It may come as no surprise that an increasing number of people in America are talking about benefits of private education. With a Secretary of Education who sent all of her children to private schools, in fact, many fear that the person in charge of the national education decisions will promote the benefits of private education over the public school offerings that the majority of Americans rely on.
And while many people think that there are many reasons why private schools are better, there are a growing number of Americans who know that it is the public schools in America that will continue to educate the majority of American children. Fearful that the new education secretary will divert essential funds from the public schools that educate the majority of Americans to the private schools that educate far fewer students, the educational financing in America is a major concern for many. Whether you are looking at the benefits of private education or you are proclaiming the benefits of keeping public education strong, few would deny the importance of education in the lives of children across the country. And given that everyone has a history of attending school, we should never be surprised that we all think that we are experts and that we have strong opinions when it comes to how we think schools should operate.
With a variety of opinions by self proclaimed experts, there are still some basic standards that most would agree upon. Consider some of these important educational principles that almost everyone can agree upon:
- Quality Teachers. Few things have a bigger impact on how successful a school is than the quality of the teachers in the classrooms. Highly educated, professional teachers provide the strongest foundation for classrooms across the country, both private and public. Qualified in the content that they teach, the best teachers continually work to increase their knowledge in their content area. Working toward a masters degree, for instance, helps a teacher stay at the top of their field. Understanding the latest and most successful teaching techniques can help the best teachers connect to all students. Research indicates that 60% to 80% of private school teachers have an advanced degree. An increasing number of public high school teachers also have advanced degrees in their content areas. The more education these teachers have plays out in a way that makes sure that students benefit from this extra knowledge that teachers have.
- Supportive School Leaders. From the principals in the building to the support of the school board, the leadership of a school has a direct impact on how a school operates. Administrators that help support teachers in the classroom and promote a strong relationship with parents provide huge benefits both to classroom teachers and students. A school board that gives classroom teachers the opportunity to be a part of the decisions that are made in the district, send a strong message to the community that educators and their opinions are valued. Building principals and district administrators who work to build the morale of their teaching teams provide needed support for what is sometimes a thankless job of being a classroom teacher.
- Manageable Class Sizes. Classes that are too big are difficult to manage and, as a result, academic progress can suffer. A public school district or a private school that maintains small class sizes provides a benefit not only to students, but teachers as well. In the opinion of many, one of the major benefits of private education is that the school itself, as well as the classes, is smaller. In fact, 87% of private schools have fewer than 300 students, a size that allows teachers, administrators, and counselors to really get to know each and every student in a school.
- Adequate Funding. Even if you have the best teachers and administrators in a school with small class sizes, if adequate funding is not available, schools will find it difficult to succeed. From technology to advanced classes to current curriculum, educational funding is essential to the success of any classroom. From public school bond issues for new buildings to private school fundraising campaigns, education needs to be a financial priority if a school is going to be successful.