From the Children thread: Dcc001 said: "Of course you aren't required to do these things; personally, though, I think the more education you can provide a child with, the better. And the education you get when they're packed in classes of 40 kids with a teacher who has an associate's degree isn't on par with what private schools offer. In addition, I don't want my children to begin their lives as young adults $100,000 in debt. My parents were kind enough to pay for my university education. Due to my father's career, we lived in remote places that necessitated private schooling. I have cousins who have been educated in the public system. I also have cousins that have been educated almost exclusively in private schools. From my own mixed experience (private and separate - I went to Catholic school, not public), and from the anecdotal evidence I see in my family, private schools are LEAPS AND BOUNDS better. They prepare you in a way the public system simply does not." MoreCowbell said: "None of these were true in my case, except maybe the latter (it's hard to compare, since I can't compare the same grade level. How does one compared a 5th grade teacher to a high school physics teacher?). And I went to a school that is regarded as one of the better non-prep* schools in a state w/ good education numbers, where over 95% of students attended 4 years schools every year. Teenagers will form cliques and there's no way to stop that. The idea that 1) they won't figure out who is rich anyway, and 2) that you can stop this impulse by merely changing what they way really undersells the pervasiveness of that behavior. At least where I grew up (suburban, for what it's worth), the public schools had more money per student and nicer facilities. I can't say that the teachers were necessarily of higher caliber per se in public school, but I know for a fact that they were paid more. You generally pay for the atmosphere, lack of distracting students, and attentiveness that the system allows for, not for the things you mentioned. It's actually possible I would have had more opportunities in public school, since the local one actually offered more AP classes than my private school did. You're really painting public schools with an insanely broad brush here, and underselling the good ones. If you can afford to send your kid to private school on your own dime, odds are the area you live in has some decent public schools. What you almost universally can say for private schools is that they generally have a bigger safety net. It's harder to fall through the cracks there, and odds are you'll end up in college somewhere at least mildly reputable unless you truly fuck up. * I don't know if this distinction makes sense in Canada. Prep schools are places like Phillips Exeter. Often but not exclusively residential, and tuition can rise to be in excess of $20,000. At a truly elite one, we're talking $30K+, $40K to board. Private school in my case was a much more modest local Catholic school." Focus: What do you think of private [primary] schools? Do you or would you send your kids to a private school if you had the means? Did any of you attend a private school, and if so how do you think your experience shaped you in a way, if any, and a public school did/would not? I will admit that I'm suspicious of private schools. The reason everyone says they send their kids to private schools is to give them a better education but I think implicity or subconciously there's more going on here. I think in a lot of cases "better education" in reality means "not exposed to ideas with which the parents disagree", espcially considering how many private schools have a religious affiliation. As I said in the other thread I attended public schools but my parents considered sending me to a private school for at least the last few years of high school. We visited one -St. John's or something like that - and I was uncomfortable. Even though I lived the first 15 years of my life in a pair of small, rural towns in Minnesota I was unnerved by the homogineity of the student body; everyone was white and seemed to come from very similar socieo-economic backgrounds. But more than that I'm inherently very suspicious of any type of institution where everyone has the same ideas & beliefs and everyone conforms to the status-quo - it's way to Orwellian for me. I think it's important to be surrounded by people from a variety of cultures and beliefs in order to grow as a person, and this is something that to me it seems private schools explicity exist to avoid, hence my distrust for them.