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.
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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 990 which has to be
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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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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.
 
The Present
 
As Frank Ligtvoet wrote
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Books About Private School
What's private school really like? Find out from people who have been there.
What's private school really like? Find out from people who have been there. Lorene Cary's Black Ice makes compelling reading. She was one of the first African-Americans to attend an elite private school. It was a different world from the one she grew up in back in Philadelphia. The classic novel is J.D.Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. As fresh today as it was when written back in 1951, Catcher opens on Holden's last day in prep school. Fast forward a few years and Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep sits atop the New York Times Best Seller List. These books are well worth a read. Enjoy!
 
Academy X by Andrew Trees
ISBN-13: 978-1596911772

From the publisher:

"The Nanny Diaries meets Lucky Jim in this devilish satire of the culture of power and privilege at a New York City private school.

John Spencer, an English teacher at the elite Academy X, is struggling through the final weeks of the spring semester. But keeping his students focused on the genius and wit of Jane Austen is the least of his problems. His crush on the sexy librarian is beginning to warp his judgment. An unexpected promotion leaves him drowning in a sea of academic intrigue. Pushy parents demanding higher grades lurk behind every corner and a favorite pupil suddenly reveals a cunning and sophistication far beyond her years. With each bumbling effort to keep everyone happy (and get his girl!), John digs himself deeper into trouble, until his very career is at stake. Witty and rollicking, Academy

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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