Among America’s first schools, private schools were established as the foundation for education. According to the U.S. Department of Education in the fall of 2015 there were 4.9 million students attending private schools in the United States.
Choosing a school for their children is one of the most important decisions parents must make. For the parents of close to five million children, the choice is private education. They choose religious and independent schools for many reasons: quality academics, a safe and structured environment, moral and ethical values, caring teachers, supportive communities, and much more.
According to a landmark report Private Schools: A Brief Portrait, by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education:
- Private school students generally perform higher than their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests.
- Private high schools typically have more demanding graduation requirements than do public schools.
- Private high school graduates are more likely than their peers from public schools to have completed advanced-level courses in three academic subject areas, science, mathematics, and foreign language.
- Private school students are more likely than public students to complete a bachelor’s or advanced degree by their mid-20s.
- The latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that private school students outperform the national average in math, reading, science, writing, history, geography and civics.
Some differences between public and private schools are obvious. But deciding what’s right for your child means exploring the subtle differences many parents ignore.