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Do Private Schools Offer Better Education than Public Schools? Essay Sample

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Do Private Schools Offer Better Education than Public Schools? Essay Sample

The kind of education that an individual receives and attains is crucial such that it dictates how an individual should think. The quality of education he receives also enables him to be competent and be ahead in the competitions of life.

Children who were offered education from private schools, or fee-paying educational institutions that are run independently from the government, receive the necessary knowledge, information and honing of skills that will prepare and enable them to excel in the challenges that they face most importantly later in life when they have to excel in the career paths that they have chosen. As such, it is best that education from private schools should be considered over education that is given by schools that are run and funded by the government for the general public.

Private schools offer better education than public schools because private schools offer better, well rounded curriculums. Education in private schools is also not limited to academic development as spirituality, good character and traits are being taught. Private schools also offer better facilities that aid better learning among students and have limited or regulated size of classes so as to be able to monitor the progress of all students. For this reason, parents who have the financial leverage to provide for a more quality education should send their children to private schools.

The curriculum and the program of the school are necessary to deliver the kind of education it offers to the students. The curriculum among private schools is designed to offer the best education to the children whereas with regards to curriculum, public schools offer a general program mandated by the government and is designed for all children thus offering generic education for all regardless of the needs and strengths of the students. As such, “public schools are meant to serve children of all backgrounds-including children with disabilities- school choice promises only to harm these students as scarce resources are siphoned off to private schools”(Fox).

While it may be contended that the government mandated school curriculum among public schools are also created to offer the best possible education among public schools students, the curriculums among private schools are by far better and flexible as these private institutions do not rely on the government to effect  possible needed  urgent changes in their course offerings as they  can create specialized programs for their students.

Private schools can also create their own curriculum so as to meet the needs of their students whereas the curriculum among public schools are designed for the general student learners. “Far from abandoning the needs of special education students, the private sector is supplying what the public school system has failed to provide”(Fox). This therefore explains why regardless of the fact that “the total population of high school children has fallen, the percentage of students in private secondary schools has increased over the past 25 years”(Grimes 17).

Moreover, the incorporation of religious education and training in education has been perceived by parents as important factor to the wholeness of quality education. Parents cannot expect public schools to promote Christianity or other religions as public schools may not sponsor or promote religious worship or require students to recite prayers and participate in other religious activities (Boston).  Private schools especially those owned by churches offer religious training and education. 80 percent of America’s private schools in this regard are religious institutions (Menashi).

Education in private schools does not only correlate to honing the academic skills of the child, it also entails complete development through lessons about values and spirituality.  Private schools offer caring, orderly, safe, and nurturing environments and emphasize the education of the whole child (Why teach in a private school?). It may be contended that religion subjects are not necessary to develop students but many perceive that the development of characters and traits which are oftentimes better presented in religion classes completes the education of a child.

Private schools are charging their students tuitions that are used to expand the school and the school facilities. Thus, private schools usually have much better facilities and courses than at public and government-run schools that rely on public funds.

This affects the quality of education offered by schools to the students as students in private schools can experience academic education at a higher level with the aid of new, latest and updated school materials and facilities. The school facilities also results to interests in sports and other physical activities among private school students. Public schools on the other hand, with its limited funds will have difficulty offering sports and physical activities and trainings to the students.

As for the size of the class, class sizes in public schools tend to get bigger as students become older. This occurs most especially in large school districts and urban schools. Private schools on the other hand are generally committed to providing small classes and individual attention to students (James and Thorp). This is among the fundamental reasons why private schools can closely monitor their students.

The notion that private schools offer the best quality of education has been a conventional and generally accepted idea. This can be demonstrated by intellectual and influential men who believe in the education offered by private schools. In the United States for example, “the Gores send their children to private school. So do the Quayles. So does Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander. In fact, none of the 67 top education policymakers in the Bush administration sends his or her kids to D.C. public schools”(Fallows).

It is also noteworthy that even teachers in public schools believe in the competence of private schools over public schools. The number of parents removing their children from public schools includes nearly half the nation’s public school teachers who have preferred to have their children be privately educated.  In percentages greater than those in the general population, teachers have now lost confidence in their own system (“Who Would Save the” 18).

Nevertheless, there have been dissenting views on the superiority of private education over public education. In 2006, a study by the National Center for Education Statistics that considered the students’ backgrounds with regards to their school performances was released.

The result of the study supports the contentions of those who justify that the kind of education offered among public schools is more excellent than the ones offered in private schools:

Based on adjusted school means, the average for public schools was significantly higher than the average for private schools for grade 4 mathematics, while the average for private schools was significantly higher than the average for public schools for grade 8 reading. The average differences in adjusted school means for both grade 4 reading and grade 8 mathematics were not significantly different from zero (7).

            This result shows that public school students in fourth and eighth grade scored almost as well or better in reading and math, except that private school students excelled in eighth-grade reading.

The NCES study however, has been challenged by a Harvard University study which used the same data but different methodology. Accordingly, the researchers of On the Public-Private School Achievement Debate presented the methodological problems with the NCES model:

The NCES analysis is at serious risk of having produced biased estimates, because its adjustment for student characteristics suffered from two sorts of problems: a) inconsistent classification of student characteristics across sectors and b) inclusion of student characteristics open to school influence.

            The Harvard University study concluded that private schools perform better in 11 of 12 categories when compared with public schools, which countered the NCES report that claimed otherwise.                                                                                              

Different studies may either support of refute the superiority of education offered by private schools over the education offered by the public schools. As such, the debate lingers when studies and statistics are the only bases on determining which sector offers the best education. However, it has been presented herein that private schools indeed offer better education than private schools.

This is evident such that private schools offer better, well rounded curriculums that are not limited to academic development but also have focus on the development of the spirituality, good characters and traits among students. Private schools also offer better facilities that aid better learning and have the ability to monitor the educational progress of the students owing to the limited and regulated sizes of their classes.

Do private schools offer better education than public schools? The answer is yes, private schools offer better education than public schools. The quality education that is needed by students to become well rounded and competent individuals is best offered in these private educational institutions and thus, children that go to private schools receive the best education their parents and their educators have to offer.

Works Cited

Boston, Rob. “The Public School Bashers.” Church & State Oct. 1998: 4+. Questia. 28 Aug. 2006 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001377805>.

Council for American Private Education. “Why teach in private school?” 28 Aug. 2006.

 < http://www.capenet.org/teach.html>.

Fallows, Debarah. “First Choice: Why Chelsea Clinton Should Attend a Public School.” Washington Monthly Dec. 1992: 15+. Questia. 28 Aug. 2006 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000157332>.

Fox, Jonathan. “Sending Public School Students to Private Schools.” Policy Review (1999). Questia. 28 Aug. 2006 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001232861>.

Grimes, Paul W. “Public Versus Private Secondary Schools and the Production of Economic Education.” Journal of Economic Education 25.1 (1994): 17-30. Questia. 28 Aug. 2006 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=96245029>.

Llaudet, E. and Peterson P. “On the Public-Private School Achievement Debate.” 28 Aug. 2006


Menashi, Steven. “The Church-State Tangle: School Choice and Religious Autonomy.” Policy Review (2002): 37+. Questia. 29 Aug. 2006 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000814678>.

National Center for Education Statistics. “Comparing private schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling”. 29 Aug. 2006. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard//pdf/studies/2006461.pdf.

Thorp, V. and James, J. “Private vs. Public Schools: What’s the Difference?”  28 Aug. 2006  < http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticlefeature/ca/197>

“Who Would Save the Public School System.” The Washington Times 15 Dec. 1997: 18. Questia. 28 Aug. 2006 <http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001532106>.

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