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Catholic, Private, or Public School?

posted 8 years 5 months ago
Have you decided if you are sending your kids to catholic, private, or public school? What is behind your decision?

I live in a reasonably nice area with a decent public school, but recently found out most everyone in my son's preschool is sending their child to the nearby Catholic school, which is our main option for a "private" type education. I was sort of taken aback, because I'm pretty sure the reason is not religious. I thought public would be fine, but I'm wondering if everyone perceives private as better? If you have the money, do you just go private?

I just want to choose the best school for academics. I find it hard to compare because it is hard to find stats and accurate ratings on private and Catholic schools. I thought the ratings for our public school were pretty high, so I don't really understand why they wouldn't choose it. Am I missing something that I don't understand from not growing up here?

posted 8 years 5 months ago
My child is only 1 right now - but the nature of my husbands work means that we move about every 3-4 years. It can be within the country or internationally, so it's somewhat hard to consider schools and what will be right for our child when we don't even know where we will be living by then!

I think honestly I would just do some research on schools in the area. Perhaps go in to different schools and chat with the principal or teachers if there's an opportunity to do so and go from there. Generally speaking if I get a good gut instinct I just go with it! Hasn't failed me so far!

posted 8 years 5 months ago
I am planning on homeschooling my child, though as I am still pregnant, I have a little while before that is necessary. Even though the public schools here in California seem nice, American schools whitewash history and other subjects and present a slanted view of the world. I also do not think the one-size-fits-all approach to education and emphasis on testing is best for children. I believe that a child's education should be personalized to their interests as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

I attended Catholic school from first to twelfth grade and can personally say it was not a better education or a healthy atmosphere. Many of the rules - like uniform codes - are arbitrary and have nothing to do with providing a rich learning environment. It also did not help that my school was incredibly small and most of the students were wealthier kids who grew up together in the same neighborhood, meaning outsiders like myself were typically excluded and bullied while the staff praised the student body for being "close-knit" (a.k.a. cliquish). The education was not of a greater quality than that provided by the local public schools (which was also poor but at least it was free). Many subjects were taught by coaches who did not have any interest or skill in education. The poor pay for teachers (which was less than the local public schools despite tuition being more expensive than the community college) coupled with the long hours meant that good teachers left quickly, and the ones who stayed grew apathetic and lazy. Add to that the anti-intellectual roots of Catholicism, I learned some interesting "facts". My parents and many of the other parents were influenced more by classism and racism to send their children to the mostly white, upper middle class school rather than any actual advantage the school provided.

posted 8 years 5 months ago
thanks @amelia88, I will try going into the schools to get a feel for them, that's what I did with the preschools and it worked out well.

thanks for sharing your experience @Morted. Your story is somewhat the impression I already had of Catholic schools, even though we are Catholic. I think classism is a good term I haven't considered and might be the confusing factor for me here.

I personally veer more towards public education because I feel there is more accountability, but all my child's friends are going to Catholic and I am better getting along with the parents that are going Catholic. Argh! so confusing.

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