Private Schools: Everything You Need to Know

These are schools that are not funded or controlled by the government. They are able to select their students as they choose and receive the necessary funding from the tuition fees their students pay. A lot of private schools are affiliated with larger organizations that they share values or a mission with—often an affiliation with a religious group.

Some private primary and secondary schools are established by religious institutions to incorporate religious teachings and beliefs into their students’ education, while integrating them with a traditional academic program. Some of the first religious schools in the United States were founded by the Catholic Church. These parochial schools are still widespread amongst the nation’s private schools. However, a lot has changed with time, as several other religious denominations have founded schools to provide religious education. Parents often decide to enroll their children in such schools whose policies match their own values. Today, Orthodox Christian, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, and other religious institutions are quite common. Some private schools even have their own unique educational approaches, which are reflected in the curriculum they design and implement.

On average, private schools have lower student-teacher ratios, smaller average class sizes, and smaller enrollments than public schools. Due to smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios, private school can focus better on their students and offer them the necessary help and guidance for effective learning. This explains why students in private schools score well above the national average consistently in the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) periodically administered by the National Center for Education Statistics. Generally, private school students also perform better in standardized achievement tests than their counterparts in public schools.

Compared to public high schools, private high schools usually have more challenging graduation requirements. It’s also found that private school students are more likely than their public school counterparts to finish a bachelor’s or advanced degree by their mid-20s. Private school graduates are more likely than their public schools peer to have completed advanced-level courses in three academic subject areas.

Surprisingly, private school teachers who get paid significantly less than teachers in public schools, report higher satisfaction with their careers than their public school counterparts. They also have better relationships with their colleagues. These teachers are more likely than their public school peers to report having a lot of influence on quite a few teaching practices and school policies. A majority of private school teachers also express affirmative opinions about their school’s management and principal.

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