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Private or public schools for kids - thoughts?

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Old 05-08-2013, 12:14 PM   #21
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Ya'll are really providing some great points for both sides of the table. New question - how does one go about getting the info on schools? Is there a website or something? I have tried to look up the schools but really can't find reviews. The parents I have talked to have mixed reviews and some horror and some good stories.

As I said before, we plan on being in this house and district for the next 3 or 4 years and then we will move into a county with a much, much better school system - at that point they will go public, but for now we are still deciding...

Thanks to all of you who have answered!
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenBeers View Post
Use the Google.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools

http://www.greatschools.org

http://www.education-consumers.org

I purposely moved to an area with the best public schools. As the previous poster mentioned, I think the diversity in public schools helps prepare your kids for the real world. The real world ain't always pretty. And I can't afford private school.
Thanks! You posted before I could finish mine! Will check these out and see if I can get any info.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:18 PM   #23
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From personal experience -depending on the private school, you could severely hinder a child from the "real world," like others have said. I started out at a private then finished off at a public school and when I talk with friends that stayed at the private school, my wife and i are always thinking "wtf is wrong with you!"
I actually saw worse behavior while attending private school. But again it depends on the school and on what values the parents have instilled on their children.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailtaco View Post
I actually saw worse behavior while attending private school. But again it depends on the school and on what values the parents have instilled on their children.
Very good points trailtaco...
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:38 PM   #25
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We have the best of both worlds, Charter school. It is run and managed by one of the State Universities, but is associated with the local school district. Best part is that it is free. Kids are still held to a higher standard and parent participation is mandatory.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:41 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Chipskip View Post
We have the best of both worlds, Charter school. It is run and managed by one of the State Universities, but is associated with the local school district. Best part is that it is free. Kids are still held to a higher standard and parent participation is mandatory.

That sounds like it would be really, really good!
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:42 PM   #27
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I have experienced both first hand as I went to public school 1st grade to 8th grade, then to a private Catholic school for all of high school. It was my choose to go to St. Mary's high school, not my parent's.

Public school the kids tend to learn more "street" stuff as you have a wider variety of kids at the school. From what I learned about the education and kids, was that the education for elementary school was pretty good, but you have bigger classes numbers wise. The kids in elementary school were not too bad as everyone got along for the most part since they are young. Middle school was a different story. The education was still pretty good with some challenges as they offered algebra for 8th graders. The kids were pretty bad then though as they would find anything about you to make fun of you for, which is the main reason I chose a private high school. In high school I was still picked on my freshman and some of my sophomore year, but the education was way better. Smaller class sizes in private school means more one on one time and also means that teachers can help a student more since there are less students. Everyone knows everyone since the school is smaller (depending on where you go). Numbers wise was the public high school in town was about 2,500 kids in the whole school compared to 130ish at St. Mary's. My biggest class was my senior year law class at 21 students. Private school also offered an advanced level class for younger students along with the regular level. They also had regular, advanced or honors level, and AP level courses for older students. These courses tend to be more challenging and get through more material with the smaller class sizes. My graduating class was 35 students. I was 25th out of 35, with a 3.73 GPA. The valedictorian had I believe something like a 4.2 GPA.

In my opinion it depends on the private school. Kids that are at a religious private school tend to "act out" more since they are taught not to do things. I know plenty of kids that went against teaching of theology class and I feel that they did because of being taught in class not to. I'm not saying I was Mr. Perfect in high school either. It seemed like there were kids that either smoked weed, drank, did both, or were not into it at all. I know the public schools in my area have issues with harder drug use then just weed. I think in all that if you are debating between public versus private that some years in a public school would not be the worst, but maybe consider having your child in private for 6th to 12th grade.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:48 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
Thanks! You posted before I could finish mine! Will check these out and see if I can get any info.
Some of those are pretty subjective, but they are decent resources to get an understanding.

Another point someone brought up -- parent involvement. In my opinion, this is the single most important variable regardless of the school. My wife and I both stay involved with the school and activities (although less now that they are more independent), and over the years it has become very clear that the children who do well have good family support. I haven't seen a child that had good parental support have trouble with school, but I have seen quite the opposite. That said, some kids without good support can still do well, but many that are doing poorly would do better with good support.

So it really sounds like you won't have a problem no matter what you choose -- you are already involved and concerned.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:51 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacobell007 View Post
I have experienced both first hand as I went to public school 1st grade to 8th grade, then to a private Catholic school for all of high school. It was my choose to go to St. Mary's high school, not my parent's.

Public school the kids tend to learn more "street" stuff as you have a wider variety of kids at the school. From what I learned about the education and kids, was that the education for elementary school was pretty good, but you have bigger classes numbers wise. The kids in elementary school were not too bad as everyone got along for the most part since they are young. Middle school was a different story. The education was still pretty good with some challenges as they offered algebra for 8th graders. The kids were pretty bad then though as they would find anything about you to make fun of you for, which is the main reason I chose a private high school. In high school I was still picked on my freshman and some of my sophomore year, but the education was way better. Smaller class sizes in private school means more one on one time and also means that teachers can help a student more since there are less students. Everyone knows everyone since the school is smaller (depending on where you go). Numbers wise was the public high school in town was about 2,500 kids in the whole school compared to 130ish at St. Mary's. My biggest class was my senior year law class at 21 students. Private school also offered an advanced level class for younger students along with the regular level. They also had regular, advanced or honors level, and AP level courses for older students. These courses tend to be more challenging and get through more material with the smaller class sizes. My graduating class was 35 students. I was 25th out of 35, with a 3.73 GPA. The valedictorian had I believe something like a 4.2 GPA.

In my opinion it depends on the private school. Kids that are at a religious private school tend to "act out" more since they are taught not to do things. I know plenty of kids that went against teaching of theology class and I feel that they did because of being taught in class not to. I'm not saying I was Mr. Perfect in high school either. It seemed like there were kids that either smoked weed, drank, did both, or were not into it at all. I know the public schools in my area have issues with harder drug use then just weed. I think in all that if you are debating between public versus private that some years in a public school would not be the worst, but maybe consider having your child in private for 6th to 12th grade.

Excellent point and thank you for replying! There is only so much a parent can do. I want to give him the best chance to be happy and succeed, but at the same time I don't want to protect/shelter him, if that makes sense.

Times are a lot different now than when I grew up - had I not been a teacher and seen the things I have, I/we may not have ever considered this - but I have, and have seen too much quite honestly and at times it kind of scares me to think he may face some of those things.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:57 PM   #30
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Just something I noticed on one of the graphs at one of those sites. Georgia has the biggest gap between how their schools are ranked by the standards organization and how they report their school performance. That is pretty telling and spells trouble.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:57 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenBeers View Post
it has become very clear that the children who do well have good family support. I haven't seen a child that had good parental support have trouble with school, but I have seen quite the opposite. That said, some kids without good support can still do well, but many that are doing poorly would do better with good support.
That's a very good points TenBeers !
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:59 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenBeers View Post
Some of those are pretty subjective, but they are decent resources to get an understanding.

Another point someone brought up -- parent involvement. In my opinion, this is the single most important variable regardless of the school. My wife and I both stay involved with the school and activities (although less now that they are more independent), and over the years it has become very clear that the children who do well have good family support. I haven't seen a child that had good parental support have trouble with school, but I have seen quite the opposite. That said, some kids without good support can still do well, but many that are doing poorly would do better with good support.

So it really sounds like you won't have a problem no matter what you choose -- you are already involved and concerned.

Yes, we are. My parents were very involved in mine and my brother's schooling and I want to do the same. My kids (my youngest will be two at the end of the month) are everything. I want them to love their time as children both in and out of school. I don't want them to be afraid to go to school and lose that magic of childhood.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:00 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenBeers View Post
Just something I noticed on one of the graphs at one of those sites. Georgia has the biggest gap between how their schools are ranked by the standards organization and how they report their school performance. That is pretty telling and spells trouble.

Yes it does... hopefully we can move into a county (Effingham) that has a great school system).
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
Excellent point and thank you for replying! There is only so much a parent can do. I want to give him the best chance to be happy and succeed, but at the same time I don't want to protect/shelter him, if that makes sense.

Times are a lot different now than when I grew up - had I not been a teacher and seen the things I have, I/we may not have ever considered this - but I have, and have seen too much quite honestly and at times it kind of scares me to think he may face some of those things.
You're welcome! You can PM me if you have any questions about my experiences with both. I do not see that going private for all 12 years would really be considered "sheltering," as I am sure that some kids will bring in the "street" stuff as younger kids tend to play sports with kids in public schools. So private school would not necessarily be sheltering him completely. I think it is good to know both ends of the schooling as it makes someone more 'rounded' as a person.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #35
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As a public school teacher, and a first grade teacher at that, I feel that I should chime in.

As several others have noted, please be sure to compare school vs. school as opposed to the strict "public" vs. "private" quagmire that so many fall victim to. The thing about private schools is that there are no regulations for standards and learning objectives. Without getting political and debating whether or not government should have oversight in schools, there is something to be said for uniformity and expectation in education.

That being said, there are very good and very bad schools on both ends of the spectrum. My personal experience as an educator is that many (not all) young students who attend private schools are not as well prepared for real world situations years down the road. First grade (primary grades) are a formative time for children in learning to deal with and cope, not only with math and reading, but with the knucklehead who may be seated behind them.

My personal feelings are also that children are more likely to be exposed to diversity in the public school setting as opposed to private.

Whichever route you go, be sure to research the schools in your area (greatschools.org has already been mentioned) and make your decision based on what you feel is best for your child, and remember that teachers want the same thing!
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:06 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacobell007 View Post
You're welcome! You can PM me if you have any questions about my experiences with both. I do not see that going private for all 12 years would really be considered "sheltering," as I am sure that some kids will bring in the "street" stuff as younger kids tend to play sports with kids in public schools. So private school would not necessarily be sheltering him completely. I think it is good to know both ends of the schooling as it makes someone more 'rounded' as a person.

Thank you - I have a lot of questions so I just may do that.

We are looking at all options, because as you know, this is a big decision. Thanks again!
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #37
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Wow! A lot of posts while I was typing in regards to parent involvement...

I second (and third) them all! Students in my classroom who have active and involved parents have a greater success rate!
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #38
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Thank you all! Ya'll have given us a wealth of information on what has to be one of the most important decisions that we will be making. I am very appreciative of all the help and comments!
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:15 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpacemanSpiff View Post
Thank you all! Ya'll have given us a wealth of information on what has to be one of the most important decisions that we will be making. I am very appreciative of all the help and comments!
Good Luck Eric ! God Bless you and the family !
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:50 PM   #40
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There really needs to be more posts on here like this. It’s cool to hear everyone’s opinions on such an important topic. When my oldest first started school is was extremely difficult for my wife and I so I can completely relate to the Ops concerns.

Op knowing you have the same concerns is really refreshing. I say this because it truly amazes me how so many parents just don't care. They see school as free daycare vs. an environment that sets the stage for his/her future.
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