Harry Wong
Dec 2017
Vol 14 No 4

Public School: How Does It Rank Against An Alternative Education?

By Brenda Berg

Many parents are doubting the effectiveness of public schools, as studies continue to be published about their failings. It’s true that a public school may not be for every child, but can alternative schooling always be the answer? Here’s how the different types of schooling stack up.


What alternatives are there?

There are a few different alternatives to public schooling, that are becoming more popular in recent years.

– Homeschooling: This is where children are taken out of the school system and taught at home, often by a parent but sometimes by a professional, one on one.

– Charter schools: These schools are publicly funded but they operate independently of the public school system. They often have a focus, such as the arts or technology.

– Alternative schools: These are school for those with differing needs. They can cater for at risk children, those with disabilities, or those with behavioural issues.


Are these better than public schools?

It really depends on where the pupil lives. Paper Fellows conducted a study to see which type of schooling was best, and they found that it really came down to the individual school. For example, it may be that the local public school is better than the charter school, as they have a better sports program and the charter school focuses more on science.

The decision the parent makes will come down to what their child needs, and what’s available in their area. This is why many parents will move home, in order to access a school that can cater to the needs of their child.


How do children with disabilities fare?

Again, this will depend on where the child lives. Public schools are required, by law, to provide specialised education to those with differing needs. However, if you’re trying to get your child recognised as having disabilities, then it can be a long struggle. If they’re in the public school system, it can take years to get them the help they need. This can be sped up by getting a private assessment, but not every family can afford it.

If that child receives alternative schooling, they could well get better education earlier. For example, if they’re homeschooled, the teacher can cater to their specific learning style. Of course, if the public school system picks upon their needs earlier, they could flourish there, too.


Is there more attention paid to students in alternative schooling?

It’s true that teachers are struggling in dealing with the large class numbers they currently have. When there are so many students in their care, they can’t possibly give the undivided attention that other schools can provide.

This does play out in what students learn. Easy Word Count have conducted writing contests in schools, and have found that alternative schools are able to devote more time to writing with their students. Cite It In have also found that many public school students aren’t aware of how to cite sources correctly.

Of course, this is still dependent on each individual school. A public school in an inner city environment is going to have way more students and demands than a similar school in a remote location. If class numbers are kept low, teachers can pay more attention to each student, and address the shortcomings in their learning.

So, as you can see there’s no real way of determining which is the best method of schooling. The question lies with the student themselves. What’s best for them and learning style? What’s available to them where they live? The answer will be different for every student.

About the author

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. Self-motivated results driven individual who is encouraged to travel.



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This entry was posted on Monday, May 8th, 2017 and is filed under *ISSUES, Brenda Berg, May 2017. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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