Benefits of Private School vs. Public Schools – Should You Make the Switch?Written by Friends Academy
Lack of adult role models, overwhelming technological distraction, a culture focused on achievement instead of values — young people today are facing challenges like these and so many more. From an early age, young people are inundated with noise and anxiety about the future, and as a result, there are so many unengaged and uninspired students being expected to learn and grow in today’s traditional school system.
What do young learners need in order to harness the power of critical thinking, reflective observation, and data-driven experimentation? How can we, as educators, inspire our students to successfully engage with the world in an informed, compassionate way?
Let’s talk about the difference between private schools and public schools — and explore how the welcoming community at Friends Academy is actively working to develop the next generation of driven, mission-oriented changemakers.
What is the difference between public and private schools?
When comparing the notion of a private school to public school, words like more exclusive, expensive, or very academically rigorous may come to mind, but there is so much more that differentiates private schools from public schools.
Public schools are traditionally much larger than private schools, with bigger class sizes and less collaboration between parents, educators, administrators, and students. There are many challenges that the public school system faces — challenges related to class size, teacher shortages, access to technology, and more.
Private schools — sometimes called college prep schools — typically provide smaller, more intimate settings where parents have a partnership with teachers and administrators, so that students’ improvement can be closely monitored and goals can be more easily achieved. Children enrolled in private schools are given the opportunity to engage in experiential learning opportunities, learning with and from their peers in a collaborative, hands-on environment.
Private and college prep schools typically allow for:
More personalized instruction with lower student-to-teacher ratios
|Specialized programs such as STEM, robotics, athletics, and the arts.|
|Intimate parents-educator partnerships where parents and teachers work together||High-quality instruction fueld by educators with on-the-ground classroom experience|
|An inclusive, warm community||Excellent, data-backed academic outcomes|
What does the data tell us about public school vs. private school graduates?
Compared to most traditional public schools, private schools often adopt a holistic approach to instruction — focusing on academic excellence in addition to social and emotional learning. When it comes to post-graduation success, there is data that suggests the value of sending your child to private school as opposed to public school.
Research from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) reveals that a private school’s “holistic approach to education may result in better long-term outcomes for graduates” when it comes to college preparedness. In fact, “a higher percentage of NAIS graduates than public school graduates enrolled in college immediately after high school (85 percent of NAIS graduates compared to 69 percent of public school graduates).”
"Nearly 100 percent of graduates from NAIS schools go on to college, with more than half attending the most selective colleges and universities."
Further, because private school students are more likely to engage with hands-on learning opportunities, participate in extracurricular activities, collaborate with expert teaching staff, and experience customizable coursework, these students experience “higher rates of well-being and workplace engagement later in life.”
In sum, the data shows that students who graduate from private schools are more likely to enter the real world with the knowledge, ambition, and self-awareness needed to take the next step in their academic journey and ultimately, successfully engage with the world.
4 reasons parents choose private schools vs. public schools
Research from the National Association of Independent Schools shows that parents consider private school for four main reasons:
- The public school system has failed them either academically or by not providing a safe learning environment.
- Parents feel a child is intelligent and emotionally mature and a private school will help the child grow to their full potential and be well prepared for college.
- Some schools are mainly focused on test scores and academics. Private schools are scaled to focus on a child's social and emotional development so that they will be a well rounded and productive member of society.
- A child has specific hobbies, talents, and interests that must be cultivated, and the family wants a school with an outstanding academic program that will also nurture these unique interests.
Friends Academy – a Quaker school driven by purpose and values
Friends Academy is a K-12 private school in Long Island that is based on the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equity, and service. Founded in 1876, Friends Academy is rated the #1 best private school in Nassau County, and is a nationally renowned coeducational, independent, college prep school for students in preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school.
As a Quaker school, our mission is to educate students to discover and develop the best of who they are and who they can become.
Watch our short introduction video – We are Friends Academy – to learn more about our unique approach to Quaker education!
Social action is important to our community: civil discourse, equity, identity, inclusion, and conflict resolution become subjects for study and give the opportunity for students to learn how to become citizens of the world, not just their local communities.
We inspire students to learn with purpose so they can achieve greatness without sacrificing goodness.
With dynamic educators, unparalleled curriculum, and a welcoming community driven by Quaker values, we nurture each student’s spirit of innovation — developing young adults who have the social and emotional skills to practice peace and justice. When a child’s entire educational experience is based on a foundation of essential, human values, they develop into open, caring, and confident adults.
If you are looking for a unique, respected, and value-based educational setting for your child, then we invite you to connect with us at Friends Academy. You can request more information or explore our admissions requirements to learn more.