Private Versus Public Education

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Private Versus Public Education

Many struggling parents wish they could send their children to private schools essentially from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. And so my question is: What is the real worth of a private education? According to a statement from the U.S. Department of Education posted by College Smart, private school students generally perform higher than their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests. As a product of public elementary and high school education, I am currently seeing some of the struggles that public school students face after high school graduation when they enter college. I realize now that, behind the high tuition costs, private schools provide caring, challenges, and nurturing in an environment that is lacking in public schools. Families with resources inevitably send their children to private school. It’s what people in that social world do. Nevertheless, their reasons are not only because they can afford it, but also because the real worth of private education can be found in how those students more readily develop an awareness of academic excellence and high achievement.

I have experienced all of the factors that constitute a free education. During my senior year at William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, I remember going to school for a half day, then going to work from 12:30 to 5 p.m. I would get home at six in the evening, Monday through Friday, and not have to do any homework; I loved the idea of having free time. Although I do not regret the corporate work experience, I see the consequences that leisure time brought into my life. Now that I am a college student, I am expected to be responsible for various assignments ...

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...ter in life.

The fact that I am a public school student does not blind me from seeing the reality of the bad habits that I developed through twelve years of two-hours maximum, and frequently no time, spent doing daily homework. I was not fortunate to attend a private school prior to Saint Peter’s College, and I am now suffering the consequences. Unlike public, private schools help promote good study habits that further a person’s chances of succeeding in college. According to College Smart, private school students are twice as likely as public school students to complete a bachelor’s or higher degree by their mid twenties (52 versus 26 percent). Therefore, the worth of attending a private school involves an education for the whole person within a values-based setting that begins with positive, committed habits that will carry over into the rest of one’s life.
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