The United States has a long-standing commitment to providing public education to students no matter their income or social status. But even in a world where free education is available to all, many families still choose to pay to enroll their children in private education. Sometimes parents make that choice to honor tradition or to gain them access to a perceived elite group, but most parents choose private schools because of the quality of education provided. Data shows that students from all socioeconomic strata who attend private schools fare better in college and are more likely to earn a four-year degree.
The numbers don’t lie, but what is it exactly about private education that sets it apart from your local public schools? The common assumption would be money. As the saying goes, money makes the world go ‘round. And while financial support from alumni, community members, and parents contributes significantly to our ability to provide top-notch education to our students, there’s still an x-factor to consider. The factor that inspires their support to begin with.
The private school designation allows us to have autonomy for the most part over how and what we teach our students. While we maintain strict standards we have the freedom to add content that brings together the rigor of our academic program with the depth of our spirituality. We are able to integrate lessons and values into our school day that help your child to grow as a whole person, mind, body, and spirit.
The intrinsic autonomy of private education also allows us to opt out of the high-stakes standardized tests to which public students and teachers are held accountable. This means your child’s teacher can focus on mastering content, not on whether your child’s test scores will put them at risk for losing their jobs.
Data shows that the student to teacher ratio in public schools is often higher than that of private schools. It’s clear to us that the more students there are in a classroom, the less attention each one will get from their teacher. Unfortunately, this means that in public classrooms there are more gifted children sitting around feeling unchallenged, and more struggling students who can’t get the support they need. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the well-meaning faculty, but more likely the natural result of overstuffed classrooms. Since classes are generally smaller in private education students are more likely to get the attention they need from a teacher who isn’t stretched too thin.
A good private education isn’t free, but it’s worth every dime. Private schools can provide so much quality that even the best public schools aren’t able to simply due to the factors of autonomy and attention. And for families who find that private school tuition to be a barrier to entry, most private schools, including St. Barnabas, offer financial aid packages. If you think private education is the right choice for your family and you’d like to learn more about St. Barnabas, contact us today.