Public vs Private High School

<p>I know this should be easy to find on Google, but I apparently suck at internet searches...</p>

<p>Does anyone know what percentage of kids attend public high schools versus private in the United States?</p>

<p>It's getting harder and harder to convince the parents in our hood to keep their kids in our public high school even though it's a great school, so I got curious about the national numbers.</p>


<p>Hope this helps, I Googled 'public private high school percent'</p>

<p>Fast</a> Facts</p>

<p>HurtLocker, I think the argument for staying in public school ought to be based on the opportunities that specific school offers students. National numbers are not really relevant.
I know that I chose my high school years ago to work with a nationally ranked debate coach. In my area now, many students choose their high school (even moving from one public school district to another) based on athletic coaches, performing arts programs, science research programs, or academic reputation.
What does your public high school offer students?</p>

<p>I'm just going to say what I learned working as an advocate for my public Magnet high school, along with some of the other alumni who were in colleges in the area.</p>

<p>Part of public high schools' resources are based upon what the district puts into the school, yes, but another big part is the care that the parents and students put into the school as well. My school district had a big disconnect with the amount of money spent per student in the schools in the southern part of the district (solidly middle-class, where I lived) versus the northern part of the district (more upper-middle-class families). But in addition to the money, the parents agitated. Their PTAs were strong, they got local businesses to partner with the schools and provide resources, and let's face it, they were far less focused on the football team's uniforms and marching band's trips and more focused on academics and resources that would help their students excel, like new books and laptop computers.</p>

<p>One of my jobs as an alumni advocate was to speak to the parents that were coming to PTA meetings and get them more involved. We also spoke with community leaders to try to get sponsorships from companies, and stuff. The more parents that divest from public high schools, the worse they get. The really rich parents put their kids in high-class private schools; the middle-class parents either do the same or move to "better" districts or lie or use friends and relatives' addresses to get their kids in there; and the only people that are left are the lower-middle-class parents who care but can't afford to move - some of which are really involved and some of which don't have the time to be as involved because they're working their butts off...and the parents who don't care that much, or at all.</p>

<p>But when the parents saw that we cared, and saw that we weren't stupid and realized what the differences between our school and some of the northern district schools were, they started to care more. And when they showed more interest, the school improved...slowly. Not that our school was that bad to begin with - it's a great public school with a Magnet program, that I was in.</p>

<p>Anyway, I guess my point should be, maybe the focus should be less about the percentage of kids who go to private schools...and more about improving what you have. And don't take it as naivety...I completely understand why parents would want to pull their kids out of a failing school, and don't want to use their kids as guinea pigs for idealism. But one of the best ways to get a public high school from good to great is to get the WHOLE community involved. Even the people who don't have kids. They need to care, too, and the way to make them care is to make them realize that the high school affects them, too. A good high school attracts new developments, as higher-income families want to move in; new developments attract newer and better business for both existing businesses and any future investments; that generates revenue for the school AND the community. Not to mention that it increases the social and human capital of the community.</p>

<p>Keep your kids in, and get just as involved with that public school as you would be at a private school where you'd be paying $30,000 a year for them to go.</p>

<p>Colleges are more impressed by public school candidates who excel than prep school students who "excel" because the public school kids did not have as many oppurtunities afforded to them. Ie: SAT, AP, ACT, College Essay 101 prep classes.</p>

<p>^D's public high school has all that stuff, so there goes your argument.</p>

<p>Not all "private" schools offer many opportunities. Many are too small. I know public schools vary too, but in my community, public schools can offer WAY more opportunities than the two or three parochial (not "prep") "privates" within a 50 mile radius.</p>


^D's public high school has all that stuff, so there goes your argument.


<p>Then you attend a really good public high school. My school has a SAT Prep class but the kids call it "free period". I think kids from Private schools generally have a harder time because their schools generally have more resources, but this is obviously not true in many situations and at the end of the day it's what the student does that makes a difference.</p>

<p>Thanks for your comments, guys.</p>

<p>entomom, thanks for the link. According to that, 10% of highschoolers in the nation attend private schools and yet they take up 45% of the spots at the Ivies, for example. I know that's skewed because the privates skim a lot of the top students from the top of the pool in the first place.</p>

<p>Our public school is incredible, very much like a magnet school because it's well-funded by the education foundation in the community. </p>

<p>The privates in our area are great as well, of course. I'm not judging either form. I agree that everyone chooses what they choose for personal reasons.</p>

<p>I was just curious about the numbers on a national level. And I guess I'm curious about the general belief (in our town) that going to a private school increases a kid's chances of getting into the top schools. I've heard arguments on both sides of that. I'm not sure what side I fall on.</p>

<p>In my town, kids routinely leave my kids ("private") school in the seventh grade, for the broader public school options ( more AP's, honors classes, clubs, more flexibility in scheduling classes), ultimately based on improving their chances of getting into better schools.</p>