Public Versus Private School Education

Cheryl Hearts Jul 19, 2019
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The USA policymakers and marketers focus on efforts to improve the social wellbeing of every individual. Education is a significant issue for not only social contention but also economic prosperity. The private versus public school debate has been ongoing for centuries.
Individuals argue about the drawbacks and the benefits of each and preference is mainly dependent on an individual’s perception. Many Americans often inquire on school quality, educators’ accountability, teacher training, and curriculum among other concepts. The distinction between private and public institutions in the USA is no longer upfront as it was.
The story examines the benefits afforded by both public and private schools in the USA through a rhetorical analysis of various texts. According to the US National Center for Education Statistics, almost 10 percent of students in the country attend private schools (Laponsie).
Students and parents prefer private schools over public ones for a variety of reasons from religion, to same-sex education, to a flexible curriculum to academic reputation to location. Majority of private institutions in the USA are known for their flexibility since they design their curriculum.
Many believe the flexibility in the curriculum is fundamental in boosting the academics in private institutions. Alternative curriculum appeals many parents and teachers. Religion affiliation is one of the core factors that differentiate public and private and public schools in the USA.
For instance, in the USA, Roman Catholic schools enrolled almost half of the total private schools' students. Other religious denominations account for half of the remaining population with the remaining being nonsectarian (Zukovic and Milutonivic).
Majority of the private schools ensure smaller class sizes which are optimal for quality teaching and learning. Smaller classes allow for a controlled instruction and learning setting which fosters a more manageable system of discipline (Godsey).
Private schools in the USA require special admissions, and their high costs guarantee smaller populations compared to public institutions. According to Niche data on tolerance, private organizations are more accepting of minority and are keener on combating bullying.
Majority of private schools in the USA are located in urban cities primarily in large cities in efforts to attract more significant numbers of diverse students. Parents enroll their students in private schools in efforts to foster better academic performance, providing a safe learning environment for their children and in the hopes they will acquire beliefs.
Private schools are expensive compared to the public since they are independently financed hence requires parents to pay tuition that is necessary for the school to operate. Besides, the advantage of designing their curriculum may be a disadvantage since it can foster lower standards.
Some private schools lack certified teachers who can result in lower teaching standards. The smaller population often limit the set of programs an institution offers hence may be disadvantageous to other students (Mendelssobn 32).
Moreover, private institutions may lack special needs facilities and programs hence limiting the chances for a student with special needs. More than 50 million students in the USA attend various public schools across the country.  Public schools in the USA are founded on the idea that every individual in the USA has a right to receive an education (Godsey).
The most significant perk of attending a public school over a private one relates to finances. In public schools, the USA government subsidies education hence there is no tuition fee required. Moreover, public schools have a set standard to be adhered to, including teachers that are state-certified and special education facilities and programs for students.
Many public schools have diverse students owing to their large population. While individuals assume private schools are better because of the unique curriculum and smaller classes, some public schools such as Charter schools offer similar services as private institutions such as regulation exemption and curriculum flexibility (Joshi).
Similarly, several public schools have high academic standards and competitive admission identical to that of private schools.
According to the book “The Public School Advantage” the notion that since private schools are competitively-driven outperform public institutions in academics is merely based on demographics and assumes certain aspects such as socio-economic status (Lubienski and Lubienski 2).
As mentioned, private schools require tuition hence are expensive compared to public schools. As such, a majority of the students in private institutions come from more privileged backgrounds that offer greater educational support.
Indeed research showcase when corrected for demographics students in public schools often achieve at least as high or higher than students in private institutions.
Research that supports public education indicates that the very market-based reforms that private schools champion may be the reason for lower performance in these schools (Lubienski and Lubienski 3).
Moreover, specific practices that private institutions shun such as teacher certification and professional reforms on curriculum and instruction are influential on school performance and improvement. Indeed the authors wrote the book in efforts to champion the assumed advantages of public schools in the USA.
The book made high waves in several social spectrums by defending parents and other policymakers’ beliefs that private school simply outperform public institutions since they attract high achieving students. In another text, the author argues on whether private schools are better than public and in which domains do these institutions outperform each other.
The societal conceptualization of classes regards exclusivity and high costs to be associated with high-quality education and discipline. Indeed each year parents are faced with dilemmas in which school to send children. The lack of a straightforward choice indicates that both public and private schools afford critical benefits to parents and the students.
An individual will question if public education in the USA is free, why do some parents opt to send their children to expensive private schools. Research indicates that parents are not concerned with the finances but instead consider the benefits of private institutions from high discipline, to safe learning environment among others.
In many cases level of information on the specifics of the school’s operations and the concepts of pedagogy influence parents attitudes and decisions on which schools their children attend.
Recent improvements in educational content, methods of teaching and forms of work have created a distinct way of parents analyzing which system will best accommodate their children (Zukovic and Milutonivic 95).
Research that examined school pluralism regarding private and public school with the aim of understanding parents’ attitudes towards institutions indicate respondents believe there are no significant differences between public and private schools.
However, the research also concluded parents are not well-informed on various pedagogical concepts which may have influenced their lack of affiliation to either public or private institutions (Zukovic and Milutonivic 101).
The promotion of school choice is essential since it may inform parents of the difference in educational delivery in public and private institutions. Educational quality regarding emotional and instructional spectrums differ across schools and classrooms in the USA.
A study that aimed to analyze the educational quality in first graders in the USA presented a typology of first grades (Stuhlman and Pianta).
The research examined the correlates of classroom profiles concerning teachers including their years of experience, educational level and belief, the student concerning their age, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status and in dimensions of school whether the institutions is private or public.
The study reported four different classroom types including high quality, low quality, mediocre quality and positive emotional climate. The various levels of emotional and instructional support were associated with several factors in addition to school type.
The results of the survey indicate that educational achievement varies vastly beyond the mere conceptualization of private and public institutions (Stuhlman and Pianta). It is essential for policymakers, parents, and students to consider students individual characteristics and needs in school choice activities.
The question of whether parents should send their children to private or public institutions is not limited to the USA. In recent years there has been a substantial growth of private institutions in many developing countries.
An article that aimed to analyze the response of public institutions to private competition in Nepal illustrated that competition is essential in fostering specific policies that are important for the improvement of education delivery (Joshi).
Many public schools in Nepal have transformed from teaching in Nepali to English due to private competition that prompted the government to pass specific policies on standards that will enable public schools to compete favorably with private institutions.
The case in Nepal showcases the importance of private institutions in fostering better results in not only their institutions but also in public schools.
Since policymakers are concerned with ensuring the well-being of each including the delivery of quality education, private school competition may influence specific policies that improve education in the private sectors.
The USA requires private schools to accommodate other students which assist in the management of class sizes (Mendelssobn). Similarly, many public institutions that aspire to manage competition presented by private institutions have adopted some of the private schools' standards.
This illustrates the benefits of both private and public schools co-existing to supplement and complement each other. The argument of which institution is better is perceived differently. While some may consider education as fundamental for better students, others view learning institutions essential in building a person’s character.
The different qualities of private and public schools do not necessarily answer which is better for the general society but instead indicates there is a better option for a particular student. While studies and statistics may present the case of which school is better, the reality within a precise location may vastly differ from statistics indicate.
The quality of schools varies in the different places depending on the state, district and school management. Parents and students should choose which institutions to attend based on the student’s needs and the long-term goal of attending a particular system.

Author’s Bio:

Cheryl Hearts is a former journalist who found her passion for blogging. She is a successful blogger at CherylHearts.com. She enjoys sharing her learnings with her readers and enjoys hearing success stories of her readers applying her tips and tricks on various areas.