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:

School Safety: Shootings

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School Safety: Shootings
Teachers and parents must be prepared for anything that impacts the safety of our young people.

As I began my research for this article on school shootings, I thought it best to look at the history of shootings in American schools. I expected the timeline to cover the 19th and 20th centuries, but I wasn't prepared to discover that the first shootings dated back to the 1700s. First, read K12 Academics' History of School Shootings in the United States. That article covers from colonial days through to 2010. Then, to take us up to 2015 read Maria Esther Hammack's A Brief History of Mass Shootings. Reporting in the New York Times, Christine Hauser's article A Partial List Of Mass Shootings In 2022 chronicles the first five months of 2022. Having documented shootings, let us look at what you and I can do to keep our children safe in schools at every level.

Inspired by past school shooters, some perpetrators are seeking fame and notoriety. However, most school shooters are motivated by a generalized anger. Their path to violence involves self-hate and despair turned outward at the world, and our research finds they often communicate their intent to do harm in advance as a final, desperate cry for help. The key to stopping these tragedies is for society to be alert to these warning signs and act on them immediately. from What we know about mass school shootings in the US – and the

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How Are Public Schools in the United States Actually Doing?

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How Are Public Schools in the United States Actually Doing?
When asked to rank the quality of their child's school, most parents rated it a B average. And yet politicians would have you believe that the American public-school system is failing. How are America's public schools really doing, and how do we know?

If you listen to what just about any politician has to say about America’s schools, you’ll hear the word “failing” quite a bit. The fact is that education is a hot topic and it is one that can be used to inspire people to vote. But how much can you actually trust what a politician has to say about the American public education system? How are the public schools in America actually doing?

In 2017, Jack Schneider released a book called Beyond Test Scores in which he suggests that it is well past time to start rethinking the way we measure school performance.

Schneider writes that while test scores are the go-to metric used to evaluate a school’s performance, they don’t really paint an accurate picture. Using Somerville, Massachusetts, a highly diverse urban school district, as a case study, Schneider presents a new framework to assess the effectiveness of the American education system. Read on to learn more about Schneider’s approach and to see data on how American public schools are really doing.

This video from CNBC explains why our public education system is failing us.

Changes to the U.S. News Ranking System

Each year, U.S. News publishes a list of the Best High Schools in America. For the 2018 school year, U.S. News ranked over 2,700 schools – some of the names topping the list were BASIS Scottsdale (AZ), Meridian

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New Study Confirms That Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools

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New Study Confirms That Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools
The results of a new study show that private school education may be no better than public school education. Keep reading to learn more about this study and to learn how to make the right choice between private and public school education for your child.

The results of a new study show that private school education may be no better than public school education. Keep reading to learn more about this study and to learn how to make the right choice between private and public school education for your child.

The world of education is ever-changing but opinions about private versus public school will always be at odds. It is a common assumption that private school education is of a higher quality than public school education, but the results of a new study suggest that this may not be the case.

After reviewing data from over 1,000 students, researchers from the University of Virginia found no evidence to suggest that students from low-income families and children enrolled in urban schools benefited more from private than from public school education. These results are particularly relevant as legislators fight to move toward a more privatized public education system. They also make it clear that the assumption that public schools are inferior to private schools is wrong.

The fact of the matter is that some schools are simply better than others, but the results of this new study suggest that the factors once thought to play the largest role in determining the quality of public versus private education may not be so important. In order to better understand the results of this study, let’s first take a closer look at some of the supposed benefits of private versus public school.

This video compares and contrasts public

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A Quick Guide to U.S. Public and Private School Options

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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

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Which School Is Best: Public School vs. Charter School vs. Magnet School

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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 who attend private schools. Depending on 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 of public school and the following section will provide information about two types of public schools – charter

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Recent Articles

Busing and Desegregation: Understanding the Link
Busing and Desegregation: Understanding the Link
What happens when a school district stops busing students? Could segregation once again be a reality for public school districts? Wake County in North Carolina is testing the segregation waters with its decision to stop busing students in their district.
Surveillance Cameras: Violation of Rights or Improved Security?
Surveillance Cameras: Violation of Rights or Improved Security?
A school district in Virginia has given the green light to schools that want to install surveillance cameras in common areas like cafeterias and hallways. We’ll look at whether this is a violation of student privacy or the best way to keep order in schools.
Teaching in Contemporary Times
March 04, 2024
Teaching in Contemporary Times
We explore why individuals choose teaching, illuminating intrinsic motivations, the influence of role models, the pursuit of lifelong learning, and the aspiration to impact society.

Evaluating Public Schools

Year-Round Or Traditional Schedule?
Year-Round Or Traditional Schedule?
Pros And Cons Of Public VS Private Elementary Schools
Pros And Cons Of Public VS Private Elementary Schools
Public or Private? Which School is Best for Your Child?
Public or Private? Which School is Best for Your Child?
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.
Why You Need to Research School Districts When Buying a Home
Why You Need to Research School Districts When Buying a Home
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.
10 Advantages to Public Education
10 Advantages to Public Education
What a National Blue Ribbon of Distinction Truly Means
What a National Blue Ribbon of Distinction Truly Means
Should My Child Enroll in Honors Or General Courses?
Should My Child Enroll in Honors Or General Courses?
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.
Can Students Be Legally Prosecuted for School Fights?
Can Students Be Legally Prosecuted for School Fights?
Arming Public School Teachers with Guns: The Controversial Legislation
Arming Public School Teachers with Guns: The Controversial Legislation
Political Attire in Public School: Protected by the Constitution?
Political Attire in Public School: Protected by the Constitution?
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.
New Study Confirms That Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools
New Study Confirms That Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools
Public School vs. Private School
Public School vs. Private School
A Quick Guide to U.S. Public and Private School Options
A Quick Guide to U.S. Public and Private School Options