#17 Private versus Public Schooling

I don’t want this post to be controversial. I was raised in public schools and taught in public schools from 1999 -2010. I taught in several great public schools with great teachers and administrators, with many of whom I am still connected. This will be my fourth year in independent schooling.

Here are a few comparisons I’ve noticed …

1. Smaller class sizes  – @MVPSchool the student teacher ratio is approximately 18:1. At CHS, I taught AP classes with 29, but also with 18. It is possible to have smaller classes in public schools with Gifted and AP teachers, but it places a greater burden on colleagues who must teacher 30+ students. In my opinion, there is a tipping point around 25 students where the teacher’s focus tilts more towards classroom management rather than learning.

2. Stronger sense of connection – In a smaller community, people are more likely to know one another and they are more closely-knit. There is greater parent involvement. Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” Actually, I’ve felt a strong sense of connection at most schools. As an educator, I feel a greater partnership with the parents  @MVPSchool.

3. Greater opportunity for innovation – Less red tape. In particular, at Mount Vernon educators are encouraged to ask “How might we?” You are not likely to hear, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it.” While there are more obstacles to innovation in many public schools, I still believe a resourceful and motivated teacher will not wait for permission from above to be innovative nor allow a culture of test-driven expectations interfere with inspiring his/her students.


We are currently working on ways to partner with public schools. It shouldn’t be an “either or” proposition, but rather a ‘both and.” What are some ways public and private schools can partner for the benefit of students in all schools?


1 thought on “#17 Private versus Public Schooling

  1. Shannon Whiting says:

    I agree! I taught in public school 1994-2007 and last year was my 1st year teaching in an independent school. Within the 1st few weeks I felt the difference. I didn’t leave public school because I was unhappy but always wanted to teach beyond what the norm or what was allowed. I never had an issue with my big class size but realized this year just how individualized I could be with my 12 students. I felt like I really knew them.

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