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Is private school worth it?

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Replies to: Is private school worth it?

  • NewHavenCTmomNewHavenCTmom 1971 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,028 Senior Member
    But what if that slacker kid is your neighbor in the suburbs who is stealing mommy & daddy's prescription narcotics & buying heroine to share with your child? Often times, it's the sheep that we must be careful of.
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  • NewHavenCTmomNewHavenCTmom 1971 replies57 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,028 Senior Member
    DD grew up/went to catholic school with several kids who live in the suburbs and go to fine schools. They are the biggest drinkers/druggies, slackers while the kids from the inner city are great kids and going on to do wonderful things in the fall. My daughter included.
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  • BestfriendsgirlBestfriendsgirl 931 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 935 Member
    @ellen3 - That's the whole point. They aren't religious nuts! Catholic schools are about handing down our faith, values and traditions to the next generation.These parents couldn't care less about all that - some of them are even highly critical of it. All they care about is the fact that it's the "in" thing at our local country club. So-called "riff-raff" doesn't enter into the equation, since these parents live in wealty attendance areas and even if they didn't, our distract has an open transfer policy under which parents can send their children to the public school of their choice as long as they provide transportation and both principals agree to the transfer.
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  • TorveauxTorveaux 1451 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,461 Senior Member
    Lots of good points here. First and foremost, not all private/public schools fit into anyone's box. In general, I wouls say the average private is going to result in a better overall experience than the average public, but your results may and most likely will vary.

    My kids have all done Catholic K-8. S1 just graduated from and D1 is attending our local zoned public HS. We have exemplary (a Texas school rating) public schools, but there is a decided difference between the students who went to the Catholic school and those who went to public. The public school kids are more prepared for music and sports than the Catholic school kids in our case. Academically, the private school kids run circles around most of the public school kids.

    Only about 10 kids from S1's 8th grade class went to this public HS. The HS class is about 650. 2 of the 5 NMF's from the HS came from the 10 kids that went to private school.

    Ultimately to me, the private school is worth it as an investment in our kids both financially and morally. For us in re-inforced our faith and gave the kids a great foundation. (though many of the kids at Catholic school are not Catholic themselves). The kids learned how to learn and work and were held to a high standard of decorum and respect.

    All of that being said. Our experience with Catholic HS is quite different. My brother graduated from one. I coached at another. Many relatives through many more. The running joke is that private school kids in HS just have access to better drugs and alcohol than in public school. The same problems persist and given the higher cost of the HS tuition, fewer 'middle-class' people send their kids there. The Church is still very charitable despite what some people may think and there tend to be a lot of poor kids and kids from various cultures in the Catholic HSs. Many of the 'establishment' families at the Catholic HSs of which I am aware think of the schools as their domain and tend to drive a bit of an elitist culture.
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  • LucieTheLakieLucieTheLakie 3895 replies163 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,058 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    In my experience, if there's one thing a good education--public or private--will teach your kids is that it's unwise to make sweeping generalizations about people based on their income levels (rich or poor), religious affiliation, or where they attend school.
    But there's really no way to guarantee which your child will be. So why take the risk if you can afford not to? There's no reset button on life. If your daughter starts sneaking off with some slacker petty drug dealer, you can't rewind two years and not put her in the algebra II course she met him in.

    I chose to sacrifice a lot to send my kid to Quaker schools (for a variety of reasons I discussed up-thread), but I was never under the delusion that drugs are only an issue in public schools. We just had a huge scandal in the area over a couple of elite private school-educated drug traffickers setting up shop in the region:
    Scott, 25, of Haverford, and Brooks, 18, of Villanova, were accused Monday of being the leaders of a drug trafficking ring that sought to corner the trade across some of the western suburbs' most prominent public schools. Brooks even branded the effort, allegedly describing it as "the main line take over project."

    Authorities said the pair enlisted student dealers and customers at their alma mater, the Haverford School, and at Lower Merion, Harriton, Conestoga, and Radnor High Schools - all considered among the state's elite. The network also allegedly sold drugs at a few colleges . . .

    Also charged in the case, authorities said, were Daniel R. McGrath, 18, of Glenolden, a current student at the Haverford School; John C. Rosemann, 20, of Connecticut, who was at Lafayette College; Christian S. Euler, 23, of Villanova, a student at Lafayette; Garrett M. Johnson, 18, a Haverford College student from New York; Reid Cohen, an 18-year-old Haverford College student from Englewood Cliffs, N.J.; and Willow L. Orr, 22, and Domenic V. Curcio, 29, both of Philadelphia.

    http://articles.philly.com/2014-04-23/news/49321931_1_medical-marijuana-dispensary-haverford-school-drug-distribution

    Haverford School, Haverford College, Lafayette College . . . .Lower Merion, Conestoga and Radnor School Districts . . . all would fit the definition of "elite" in most circles. Don't kid yourself that you can buy your way away from "riff-raff."
    edited June 2014
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  • doubtfuldoubtful 281 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 284 Junior Member
    edited June 2014
    Ellen -- no white collar criminals or trust fund dummies at your school? Cause my kids go to an old and well known private HS and there's still riff raff of a very dangerous variety -- the wealthy kind. Otherwise, I agree with most of your points. In my opinion, thru 12th grade, the main determinant of a public or private schools' quality is not it's endowment, facilities or staff; it's the degree of parental involvement.
    edited June 2014
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  • NJSueNJSue 2841 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,858 Senior Member
    I find the assumption that private school kids do not use or deal drugs to be naive in the extreme. I certainly hope no parent is shelling over tuition money in this mistaken belief. There are many reasons to choose private for one's children but the avoidance of drugs and alcohol is not one of them.
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  • amarylandmomamarylandmom 623 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 631 Member
    edited June 2014
    My kids go to well known, very old private and there most certainly are drugs being used and being dealt unfortunately. I went to a less academic private (not by choice exactly, but it was expedient), and while I loved it, I can say there were boatloads of drugs. More money, easier access to drugs. That being said, the kids doing and even dealing the drugs are still very academically oriented. In fact a couple who were just disciplined for drug infractions are in all AP classes, etc with very high SATs. Drug and alcohol use isn't really confined to a particular type of kid. However, I think in private school, there are very few who aren't motivated . . .so the atmosphere does feel different in that regard. There's no perfect answers.

    And you'll see the same exact thing in the very tip top colleges - - plenty of alcohol and drug use and abuse.
    edited June 2014
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  • HannaHanna 14863 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    "Cause my kids go to an old and well known private HS and there's still riff raff of a very dangerous variety -- the wealthy kind."

    Yep, so did I. There were and still are plenty of toxic, anti-intellectual values celebrated at my elite private school, if you ask me. Lots of attention paid to personal appearance and displays of wealth, all under a veneer of inclusion and acceptance.
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  • streetcredstreetcred 87 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    edited June 2014
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    edited June 2014
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76106 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,769 Senior Member
    I think the concern about kids being unduly sheltered by private school so that they don't have to interact with non-elite kids and therefore will be unable to relate to others from other backgrounds is very unfounded.

    Apparently, at least one person thinks it is a problem in his own case:
    http://theamericanscholar.org/the-disadvantages-of-an-elite-education/
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76106 replies663 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 76,769 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    ellen3 wrote:
    The word "elite" is a stretch. There are very few "elite" private schools. Most private schools are $8,000-10,000 per year. "Elite" is when you can afford a $30,000 day school or a $40,000-50,000 boarding.

    Around here, the academically good private schools are often over $30,000 per year at the high school level (non-boarding). The Catholic ones are less expensive, usually around half of that.
    edited June 2014
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