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Public Schools Vs. Private

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March, 1st, 2007

The real difference in Public and Private Schools

Parents spend thousands of dollars a year to send their children to private schools. And for what benefit to their child? Academic? Social? In this essay I will examine some differing factors between the schools and analyze how they contribute to forming the resulting individual. I will discuss the two most prevalent differences, single sex vs. co ed, and class size. I stray from the academics because I personally believe they do not vary greatly or lead to differences in the resulting individuals.

The core academia offered by private and public schools does not differ much, however, the atmosphere in which it is offered is key. I say core because many private schools have required religion courses in which I am excluding from the argument. The quality of teachers at a private school is not necessarily better than that of a public school. In fact, at the very respected private school Santa Catalina, the lower school teachers are not requires to hold a degree at all. The students are earning the same material and taking the same AP tests. What really differs between the two school is the atmosphere. the resulting students formed through their high school experiences are usually dramatically different. The students are learning the same material and taking the same AP tests. The real factor in the academics is the school atmosphere in which the student learns the material, which s what I will be discussing.

The most prevalent difference in the atmosphere of the schools is coed vs. single sexed.. In a single sexed environment the student is free from judgment of the opposite sex. As stated in an online article, "They are freer to participate in class discussions, which boys dominate in co-educational schools. They tend to gain confidence in themselves as students. They tend to score higher on their College Board and Advanced Placement examinations. There are many adult female role models and no favoritism of males. Girls no longer have to live up to expectations that they must be nice, quiet, non-athletic, and passive". As this quote illustrates, in a single sex environment we see the student growing as individuals. This hold true for boys as well. as shown through a study done in Swadlincote, boys grades tend to improve and so does their behavior, "The group [boys and girls] was segregated for 70 per cent of their lessons. [Male] Behaviour improved 'phenomenally' according to Mike Mayers, the head teacher, and 45% of the group are now expected to achieve A's at GCSE, compared to a forecast



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