be tolerant and accepting of people and views which are different from their own is a huge task. It requires teamwork. Parents, administration and teachers set the tone. Nothing will be accomplished without the cooperation of these three groups.
 
Teaching children to be tolerant means getting involved and setting the right kind of example. Getting involved is not the same as sitting on the sidelines and observing what children are saying and doing. Getting involved means addressing issues of tolerance and diversity in the home and in the classroom.
 
The Past
 
Decades ago private schools were infamous for being elitist and exclusive. If you were Jewish or if your skin color was something other than white, you probably were not going to be admitted to a private school if you even dared to apply. Fortunately that has changed. Private schools have come to understand their leadership role in creating an inclusive, accepting community of students, teachers, staff and parents. Now the push is on to heighten that understanding of others and how they live with many fine initiatives such as The Institute for Student Leaders sponsored by NAIS. Private schools are proud of their diversity which truly is fact and not just talk.
 
Affordability
 
Until fairly recently you
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Recent Articles
January 17, 2018
Depending on their family circumstances, our Presidents received a wide range of primary and secondary schooling.
January 16, 2018
Part of the private school selection process is financial aid. We point out five issues about which you should be aware.
January 16, 2018
We look at why tuition costs vary so widely from school to school.
Why Private School

ABOUT PRIVATE SCHOOLS