Private vs. Public: Equal Education Given


One in every 10 students goes to private school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). With excellent public school education available in Montgomery County, are these students getting what they pay for?

As someone who went to private school for two years, I would argue that public and private schools are not as different as private school recruiters would like you to think. Both offer a quality education. However, private school tuition can set a family back an average of $8,500 per year according to the NCES.

One major difference is how classes are scheduled. At Good Counsel, there are four classes per day and each class is about an hour and a half long, which is known as a block schedule. This gives students more time to work on homework assignments, but it also means assignments are usually larger and more time consuming. Also, the longer period means tests can be much longer than the average 50 multiple choice questions in public school.

Another difference is the dress code. Private schools eliminate the clothing factor from a teen’s already clouded mind, by requiring school uniforms. Each morning, private school students simply throw on their uniforms and head to school, rather than taking 30 minutes to choose an outfit. Although a dress code eliminates the freedom to express oneself, it enables students to view each other as equals, meaning no one is judged based on his or her clothing.

Discipline is also another marginal difference between private and public school. At private schools there usually is a disciplinarian who hands out “demerits” for anything from not having a shirt tucked in to talking back to a teacher. Once a certain number of demerits has been acquired, detention, sometimes on Saturday, is assigned. On the other hand, at public school, the disciplinary system seems much less strict. Parents are called for a first offense and then a referral is given if misbehavior continues.

All in all, it comes down to personal preference when the time comes to choose public or private school. Some students enjoy the religious aspect of Catholic private schools; some parents feel safer with the strict disciplinary system in place at most private schools. But rest assured; students who attend public schools are not missing out on any sort of superior education students are receiving at private schools.