Public vs Private Elementary

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Drock3307
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Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Drock3307 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:36 pm

Both my wife and I went to Catholic school so it's only natural we like to send our kids to such at least during K-8 then Public during HS since private where we live is so expensive. We'd like to retire early, wife around 50-55, me around 60-62. We like to travel and feel we can travel more, which we believe is also a good educational experience for our kids and at the same time live a more balanced life, save more for retirement and payoff mortgage earlier if we don't put 2 kids in private elementary but feel guilty if we do this that we are trading their education but at the same time, the public elementary in our district has a 8 of 10 rating in great schools and couple neighbors said they like it. I have nothing against public school and don't think private is necessarily better just because we pay. I know people that went to public who are way more successful than some that went to private. We are just not well informed or not experienced since we went to private. Too late for this school year. Our plan is to attend open house in January 2018 at the public elementary and see how it is.

We can handle private elementary financially but we are strongly considering switching to public elementary next year as we will be more financially comfortable and reach financial independence much faster. Thanks!

What is your view on this? What do you do?

CppCoder
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by CppCoder » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:41 pm

I didn't attend a private school until my Ph.D. at MIT. The public schooling from kindergarten to bachelors degree seemed to prepare me well enough educationally for my short stint in private school. I can afford to send my kids to private school; I choose to send them to public school.

LEB1230
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by LEB1230 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:43 pm

We already pay for school through taxes. As long as your in a good public school system I see no advantage to paying for private school.

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BL
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by BL » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:59 pm

Can you get started volunteering at your local public school this year, even if your kids are not yet there? Unless you are more confident in the school, it will rub off on your kids and that will not be good.

Maybe you could give up some money and start them this fall (or winter) anyway. I would want to get them started ASAP.

Drock3307
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Drock3307 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:04 pm

LEB1230 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:43 pm
We already pay for school through taxes. As long as your in a good public school system I see no advantage to paying for private school.
Is great school rating a good basis in deciding if the public elementary is good or not? Of course we will go to open house to check other factors too. Thanks!

Drock3307
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Drock3307 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:12 pm

CppCoder wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:41 pm
I didn't attend a private school until my Ph.D. at MIT. The public schooling from kindergarten to bachelors degree seemed to prepare me well enough educationally for my short stint in private school. I can afford to send my kids to private school; I choose to send them to public school.
Exactly my thinking. No correlation on private school and success. Still comes down to guidance from parents and up to the student how hard he/she want to work especially during college. Thank you!

Ron
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Ron » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm

Also attending a parochial school, I was well instructed in the religious component. If you/your wife want your children to be exposed in the same manner that you yourself probably were, it may be a consideration in your decision.

- Ron

Rwsavory
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Rwsavory » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm

We can afford a private school but prefer public. We have friends with children of the same age as ours (second grade) in private schools and observe no difference in the quality of education. We are fortunate in being able to choose the public school that our child attends, and it is a very good one.

Drock3307
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Drock3307 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:16 pm

Ron wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm
Also attending a parochial school, I was well instructed in the religious component. If you/your wife want your children to be exposed in the same manner that you yourself probably were, it may be a consideration in your decision.

- Ron
This was our main reason but since we do this and teach our kids at home too, I feel it is no longer a must for us to send them to Catholic school.

Drock3307
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Drock3307 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:19 pm

Rwsavory wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm
We can afford a private school but prefer public. We have friends with children of the same age as ours (second grade) in private schools and observe no difference in the quality of education. We are fortunate in being able to choose the public school that our child attends, and it is a very good one.

Rwsavory,

What factors do you recommend I look into to see if our public school (only 1 small town) is a very good one? Great schools rating is 8. we plan to look at programs, curriculum, teacher turnover rates, safety among others.

LEB1230
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by LEB1230 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:28 pm

Drock3307 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:04 pm
Is great school rating a good basis in deciding if the public elementary is good or not? Of course we will go to open house to check other factors too. Thanks!
I don't even know what our local school rating is. We moved here three years ago and talked to locals and co-workers and asked which school districts we should be looking at. We followed their advice and found a place we liked within the school district we thought would suit our family best.

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Watty
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Watty » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:11 am

Drock3307 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:04 pm
Is great school rating a good basis in deciding if the public elementary is good or not? Of course we will go to open house to check other factors too. Thanks!
It means something but modest differences in scores in ranking systems like that mean very little since they are mainly based on things like the test scores of the kids going to the school, and not the school program itself.

I once did a corporate relocation when I had a kid in middle school so when I was house hunting finding good schools was very important. I was mainly looking in one very large school district that had about fifteen large high schools that had significant differences in the way they were ranked. In talking to a school counselor about that it turned out that all the high schools had basically the same programs and budget but the main difference was the demographics of the kids.

The high schools in more affluent areas were ranked better than the high schools in the less affluent, but not bad, areas. There are likely many reasons for this but one important factor in predicting how well a student will do in high school is how much college their parents had. In the more affluent areas a much higher percentage of parents had college degrees and advanced degrees.

staythecourse
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by staythecourse » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:12 am

Drock3307 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:12 pm
CppCoder wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:41 pm
I didn't attend a private school until my Ph.D. at MIT. The public schooling from kindergarten to bachelors degree seemed to prepare me well enough educationally for my short stint in private school. I can afford to send my kids to private school; I choose to send them to public school.
Exactly my thinking. No correlation on private school and success. Still comes down to guidance from parents and up to the student how hard he/she want to work especially during college. Thank you!
Also my guess is their is a great correlation of saving more money by not spending it on private school and having more wealth at retirement. So a double positive. :D

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

staythecourse
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by staythecourse » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:15 am

Drock3307 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:19 pm
Rwsavory wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:13 pm
We can afford a private school but prefer public. We have friends with children of the same age as ours (second grade) in private schools and observe no difference in the quality of education. We are fortunate in being able to choose the public school that our child attends, and it is a very good one.

Rwsavory,

What factors do you recommend I look into to see if our public school (only 1 small town) is a very good one? Great schools rating is 8. we plan to look at programs, curriculum, teacher turnover rates, safety among others.
Interesting I would be asking what ratings does the private school have to justify paying the cost premium over the 8/10 public school? I would think the default should be public unless one has a good reason not to, i.e. religion, safety, commute, status, programs not offered at public, etc...

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

staythecourse
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by staythecourse » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:18 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:11 am
Drock3307 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:04 pm
Is great school rating a good basis in deciding if the public elementary is good or not? Of course we will go to open house to check other factors too. Thanks!
It means something but modest differences in scores in ranking systems like that mean very little since they are mainly based on things like the test scores of the kids going to the school, and not the school program itself.

I once did a corporate relocation when I had a kid in middle school so when I was house hunting finding good schools was very important. I was mainly looking in one very large school district that had about fifteen large high schools that had significant differences in the way they were ranked. In talking to a school counselor about that it turned out that all the high schools had basically the same programs and budget but the main difference was the demographics of the kids.

The high schools in more affluent areas were ranked better than the high schools in the less affluent, but not bad, areas. There are likely many reasons for this but one important factor in predicting how well a student will do in high school is how much college their parents had. In the more affluent areas a much higher percentage of parents had college degrees and advanced degrees.
I do agree. The little data gathering I did I believe the are studies to back up that more affluent areas do better not because they are rich, but because they put a great degree of stress on education in the household. That includes the level of education of the parents down to the expectations on child. Also higher affluent areas likely have 2 parent households, higher level of education, more parental involvement, etc...

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Watty
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Watty » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:33 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:18 am
I do agree. The little data gathering I did I believe the are studies to back up that more affluent areas do better not because they are rich, but because they put a great degree of stress on education in the household. That includes the level of education of the parents down to the expectations on child. Also higher affluent areas likely have 2 parent households, higher level of education, more parental involvement, etc...
The more affluent areas can also have their own set of issues when there are cliques of "rich kids" in the school. In one of high schools in a more expensive area I remember seeing a number of Mercedes and BMW's and one late model Corvette in the student parking lot and that still boggles my mind. Even if you can afford it who would give a teenager a car like that.

IMO
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by IMO » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:46 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:11 am
Drock3307 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:04 pm
Is great school rating a good basis in deciding if the public elementary is good or not? Of course we will go to open house to check other factors too. Thanks!
It means something but modest differences in scores in ranking systems like that mean very little since they are mainly based on things like the test scores of the kids going to the school, and not the school program itself.

I once did a corporate relocation when I had a kid in middle school so when I was house hunting finding good schools was very important. I was mainly looking in one very large school district that had about fifteen large high schools that had significant differences in the way they were ranked. In talking to a school counselor about that it turned out that all the high schools had basically the same programs and budget but the main difference was the demographics of the kids.

The high schools in more affluent areas were ranked better than the high schools in the less affluent, but not bad, areas. There are likely many reasons for this but one important factor in predicting how well a student will do in high school is how much college their parents had. In the more affluent areas a much higher percentage of parents had college degrees and advanced degrees.

+1

Demographics of the parents. This has nothing to do with the race of the parents, but typically successful parents have high expectations of their children's performance in school (and it's not always just "financial success" as some careers don't pay as highly). You want your kid in a school where the vast majority of the kids have the aspiration/expectation that they will be going to college. There are always exceptions, I saw plenty of kids do poorly/get involved in drugs, etc when their parents were things like physicians, etc. Of course, same on the other side where parents weren't as successful in life, but kids did great regardless (my father came from dire poverty as was a physician). If you're going to look at on-line school ratings, just look at the percentage of kids are getting financial assistance with lunch. There's a good correlation that schools with a low percentage of kids getting lunch funding are typically thought of as a good school.

One of the main factors on our relocating was that if your kid didn't get a lottery selection to a "public" charter middle school (ours didn't) then unfortunately it was highly advised to pay for a private school because the public high school graduation rates were so poor. School performance just wasn't as important for many families in the area. There is also seems to be a higher incidence of things like teen pregnancies when public high school performance is poor. In the new area we are living, no issues with the public school, but we just bought at the low price point of the nice neighborhood and figured everyone living in the big homes on the hill had to be pretty successful in life. We just couldn't justify spending the money for private school which would mean just a longer time until retirement. No regrets thus far.

Edit on the comment of rich kids being spoiled with expensive cars, etc:
That can be an issue also with "elitist" type of rich kids. Fortunately it doesn't seem to be an issue, maybe all those kids were put in private school in our area or the area isn't affluent enough?

bhtomj
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by bhtomj » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:03 am

Our kids were in private Catholic school up to 4th grade. We just did not see the value in it so they switched to the local public school last year. Our kids loved it. More opportunities, our twins could be in separate rooms and larger class sizes meant more diversity.
Starting public middle school in two weeks. :happy

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celia
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by celia » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:24 am

It looks like you are trying to analyze this from a purely financial perspective. In that case, public schools will always win. But do you have other criteria that is important for you to also consider, such as having your kids see their faith practiced daily or the role models you want your kids to see or parental involvement in the school or having religion discussed each day?

But IF early retirement is more important than a traditional religious foundation for your kids, that is your decision to make.

Drock3307
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Drock3307 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:38 am

celia wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:24 am
It looks like you are trying to analyze this from a purely financial perspective. In that case, public schools will always win. But do you have other criteria that is important for you to also consider, such as having your kids see their faith practiced daily or the role models you want your kids to see or parental involvement in the school or having religion discussed each day?

But IF early retirement is more important than a traditional religious foundation for your kids, that is your decision to make.

Not purely financial. So many factors which is why I am seeking ideas here. You're right that if it was purely financial then it's a no brainer.

staythecourse
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by staythecourse » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:12 am

Watty wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:33 am
staythecourse wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:18 am
I do agree. The little data gathering I did I believe the are studies to back up that more affluent areas do better not because they are rich, but because they put a great degree of stress on education in the household. That includes the level of education of the parents down to the expectations on child. Also higher affluent areas likely have 2 parent households, higher level of education, more parental involvement, etc...
The more affluent areas can also have their own set of issues when there are cliques of "rich kids" in the school. In one of high schools in a more expensive area I remember seeing a number of Mercedes and BMW's and one late model Corvette in the student parking lot and that still boggles my mind. Even if you can afford it who would give a teenager a car like that.
My guess is there are issues with schools with rich, poor, and everything in between. It is life. There is not situation there is not going to be an issue. Personally, I would love to have the opportunity to tell my child no when they ask for an expensive car just like their best friend got. And discuss the answer WHY when they are upset they aren't getting one. That is a great teaching moment.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

ks289
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by ks289 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:25 am

One of our children attended public school for elementary school and although it is highly rated, it was not a good fit. The personality and strengths/weaknesses of our child fit better with a small private school for gifted children that had a great deal more flexibility in catering to individual needs and developing talents.
Our other child is fine going to the public school and is happy.

To me, most public schools (that are not unsafe or failing) are ok for most kids. The more important variables to consider relate to your child's characteristics and your finances.

jbolden1517
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by jbolden1517 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:53 am

I did both with my daughter. The big difference is this. In a private school you are a customer. The school cares a great deal about your satisfaction and will do things to address your concerns. In a public school you are a resident taking a government provided service. Whether problems can be addressed will depend a great deal on how good you are at working the system but your range is greatly reduced. You get what you get. The school administrators care a great deal about political opinion, the state and federal agencies' opinion. Your opinion not so much. You will put up with a lot more silliness in public schools than private, they are often being reactive and putting on a show for various political interests.

FWIW I think the comments above about there being no correlation between private school and success are nonsense. Just the most basic thing: when you go private you are selecting classmates for your child whose parents care enough about their education to spend a lot on it. That makes a huge difference in what the school can accomplish. Then of course you aren't sending your kid to a random school but one whose parents agree with your values. That increases the degree to which you are likely to be happy about their education. Student satisfaction with their schools are much higher in private vs. public...

I'm not saying this is necessarily worth the money. But I would say the difference is rather larger than people pretend it is.

aristotelian
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by aristotelian » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:37 am

Visit the schools and pick the one you like best. If it is close, lean toward the public. There are great public schools and terrible private schools. Ratings don't tell you the whole story.

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Alexa9
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:50 am

K-8 schools are generally fine in our area, but Public and Private High Schools have drug problems so take your pick. I would guess the private schools have smaller class sizes, more close knit students, and happier teachers but I could be wrong and I still doubt it is worth the money. If the public schools are really bad in your area, private makes sense.
Last edited by Alexa9 on Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

lightheir
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by lightheir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:50 am

jbolden1517 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:53 am
I did both with my daughter. The big difference is this. In a private school you are a customer. The school cares a great deal about your satisfaction and will do things to address your concerns. In a public school you are a resident taking a government provided service. Whether problems can be addressed will depend a great deal on how good you are at working the system but your range is greatly reduced. You get what you get. The school administrators care a great deal about political opinion, the state and federal agencies' opinion. Your opinion not so much. You will put up with a lot more silliness in public schools than private, they are often being reactive and putting on a show for various political interests.

FWIW I think the comments above about there being no correlation between private school and success are nonsense. Just the most basic thing: when you go private you are selecting classmates for your child whose parents care enough about their education to spend a lot on it. That makes a huge difference in what the school can accomplish. Then of course you aren't sending your kid to a random school but one whose parents agree with your values. That increases the degree to which you are likely to be happy about their education. Student satisfaction with their schools are much higher in private vs. public...

I'm not saying this is necessarily worth the money. But I would say the difference is rather larger than people pretend it is.
I disagree with the bolded part despite agreeing with the rest of your post (specifically, parental influence and attention as a 'customer'.) Private schools do not at all guarantee better outcomes than comparable good public schools - in fact, in all the areas I've lived and attended public schools at, the public school collegiate placement statistics far outpace the $$$$ private school placements in the exact same school district.

I'll also add that now I'm a parent myself, it's very common that parents THINK they know what's best for their kid (all sorts of special circumstances for rule bending) and thusrequests all sorts of rules exemptions for their kids which are often denied out of hand in public school but seriously considered in private schools, but many of these requests just backfire since the rules are there for good reason in the first place and breaking them is just more detrimental to the student.

I will def agree with you though on the parents being willing to spend money to have a lot more control and influence as well as to have a peer group that they like more in private schools. In my pricey Silicon Valley neighborhood, the public schools are nationally top ranked and the high school places students in top colleges well ahead of the $$$$ private schools, but many parents are more than happy to shell out $40k/yr to ensure shared parents and peers with the uber-rich (not me!) and to avoid the asian-heavy demographics of the public schools here - I definitely understand that, even if I wouldn't do the same.

staythecourse
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by staythecourse » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:01 am

jbolden1517 wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:53 am
The school cares a great deal about your satisfaction and will do things to address your concerns. In a public school you are a resident taking a government provided service.
I would be interested to hear an expansion on this point. It may or may not be true. It may or may not be a good thing. On the first point if everyone at the private school is paying then how would the school address concerns for every single kid in the school. On the second, if it is not an academic issue then I don't think it is a good thing to be using influence. Meaning, if you are trying to get your kid moved a more challenging math class is one thing. If it is "Mary doesn't get along with Cindy so I want to have her change classes" is detrimental. Life does not work like that. In the real world, folks need to meet obstacles head on and not try to circumvent the issue by parental influence.

Also, this must be regional. I live in a major metro. city and the top private schools don't really care at all about what the parents want. They have a long waiting list of other parents willing to join and pay the fee. They are smart NOT to be influenced by parents as parents are no different then kids... Give them an inch and they take a foot.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:10 am

I'd suggest folks spend their money on buying a home in a location with excellent local public schools instead of paying ridiculous private school tuition. Great public schools can provide an excellent education and also produce great property values for those smart enough to purchase homes and support their community in that school district.

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lthenderson
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by lthenderson » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:27 am

I think the stressing the importance of education by parents plays a bigger role than private vs. public.

However, when our Catholic private school students enter the public school system in grade 6, all of them are about half a year advanced compared to their public school peers and probably around half of them are advanced enough to skip a full grade if they desired. I'm on the school board for the private school and we get reports from the public school teachers on this every year. I can't chalk all that up to wealth of the parents because we get probably 40 to 50% of our students as washed out public school kids mostly due to bullying and their parents get grants and such to be able to afford the tuition.

ytrewq
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by ytrewq » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:31 am

As posters above as suggested, it's not school but parents who are primary drivers of a child's academic performance. Private schools have higher average stats like SAT scores etc. because they select good students using admission tests and most (not all) students come from affluent families who focus on education and most private schools have 10% - 25% admit rates from applicant pool. Overall stats from public schools tend to be less impressive since they admit all students living in the attendance zone. However if you were to compare top 10% - 20% students in public schools with those in private schools you will find that public schools have very good top students. As an example below is list of National Merit Semifinalists (Top 1% students) from California and it is dominated by public schools.
http://www.compassprep.com/where-the-nm ... lists-are/
Of the top 30 schools with most most NMSF, 25 are public and only 5 are private (Harker, St. Francis, Harvard-Westlake, Bellarmine, Archbishop Mitty).
If you were to conduct this analysis for any state, it will almost reflect similar results. Sending students to excellent public schools does not mean it's compromising quality of education, unless there is a specific desire for religion or faith based education or some similar aspiration.

staythecourse
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by staythecourse » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:53 am

lthenderson wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:27 am
I think the stressing the importance of education by parents plays a bigger role than private vs. public.

However, when our Catholic private school students enter the public school system in grade 6, all of them are about half a year advanced compared to their public school peers and probably around half of them are advanced enough to skip a full grade if they desired. I'm on the school board for the private school and we get reports from the public school teachers on this every year. I can't chalk all that up to wealth of the parents because we get probably 40 to 50% of our students as washed out public school kids mostly due to bullying and their parents get grants and such to be able to afford the tuition.
Thanks for sharing. The problem I have seen from private schools is they have or do not publish the data on their academic superiority. In my city, all public schools take the same standardized testing and it is easy to look up and compare the data. With the private schools they don't take the same testing. They take alternative tests and don't even publish the results of those. In addition each private school takes different tests so impossible to even compare private with private.

Wish private schools did a better job of publishing their data to show any superiority if it exists. You would think they would only benefit from that.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

ks289
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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by ks289 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:56 am

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:53 am
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:27 am
I think the stressing the importance of education by parents plays a bigger role than private vs. public.

However, when our Catholic private school students enter the public school system in grade 6, all of them are about half a year advanced compared to their public school peers and probably around half of them are advanced enough to skip a full grade if they desired. I'm on the school board for the private school and we get reports from the public school teachers on this every year. I can't chalk all that up to wealth of the parents because we get probably 40 to 50% of our students as washed out public school kids mostly due to bullying and their parents get grants and such to be able to afford the tuition.
Thanks for sharing. The problem I have seen from private schools is they have or do not publish the data on their academic superiority. In my city, all public schools take the same standardized testing and it is easy to look up and compare the data. With the private schools they don't take the same testing. They take alternative tests and don't even publish the results of those. In addition each private school takes different tests so impossible to even compare private with private.

Wish private schools did a better job of publishing their data to show any superiority if it exists. You would think they would only benefit from that.

Good luck.
I think the appeal of private schools for some parents for certain kids is precisely the lack of requirements and teaching with a focus on standardized testing. On the other hand, some parents seek excellent athletic programs. For younger kids these are probably not a focus, but as they approach middle school and high school they may be important. Again, it really depends a lot on the kid's needs (and how they match with the public offering) and the financial burden.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by lightheir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:11 am

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:53 am
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:27 am
I think the stressing the importance of education by parents plays a bigger role than private vs. public.

However, when our Catholic private school students enter the public school system in grade 6, all of them are about half a year advanced compared to their public school peers and probably around half of them are advanced enough to skip a full grade if they desired. I'm on the school board for the private school and we get reports from the public school teachers on this every year. I can't chalk all that up to wealth of the parents because we get probably 40 to 50% of our students as washed out public school kids mostly due to bullying and their parents get grants and such to be able to afford the tuition.
Thanks for sharing. The problem I have seen from private schools is they have or do not publish the data on their academic superiority. In my city, all public schools take the same standardized testing and it is easy to look up and compare the data. With the private schools they don't take the same testing. They take alternative tests and don't even publish the results of those. In addition each private school takes different tests so impossible to even compare private with private.

Wish private schools did a better job of publishing their data to show any superiority if it exists. You would think they would only benefit from that.

Good luck.
The reason most private schools don't publish their academic superiority is because it doesn't exist when compared to schools of a comparable demographic.

You'd better believe if it was consistently true that these private schools outperformed public schools of similar demographic in college placement, it would be selling points #1 #2 and #3 on the ads.

Even for elementary schools (as OP mentioned), there are academic measures (imperfect as they are) which still do not show academic superiority of the private schools compared to a similar-demographic cohort.
Last edited by lightheir on Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by F150HD » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:40 am

LEB1230 wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:43 pm
We already pay for school through taxes. As long as your in a good public school system I see no advantage to paying for private school.
+1

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by celia » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:52 am

ytrewq wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:31 am
Overall stats from public schools tend to be less impressive since they admit all students living in the attendance zone. However if you were to compare top 10% - 20% students in public schools with those in private schools you will find that public schools have very good top students. As an example below is list of National Merit Semifinalists (Top 1% students) from California and it is dominated by public schools.
http://www.compassprep.com/where-the-nm ... lists-are/
Of the top 30 schools with most most NMSF, 25 are public and only 5 are private ....
Although true, I think your idea of using this to show that public schools have more "very good top students" is misleading since public schools just have more students than private ones. Keep in mind that about 90% of high school students go to public school, and 10% go to private, and maybe 1% are home schooled. So of the total number of NM Semi-finalists, are 90% of them attending public school?

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:53 am
The problem I have seen from private schools is they have or do not publish the data on their academic superiority. In my city, all public schools take the same standardized testing and it is easy to look up and compare the data. With the private schools they don't take the same testing. They take alternative tests and don't even publish the results of those. In addition each private school takes different tests so impossible to even compare private with private.
Even if they did publicize the results, you still wouldn't be able to compare them to public school scores. Of the private schools I am familiar with, they either test at the beginning of the school year or mid-year. They use the scores as diagnostic tools to let the teacher (and parent) know what areas need to be focused on or that they can pass over things the students already know. And most people have no idea how to compare a score from a test taken early in the school year with one that is taken at the end.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by ytrewq » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:21 pm

Although true, I think your idea of using this to show that public schools have more "very good top students" is misleading since public schools just have more students than private ones. Keep in mind that about 90% of high school students go to public school, and 10% go to private, and maybe 1% are home schooled. So of the total number of NM Semi-finalists, are 90% of them attending public school?
Agree that 90% of students in US go to public schools but since Private schools have already screened-out and selected only Top 10% - 20% of applicants, so a more fair comparison is Top 10% - 20% students in public schools (which everyone attends) with private school student body. If you can find 75th percentile SAT scores for top public schools from respective State Dept of Education site, you will find that SAT scores of Top 25% students (75th percentile) in Top public schools are similar to or exceed SAT scores of private schools (who have selected only 10% - 25% of the applicants).

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Jonathan » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Try to avoid the "public vs. private" mentality. There are great and terrible schools in each camp.

What do you want for your children? What are their talents, that a great school could cultivate? Intellectual? Athletic? Social? Artistic?

When people say that a school is "good", they're usually (whether or not they know it) referring to their standardized test scores. Occasionally, they will be referring to the percentage of graduates who were ultimately accepted into Ivy League schools (this is more common in NYC).

Two important recommendations:

1. In some states, political party affiliation is public. You can cross-reference the list of school teachers, employees, administrators, and board members with the public political affiliation data. If you want your child to experience true diversity, one of the best ways to do this is not by the now-trendy method of highlighting skin coloration, but by ensuring diversity of thought. One of the easiest ways to ensure diversity of thought is exposure to varying political viewpoints. If every single teacher that your child will have for the next five years is registered with the exact same political party, you can kiss any intellectual diversity goodbye.

2. Schools often have multiple main teachers per grade, and students are randomly assigned to a specific teacher. Do your own thorough research, for each teacher. If you don't like the teacher to whom your child has been randomly assigned, you can get them switched.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by remomnyc » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:37 pm

My default is public unless there is a safety issue or your child has issues that would benefit from smaller class size and more individualized attention. My kids in public are way ahead of their peers in the top privates because public education here is top notch, but that is not true everywhere. Friends who have chosen private for their children typically do so because their children need more attention or because they want their children's peer group to be more affluent and influential.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by lightheir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:41 pm

Jonathan wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm
Try to avoid the "public vs. private" mentality. There are great and terrible schools in each camp.

What do you want for your children? What are their talents, that a great school could cultivate? Intellectual? Athletic? Social? Artistic?

When people say that a school is "good", they're usually (whether or not they know it) referring to their standardized test scores. Occasionally, they will be referring to the percentage of graduates who were ultimately accepted into Ivy League schools (this is more common in NYC).

Two important recommendations:

1. In some states, political party affiliation is public. You can cross-reference the list of school teachers, employees, administrators, and board members with the public political affiliation data. If you want your child to experience true diversity, one of the best ways to do this is not by the now-trendy method of highlighting skin coloration, but by ensuring diversity of thought. One of the easiest ways to ensure diversity of thought is exposure to varying political viewpoints. If every single teacher that your child will have for the next five years is registered with the exact same political party, you can kiss any intellectual diversity goodbye.

2. Schools often have multiple main teachers per grade, and students are randomly assigned to a specific teacher. Do your own thorough research, for each teacher. If you don't like the teacher to whom your child has been randomly assigned, you can get them switched.
I def disagree with the bolded. You can definitely teach intellectual diversity extremely well without regard to political affiliation.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Jonathan » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:48 pm

lightheir wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:41 pm
Jonathan wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm
Try to avoid the "public vs. private" mentality. There are great and terrible schools in each camp.

What do you want for your children? What are their talents, that a great school could cultivate? Intellectual? Athletic? Social? Artistic?

When people say that a school is "good", they're usually (whether or not they know it) referring to their standardized test scores. Occasionally, they will be referring to the percentage of graduates who were ultimately accepted into Ivy League schools (this is more common in NYC).

Two important recommendations:

1. In some states, political party affiliation is public. You can cross-reference the list of school teachers, employees, administrators, and board members with the public political affiliation data. If you want your child to experience true diversity, one of the best ways to do this is not by the now-trendy method of highlighting skin coloration, but by ensuring diversity of thought. One of the easiest ways to ensure diversity of thought is exposure to varying political viewpoints. If every single teacher that your child will have for the next five years is registered with the exact same political party, you can kiss any intellectual diversity goodbye.

2. Schools often have multiple main teachers per grade, and students are randomly assigned to a specific teacher. Do your own thorough research, for each teacher. If you don't like the teacher to whom your child has been randomly assigned, you can get them switched.
I def disagree with the bolded. You can definitely teach intellectual diversity extremely well without regard to political affiliation.
If you are referring to teaching tolerance for diversity, then I agree. However, teaching diversity, without actually having diversity, is more difficult.

If not, then, yes, I agree - we disagree. :D

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by surfstar » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:03 pm

I attended a Catholic school for grades 3-8.

Luckily I still learned science and evolution in High School and College.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by triceratop » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:08 pm

CppCoder wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:41 pm
I didn't attend a private school until my Ph.D. at MIT. The public schooling from kindergarten to bachelors degree seemed to prepare me well enough educationally for my short stint in private school. I can afford to send my kids to private school; I choose to send them to public school.
I attended public schools for college and then continued for a Ph.D. at a...similar...private institution, as yours. Given the choice I would send my future kids to public school, even though I did not personally attend public school until college. A lot of education is values- and priorities-based, teaching the importance of education and inquisitiveness in general; that mostly takes place outside of the classroom.

edit: To make it clear how it is possible to both only attend public school in college and to first attend a private school for graduate school: there was some mention upthread of a 1% which are neither.
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Nutmeg » Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:27 pm

The OP asked what we did. We chose to send our children to private (Christian) schools for religious reasons in every location in which a Christian school was available. We did this even in the years that the tuition was 20 percent of our income because giving our children a religious education was valuable to us. Every year, we either had saved enough or received a bonus or an unsolicited gift from relatives that allowed us to pay tuition in advance.

We felt the religious education was essential for our children. I recognize that you are asking about K-8, but I found a Christian education to be particularly valuable in high school, as the students were required to study the principles of the faith. They also learned about other religions and attended worship services of other faiths. They were required to write personal statements of belief. (Most students were Protestant but some were Catholic and at least one was an atheist.)

As it turned out, we felt there were additional advantages to a private school education as compared to public education in our particular district. Our children had more access to guidance counselors in high school than in a nearby (highly-rated) public school. They had smaller class sizes, and each elementary class had an aide. In our area, the number of sports available to middle school students was extremely limited in the public schools, but the school my children attended offered middle school students all the sports that were offered in high school. You situation could be quite different, but these are some factors that you might wish to consider.

I was surprised to read of one poster's experience with private schools that did not have statistics about the academic success of their students. That was not my experience. While the tests used varied among schools, we received information about all the schools we considered. All of the private schools allowed observation of classes by parents and participation in classes by prospective students. Every high school, public or private, prepares an academic summary of the school to provide to colleges to which their students are applying. Among many other things, the summary provides detailed information on ACT and SAT scores and lists AP courses offered. While private schools might not publish their statistics in ads, i feel confident that they are available to parents of prospective students.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by squirm » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:31 pm

Go private. The bad and disruptive kids get expelled quickly.

Friend is a teacher at public and private. She said at private parents always interested in their kids education and attend school functions, public much less so.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by verbose » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:01 pm

My kids are currently in Catholic schools, one in high school and one in K-8. School choice is an intensely personal decision that depends heavily on the values of the parents and the individual child. Many of us on this board can afford school choice.

We knew early that our oldest would be a bully target. So we sent her to a small, supportive K-8 Catholic school. We chose the school largely on the basis of meeting the principal. Leadership matters. This child decided to go public in 7th grade in a "grass is greener" moment. She was miserable, bullied, she didn't do well in her classes and she was dismayed at the behaviors of the other kids. She went back to the same Catholic school for 8th grade.

Our younger child would do fine in public school, but we want him to have the religious formation he's getting now. We also worry about him succumbing to peer pressure and getting in with the wrong group of kids. It's just who he is, which is very different from who our daughter is.

Are the academics better? I don't know. That's not the primary driver of our decision. And even academic instruction depends a lot on each child's ability to consume that education.

So, this is very personal and you should be happy you can afford to even consider private school. If your child ends up the target of bullies, you have an out.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by lthenderson » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:06 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:53 am
lthenderson wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:27 am
I think the stressing the importance of education by parents plays a bigger role than private vs. public.

However, when our Catholic private school students enter the public school system in grade 6, all of them are about half a year advanced compared to their public school peers and probably around half of them are advanced enough to skip a full grade if they desired. I'm on the school board for the private school and we get reports from the public school teachers on this every year. I can't chalk all that up to wealth of the parents because we get probably 40 to 50% of our students as washed out public school kids mostly due to bullying and their parents get grants and such to be able to afford the tuition.
Thanks for sharing. The problem I have seen from private schools is they have or do not publish the data on their academic superiority. In my city, all public schools take the same standardized testing and it is easy to look up and compare the data. With the private schools they don't take the same testing. They take alternative tests and don't even publish the results of those. In addition each private school takes different tests so impossible to even compare private with private.

Wish private schools did a better job of publishing their data to show any superiority if it exists. You would think they would only benefit from that.

Good luck.
I can't speak for other schools but our private school takes the same standardized test as the local public schools and we do publish our results. I don't believe we are required to publish them but because they help increase our enrollment, we do.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:08 pm

squirm wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:31 pm
Go private. The bad and disruptive kids get expelled quickly.

Friend is a teacher at public and private. She said at private parents always interested in their kids education and attend school functions, public much less so.
On the other hand - there will be "bad and disruptive" people throughout your child's life so perhaps having them learn to deal with them in school isn't the worst thing in the world. In any case - this shouldn't be a deciding factor especially if you are in a good area with good public schools were the number of "bad and disruptive" kids is minimal. Good public schools will pull disruptive kids out of class until, suspend-them, etc. until they stop being disruptive.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by lightheir » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:11 pm

Jonathan wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:48 pm
lightheir wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:41 pm
Jonathan wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm
Try to avoid the "public vs. private" mentality. There are great and terrible schools in each camp.

What do you want for your children? What are their talents, that a great school could cultivate? Intellectual? Athletic? Social? Artistic?

When people say that a school is "good", they're usually (whether or not they know it) referring to their standardized test scores. Occasionally, they will be referring to the percentage of graduates who were ultimately accepted into Ivy League schools (this is more common in NYC).

Two important recommendations:

1. In some states, political party affiliation is public. You can cross-reference the list of school teachers, employees, administrators, and board members with the public political affiliation data. If you want your child to experience true diversity, one of the best ways to do this is not by the now-trendy method of highlighting skin coloration, but by ensuring diversity of thought. One of the easiest ways to ensure diversity of thought is exposure to varying political viewpoints. If every single teacher that your child will have for the next five years is registered with the exact same political party, you can kiss any intellectual diversity goodbye.

2. Schools often have multiple main teachers per grade, and students are randomly assigned to a specific teacher. Do your own thorough research, for each teacher. If you don't like the teacher to whom your child has been randomly assigned, you can get them switched.
I def disagree with the bolded. You can definitely teach intellectual diversity extremely well without regard to political affiliation.
If you are referring to teaching tolerance for diversity, then I agree. However, teaching diversity, without actually having diversity, is more difficult.

If not, then, yes, I agree - we disagree. :D
INTELLECTUAL diversity is what I'm referring to. I don't think political views should have any impact on teaching or understanding intellectual diversity. You don't need to have diehard alt-creationists in the classroom to study and analyze their point of view, and the tools to fairly critique and analyze the viewpoints can also be learned and utilized without political affiliation.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Jonathan » Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 pm

lightheir wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:11 pm
INTELLECTUAL diversity is what I'm referring to. I don't think political views should have any impact on teaching or understanding intellectual diversity. You don't need to have diehard alt-creationists in the classroom to study and analyze their point of view, and the tools to fairly critique and analyze the viewpoints can also be learned and utilized without political affiliation.
I don't think political views should have any impact on learning. In practice, my experience has been that they do, and that such a bias is unavoidable.

Similarly, I don't think that political views should have any impact on news, but I know that they do, I know that I can't remove that bias, and I know that I can mitigate that bias simply by exposing myself to news sources of varying political positions.

Ideally, you can analyze intellectual diversity separate from politics, but it's much more laborious. You could sit in on multiple teachers' classes, multiple times, and analyze their previous writings and backgrounds. Pragmatically, the voter databases are a great publicly-available tool for diversity analysis; you can run the teachers' names, cross-reference them against the political party registration info, and produce a pie chart displaying political bias fairly quickly. If I'm analyzing a school's teachers, and I see that they're roughly split left/right, I feel much more comfortable than if I see a clear political bias.

Creationism is a tough one. I'm not sure it's categorized as intellectualism in the first place (outside of very mild Creationist concepts). But if roughly half my voting country is in one political party, and half in the other, then I want my child to receive exposure to both, and to develop meaningful relationships with both peers and mentors who affiliate with both parties.

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Re: Public vs Private Elementary

Post by Watty » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:38 pm

squirm wrote:
Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:31 pm
Go private. The bad and disruptive kids get expelled quickly.
It may be a few decades out of date but when I was in high school the few kids that I knew of who were in danger of being expelled usually went to the local Catholic school after being suspended a few times.

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