The decision about a child’s education can determine many things about their lives. This is why parents need to consider school options carefully.
For some families, the best option may be to homeschool their children. Part of motherhood for you may be serving as your child’s teacher. For others, the public school serves their child’s need for sports, socialization, and education.
There are also private school options. These can include schools with an emphasis on religion, virtual education, and even individual student attention. Private schools typically have smaller class sizes, with one teacher for every 12 students.
Here are some key points to consider when making decisions about your child’s education.
How Important Is Selectiveness?
Your neighborhood public school is open to all students. This is different from private schools and charter schools.
Private and charter schools establish criteria for selecting students. Some will consider an academic achievement. A religious private school might consider affiliation with a church. Other schools might assess a student’s involvement in outside activities.
Private schools also might require more parental involvement to ensure that the child is receiving consistent guidance at home and school. This may require some parents to rethink how they spend their volunteer time. While people spend an average of 52 hours a year volunteering their time, some parents may not find the time to volunteer at all.
What Type of Accountability Is Important?
Everyone agrees that schools should be accountable. But where they may disagree is, to whom should schools be accountable?
Public schools are accountable to local school boards and state officials, sometimes even a state school board. To a lesser extent, public schools are accountable to their community and parents. But their focus is on the accountability they face at the local and state levels.
Private schools are not accountable to local or state officials. They are responsible to their private board and the parents they serve. This means that parents must take a more active role in their child’s education to ensure that they are receiving what they need. This includes everything from the teachers hired to the textbooks used to the curriculum that is enforced at the school.
While some families may consider a lack of accountability to local and state officials a good thing, some parents may worry that certain education standards are not being met at private and charter schools. To overcome this, some private schools seek accreditation from certain organizations to show that a minimum set of standards are being met.
Are You Seeking Independence For Your Child’s School?
While public schools require a certain level of accreditation and certification for teachers and define the curriculum that they will follow, private and charter schools do not require this.
This independence is important to some parents who may not agree with local and state decisions about teachers and curriculum. Private schools can operate independently in this way, leaving some parents to question whether their children will receive an adequate education that meets minimum standards. In many states, children at private and charter schools are required to meet minimum academic standards that typically are tested through standardized assessments.
Some parents may not care that certain private schools do not require teachers to be certified in certain academic areas. And in some cases, teachers in public schools instruct in areas where they are not certified.
The key is to find the school that meets your child’s needs and your expectations as a parent. You can do your research about potential school options for your child online. You can find what is available by searching for private and charter schools in your area through your favorite search engine. This is a critical first step because 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.