Catholic Schools Vs. Public Schools Essay

By Mandy S. Vincenzini
Many parents struggle over the important decision to either send their children to Catholic school or public school. Clearly, they should choose public school over any non-profit educational organization concentrating on post-pubescent years in a childs life, especially Catholic installations. Catholic schools have less to offer children and parents on many levels, whereas public schools offer much more for much less. Furthermore, public schools have a much better reputation then Catholic institutions.
According to Jerry Bransby of Syracuse University, New York, Catholic schools cost more and produce less. A study conducted by Jerry Bransby between the years of 1980 to 1995 reinforces this fact. He took 100 students from Catholic school and 100 from public. There were other groups involved, but the main point is that when these two particular groups were compared, the public school students scored higher on standardized tests by 46% then those from Catholic school! Another question answered from the same study was the likelihood of a student to continue his education to completion or degree of some kind.Bransby noted that 60% from Catholic school and nearly 81% from public actually finished post-high school education.
With these numbers varying so much, one cannot help but wonder why? Bransby concluded that there were several differences in Catholic and public schools. Catholic schools tend to be more repressive, having stricter rules and guidelines then the public installations. Some of these include the wearing of uniforms and the anal regulation of behavior. Public schools are fairly lax and welcome individualism. The students are taught to be unique and inventive. Their creativity is harnessed (in theory) instead of punished as in the Catholic school world.
Is this enough to create such diverse conclusions in the realms of Catholic and public schools? According to Suzanne Holbrook of Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, yes, but these are not the only affecting factors. The Catholic teacher screening process is somewhat lax. The teachers from public schools generally have a higher degree in their area of expertise then in Catholic installations. Parents literally do pay more for less!
Another conclusive fact from a smaller study conducted by Holbrook, was that public school offered more electives, more diverse classes, and subjects taught on higher levels then at the Catholic schools. In other words, the Catholic students are ill-prepared when it comes to standardized tests, not having as strong an education background as public school students. Teachers who lack attempted higher education breed students who will fail to reach desired goals as well. For the most part, in Holbrook’s study, higher education wasn’t even attempted. We pay these teachers to destroy our kids?
Some may argue that Catholic schools have smaller classes, more racial harmony, and a tighter knit atmosphere. Truth be known, larger classes make a struggling student fight. In the real world, there are no hand outs. If one wants it, he must fight for it.
As for racial harmony, when did that become positive? Is the real world in racial harmony? Do we live, breathe, and sleep in segregated quarters from our native neighbors? How can one who is alone all his life learn to cope and deal with relationships and companions? Once again, the Catholic schools let us down. Their segregated world is far from actuality and should not be embraced!
A tighter knit atmosphere is hard to disprove in some instances, but in a school situation? Everyone loves the nosy neighbor who works at the flower shop and knows the whole towns business! Not exactly! In fact, not at all! Is it our will that our children grow up in a secluded, non-diverse, robotic environment that the Catholic schools offer? Do we want our children to have nothing private or to not understand what privacy is? Do we want loose-lipped children whose very monotonous lives revolve around another persons actions or lack there of?
We must stand up to this plague that is trying to take the lives of our children, instilling false pretenses on them and dooming them to stupidity! We must fight back as parents and realize the folly of the Catholic domains! It is our duty to ensure longevity and credibility to our children by instilling them with the best education money can by: the free public education! It offers creativity development, better understanding from the most knowledgeable of teachers, and a diverse atmosphere to learn and grow in. That alone is worth a pretty penny.
“Public Vs. Catholic: Which Is Right For Your Child?” (1999, January 25). The New York Times. p. B5.

Clark, R. (1998). Unfit Teachers: Inventive Degrees That Do Not Exist. Journal of Higher Education. 196. 104 – 85.

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“Test Scores In Favor of Public Schools.” (1999, February 11). The Daily Local News. P. C8.

Hopkins, T. (1999, March 4). You Could Be Behind: Catholic School Vs. Public School. Rolling Stone Magazine. pp. 94 – 96, 161.

Dubreuil, C. (1998, December 5). Catholic Schools Leave A Lot To Be Desired. The New Yorker. pp. 54 – 55.


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