As a parent who recently enrolled her child into a private school and tried to find the very same answer. It really depends on what you are looking for, for your child. You just have to go to each school (open house, etc. ) and see what they each have to offer and which would be a better fit based on your child and what your child needs in order to obtain the education and opportunities you would like for him/her. Each private school is different some may offer more academically or athletically, some focus on the arts more. The public school really depends on which section of the city/town you live in. Some public schools offer more or the same of what you would pay for at a private school. You just have to do alot of research on the individual school. I am proud to say that I am happy with my choice of private school. Good Luck!15502
We also visited a lot of schools over the two years before our daughter entered kindergarten -- private, public, and publicly-funded charters. We're lucky in that we live in the catchment for one of the better public K-8 public schools in the city (CW Henry). However, I have several friends who transferred out of poor-performing public schools to public schools like Henry, Jenks, Meredith, and McCall using the city's Voluntary Transfer Program.15501
Trying to compare public and private school is often like trying to compare apples and oranges except that the oranges in this case are incredibly expensive. There's such little comparison between public and private schools that it's not really fair to compare them and it's certainly hard to draw a good comparison that's anything more than a 'gut level' reaction. But if we try to what will use as good measurements of comparison? If one is impressed by standardized test results, public schools and private schools don't take the same standardized tests. They do both take SATs - that's one measure where you try to get something to compare if the private school will give you that information - they have no obligation to do so. Past that - you can look at class size. What's the average class size? Which has the smaller class size? How large are the classes allowed to get? How many total students in the school? Both public and private go on about their teacher/student ratio but as private schools are smaller schools, they'll always have a smaller teacher/student ratio.
From that point on, it gets harder - to compare their physical plan, their campuses - you can try that. Which is nicer? Where would you rather be? What kinds of facilities does each school have? Does the private school have an articulated philosophy of education that's appealing to you? Public schools aren't really allowed to have a single philosophy of education or a single approach to education. Is the tradition of the private school one you like? Do they require participation on sports teams? Public schools usually do not and private schools often do require that students join sports teams when in middle and high school. Go and see the schools including the public schools - they get uneasy particularly these days when the public asks to tour a public school but you have that right particularly as a possible future parent. All of the above questions would work for any city's public and private schools - not just Philadelphia's.15500
Often times, a school district website will offer that information. You might want to check your school district site. I didn't see one on the Philadelphia Public Schools site. You can also call the school closest to your home and they can tell you where the boundaries are for that school and what school is yours--even if that school is not your zoned school.
I am in the tenth grade and I attend a private school. I suppose i might be giving you a biased opinion here, but I believe private school is more challenging than most neighborhood public schools. Of course, it all depends on what type of public school it is. If it is a high school that requires a certain grade level, nine times out of ten it is a wonderful school. It is very important to attend the open houses to find out which school best suits your child. I have been attending private school all of my life, and it has given me a very good education. I know a few individuals who have been attending public school all of their lives as well. They constantly tell me stories about fights, gangs, and believe it or not, the terrible things that are done to the teachers. That is just my opinion though. =]67818
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