Evaluating Public Schools

This section provides tools to aid in finding the best public school option for your child. Compare private and public schools, explore school zoning issues, and delve into the public school grading and ranking system. Find information on the safest schools and what they are doing right.
View the most popular articles in Evaluating Public Schools:
Published August 02, 2017 |
A Quick Guide to U.S. Public and Private School Options
When it comes to public school, you may think that one school is like any other but you would be wrong. There are more than a dozen different types of public school - keep reading to learn more.

School is school – or so many parents think. What you may not realize, however, is that there are many different types of schools, even within the category of public schools. The school you send your child to will largely depend on where you live and what options are available but, if you have multiple options to choose from, it is important to learn what you can about each one before making your choice. The school that is right for one child may not be right for another, so consider your options carefully.

Not only is public school very different from private school, but there are over a dozen different types of schools (both public and private) scattered across the country. In this article, you’ll receive a brief overview of each of these school options so, if the choice becomes yours to make, you’ll be fully equipped to make an informed decision. Keep reading to learn the basics about different schooling options in the United States.

How is Public School Different from Private School?

The main difference between private and public school is the source of funding. Public schools are funded by local, state, or federal government while private schools are generally funded through tuition paid by the students. Because public schools receive federal funds, they must also follow federal guidelines and that sometimes limits what public schools are able to teach. Private schools are not subject to the same standards so they have more freedom in developing their curriculum. Licensing requirements

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Published May 08, 2017 |
Which School Is Best: Public School vs. Charter School vs. Magnet School
Many people assume that public school and private school are the only two options but there are actually several kinds of public school. Keep reading to learn more.

There are nearly 50 million students enrolled in U.S. public schools and another 6 million attending private schools. Depending where you live, you may have the option to choose where you send your child to school, but how do you make a smart choice? The first step is to learn the difference between the different types of public and private schools. Once you have a deeper understanding of the options, you can think about your child’s individual needs and preferences to make the smart choice. Keep reading to learn about traditional public, charter, and magnet schools in particular.

The Pros and Cons of Public School

A public school is one that receives funding from local, state, and federal government funds which means that they are required to admit students who live within the district. A private school, on the other hand, is one that gets its funding from a private organization or from private individuals. This means that they are able to choose which students they do and do not admit based on whatever criteria they decide.

While private schools do have their advantages, you can tell by the statistics already mentioned that more students attend private school than public school. But what are the pros and cons of public school, and what are the different types? Below you will find an overview of the pros and cons for public school and the following section will provide information about two types of public schools – charter schools and magnet schools.

Pros for Public

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Updated March 08, 2017 |
Tips for Transferring Your Student from Private to Public School
Private schools have their benefits and drawbacks, but so do public schools. If you're thinking about making the switch to public school, keep reading to receive some helpful tips.

In many cities across the country, public schools are suffering. Due to lack of funding and other issues, many private schools fail to meet the needs of their students, prompting many local parents to send their children to private school instead. But private school comes with its own list of challenges and it isn’t always the best choice. If your child is attending private school but you’re thinking about making the switch back to public, keep reading to learn some important information.

The Pros and Cons of Private School

Private school is not always all it’s cracked up to be – there are both pros and cons for you to consider. One of the biggest advantages that many private schools offer is more personalized attention for students. Private schools often boast smaller class sizes and lower student-teacher ratios than public schools – they may also have more challenging curriculum. Because private schools are funded differently than public schools, many private schools have better books and supplies as well as more up-to-date technology. Some private schools even focus on a particular subject or skill which can be beneficial for students who have an interest in that area.

On the downside, private schools can be expensive – tuition can cost thousands of dollars a year and there may not be enough scholarships to go around. In some private schools (particularly those with religious affiliations), teachers may not have a teaching degree – they may only have knowledge in the subject they are teaching. Some

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Published August 05, 2016 |
What are the Benefits of Magnet Schools?
Could a magnet school be the right choice for your child? Take the time to learn what they are and what educational benefits they offer.

The quality of your child’s education will have a significant impact on the rest of his life. The education he receives while he is young will prepare him for higher education and, eventually, a career. The challenge is, however, that there are many different types of schools to choose from. If you want your child to receive the best education available to him, consider enrolling him in a magnet school.

What is a Magnet School?

A magnet school is a type of public school that, while still part of the local public school system, has a particular curricular focus. In many ways, magnet schools are just another type of school but there are some key features which set these schools apart. In the United States, magnet schools are developed around a core set of five principles according to the Magnet Schools of America organization. These five pillars include the following things:

  • Diversity – Part of what sets magnet schools apart from other schools is the focus on diversity which gives students a global educational experience. Through recruitment and lottery systems, magnet schools strive to develop a student body that is reflective of the surrounding community.
  • Innovative Curriculum and Professional Development – Each magnet school has a particular theme and the curriculum is relevant to that theme, designed to prepare students for higher education and eventual career success.
  • Academic Excellence – Magnet schools are committed to multi-dimensional instruction which is focused on the needs of the students. Various assessment strategies are used to monitor student
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Updated May 17, 2016 |
Pros and Cons of Public versus Private Elementary Schools
The elementary school you choose for your child could impact his academic success for life - learn more about choosing between public and private elementary schools.

When your child reaches school age you have a lot of important decisions to make. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to send your child to a private or a public elementary school. Each of these options comes with its own pros and cons but unless you do your research you may not understand fully what they are.

Some children will thrive in any kind of educational environment while other students may need special attention or a certain academic structure. Only you know what your child’s needs are, so it is up to you to do the research and to choose the best option for your child. In this article you will receive an overview of private and public elementary schools as well as the pros and cons of each so you can make an educated decision.

The Difference Between Public and Private

Even if your child attended preschool, elementary school is likely to be his first true educational experience. It is very important that you choose the right school for your child at this age because it will shape his academic career for the future. The main decision you need to make is between private and public elementary schools. Even if you choose to send your child to public school in the future, choosing a private school for elementary might be a good choice.

A private elementary school may also be known as an independent school because it is not administered by any state, local, or national

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Evaluating Public Schools

School Zoning

Learn more about zoning rules, how they impact schools and your child. This section offers information on the history of school zones, what they are, and how they work. Get information on who decides school boundaries and the impact those decisions have on the community.

Getting Started

An overview of school designations, best practices for evaluating your options, and tips on choosing the best school for your child. Learn about Blue Ribbon, Vocational and Special Education schools. Get tips on finding the right school in a new neighborhood, city or state.

Grading and Ranking Schools

Explore the public school grading/ranking system, how it works and what it means. Get latest national rankings and read what critics of school grading have to say. Take a look at the nation’s top performing schools as ranked by U.S. News and Newsweek.

Public School Safety

A comprehensive look at the safety of US public schools. Learn what schools are doing to combat gangs and drugs, prepare for natural disasters, and protect your children from predators. From web cameras to armed guards, see what tools public schools are employing to keep kids safe.

Public vs. Private Schools

A comparison of public and private schools, the pros and cons of each, and a look at the cost of getting a stellar education at both. Take a look at some of the most expensive schools, notable public school alumni, and learn more about “private” public schools.