Education is one experience in life that all people in America share. Whether your experience was positive or negative, whether you attended a public school or received a private education, school is something that all Americans have in common. As a result, most people in the U.S. have pretty strong opinions about the kind of education they want their children to receive. For many parents, selecting a private education for their children is a top priority.
Mandated and funded by local politicians and government funds, public educational systems sometimes struggle. While public districts across the country have many outstanding teachers, these educators are not always allowed to teach children in the manner that they see fit. Demanding more and more national testing, both federal and state agencies continue to ask for not only more testing, but also an increasing amount of data to attempt to evaluate both teachers and students. Some parents who are tired of the testing and mandates forced on public schools opt for private schools. In many instances, these private settings can control, and even limit, their own testing and data collection.
Nowhere is the struggle against unnecessary testing and federal reporting more frustrating than in the preschool and kindergarten years. While all educators and parents realize the necessity of getting kids ready for school, few want the years before kindergarten to be a stressful academic only environment. Again, many parents look for a private preschool setting where they can keep their youngest learners away from the controls of a growing government with a growing list of readiness testing. More than five million American children attend a prekindergarten program of some kind. Parents who focus their efforts on finding a good preschool often look for a learning environment that provides a healthy mix of academic readiness and social interaction.
In addition to avoiding the testing pressure of public schools, private schools can often also provide a lower student to teacher ratio. In fact, 36% of private schools average student-teacher ratios of 10:1 or lower. This percentage compares to only 10% of the public schools being able to provide this same ratio. Whether you are looking for a summer camp experience for your youngest or oldest children or a school for the nine months of the school year, private schools can often offer a more varied outdoor option, often removed from the rows of desks and chairs found in a typical public education setting.
Private schools currently account for 24% of the nation’s schools and they enroll 10% of all preschool through grade twelve students. When you begin to prepare for sending your youngest children to school, it is in your best interest to look at both public and private options.