Catholic vs. Public school

In honor of St. Cyril’s winning their freedom for at least a year, something my high school (St. James) wasn’t allowed to do, here’s a blog of one of my favorite arguments.

Grade school is probably the single-most important thing in a child’s learning development. Most of the things they learn in the first two grades are with them for the rest of their lives. I want my children to not only learn these things that they will need in life, I also want them to learn intangibles as well: discipline, respect, and a love for learning. I think the best place for my child to learn this is in Catholic school.

I’m sure there are many great public schools around. I’m sure that you think Catholic schools are over-rated, but standardized testing data says otherwise. I just think that when it comes to teacher-student attention and expectations on a student to succeed, Catholic schools just come out on top. As with anything else, where are you going to get better service, from a private company or a state-run company? There’s no question.

My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t see the same need as I do for it. I think her main point is money. She just does not want to make the sacrifice to send our kid(s) to Catholic school. My parents made the sacrifice. They didn’t have a lot of money, but still got a loan to pay for my high school education. They knew how important a Catholic education was in terms of learning and discipline. There are less drugs and fewer teen pregnancies in Catholic schools. Her other point is the whole religion thing. I guess she thinks that the school will turn our kids into mindless drones preaching about God at the dinner table, and telling us how Sister Bethany told them to reject satan. This is just not the case.

Everything I learned in life is somehow connected to my time spent in Catholic school. Would I have to same education in public school? I doubt it. I’m not saying they teach different things, but if I didn’t have the fear of getting in trouble with the nuns for not doing my homework or for fooling around, I probably would not have paid attention as much and learned a lot less. If I didn’t have to memorize 20 vocabulary words a night or have to know every kind of structure for an English sentence, I would probably not have the communication skills I do today. My high school was an all-boys school. I couldn’t imagine if I went to a co-ed public school when I was teen – I would get lost in a girl’s cleavage every day!

I’m sure many disagree with me, and that’s fine. I only know from my own experience. Many people who go to Catholic school can’t stand it, but I think they have instilled values in me that I have to this day. Some people just hate the uniforms, but you realistically have to look past that. I’m not saying that my kids should go to a Catholic high school, but certainly they should go for grades 1-8, then they can decide which high school to go themselves.


7 thoughts on “Catholic vs. Public school

  1. The Catholic Schools simply do not have the resources that the public school system have.It may not make as much of a difference in grades k through 6, but makes a huge impact afterward.

  2. If I could afford to live in Delaware County and send my child to catholic school, I would. But I am looking to the public school system teach my child. I know there is a difference between the school districts and I;m sure there are plenty opinions. Is there somewhere that I could get testing statistics and community opinion for the different districts? In your opinion what would be the top 5 school districts in Delco? (I have not moved to Delco as yet and am trying to make a decision). Chester is also and option. And what about Delaware state?Thanks!NS

  3. So, what I’m hearing Don say is that Catholic schools are better in the area than public in terms of social and moral environment? We are moving to the area and are considering catholic schools in Wilmington or public schools in Garnet Valley (Delaware county.) Our kids are currently in Catholic school in Florida. We love the religious and family atmosphere, but wonder if the kids can get an equal education and save us the expense. We have heard good things about the public school system in Delaware County.rkh

  4. My husband and I both went thru 12 years of catholic school – We have chosen to send our children thru public school (udsd) – We have nothing against catholic schools – for us we feel that the public schools have more resources to offer – why shouldn’t they – that is what my taxes are paying for. But I do have to wonder at the comment about teaching our children the intangibles – discipline, respect and a love for learning – That is my job as a parent to teach my children – not the school they attend – just like my parents taught me – they did not rely on the nuns to do their job – I send my children every day to school to get an education.there is not one better than the other – you get out of it what you put into it.

  5. As a teacher who has taught in both Catholic (8 years) and public schools (12 years) I have to say that it is not necessarily the children, the economics or demographics, or what is taught, it is HOW students are taught in Catholic schools. Catholic schools will reinforce what is taught in the home where public schools are not allowed to do the same. And, with the wonderful (????) No Child Left Behind put into play by the Bush Administration my classes are being reduced to academic mediocrity. In Catholic schools the parents support the learning process much better and consequently there is a good familial rapport between the school and the students and their families. This is not the case in public education. I chose to make the sacrifice to continue sending my children to Catholic schools because I have been a first party observer of the difference. Parents on the outside looking in may want to see there is little difference, but there is a world of difference.

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