Private School: How We Narrowed Our Choice


educate debateLike most parents, my hopes for my child are for his safety, happiness, and success. To that end, I expect the school I entrust my child with to provide for his safety, happiness, and to assist in building the foundations for his future successes.

Again, like most people, I have been shaped by my upbringing and the accumulation of my life experiences both positive and negative. I lived abroad growing up and went to a private international school that was very college and career oriented. I was in the same school from the 2nd grade to the 10th grade. In the 11th grade, I moved to Arlington, Texas, and was placed into a large public high school.

The culture shock was compounded by typical teenage angst. The education was so dissimilar I actually could have just taken one class of American history and have graduated from high school early. My parents and I didn’t understand the “credits” system of American education and I was only 15 at the time, so I signed up for Advanced Placement and Honors classes and subsequently placed out of my first year of college.

There is a social stigma of mediocre education enshrouding public schools in America that my personal experiences have only reinforced. Can students graduate with an above average education and succeed in life after attending public school? Of course, they can and they do. But, does the public education available now actually cater to pushing their students to succeed above and beyond “average”? I just don’t think they do. Rather, I believe, they struggle within every changing sociopolitical constraint to provide the basic standardized education enforced by their local or state regulations in order to maintain their funding.

My husband and I visited one of the reportedly better public elementary schools. We met the teachers. We looked, and we listened. Then we went to a private school somewhat reminiscent of my international school and did the same. My husband went to a public school growing up (not in Texas) and believed public school education had been good enough for him and should be good enough for his child. After our visits, he was the first to say he’d rather our child attend the private school. The decision for us was simple despite the financial burden. Our child is our most important investment and the sacrifices we make are made with him in mind.

I want my child to succeed in life. To that end, he needs to be taught how to learn, how to study, how to develop successful habits that will propel him into the future. He needs to become a motivated learner and to be innovative with his imagination. He needs to have his character shaped and molded with positive experiences. He needs to believe he can be successful when he sets his mind to something. He needs to not be allowed complacency. He needs to be nudged and encouraged in a safe, stable environment that aligns its goals with that of their parents and eventually their students.

What questions do you want to ask Nahla about private education? Did you chose private education for your child(ren) what were your reasons?

me - 1Nahla has called the DFW area home since she was 15 when she immigrated to America with her family. By day (and quite often by night, on weekends, and holidays), she is a practicing full-time emergency medicine physician. She is also married to a physician, who she is quite sure didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he proposed and eventually relocated from Indiana to Texas! Nahla is the proud mom of a 7-year-old boy who is growing up way too fast! Despite her son’s claim that her favorite hobbies are reading and sleeping, she can often be caught in the pursuit of physical fitness, either at yoga or the gym. Just don’t ask her to run unless something big is chasing her down the street!


  1. I have really enjoyed this series. I have come away from each post with a very positive experience. The posts caused me to look at other school options from a different view point. And I really appreciate those moms sharing how and why they made their decision.

    That was until I read this post. Each of the others in this series focused on the positives of the school that was best for the their family. This one focused only on the negatives of public school. Based on this post, I’m not sure what the benefits are of a private school.

    I really debated on posting this comment. I don’t want to be a negative person, but I’m tired of the feeling that I’m making a mistake of sending my child to a public school. I’m tired of the public school bashing. I was really hoping this article would highlight the positives of a private school and not just the negatives of a public school.

  2. I agree with Carrie’s comment. I attended an independent private school from K-12 and plan to enroll my children in one as well, not because public schools are inferior, but because the experience and education provided by an independent private school better suit our family. Specifically, as a non-religious, non-political family, we appreciate that independent private schools provide a secular environment and teach a curriculum that is determined by educators rather than legislators. There are countless other reasons why independent private schools are the best fit for our family and many others, and I hope that somebody will address those points. It would be such a shame to give the impression that the only people choosing this avenue do so because they look down on the educational experience most children receive.

  3. I’m the product of a Texas public school and went on to make a 4.0 in both undergraduate and graduate school. My sisters graduated from a private school, my mother teaches at a private school, and my dad is the superintendent of a university-model charter school. There are so many ways to do education, and I think blanket statements claiming that there’s only one way to educate a child are short-sighted. We are blessed to have many wonderful options right here in our community.

  4. I have to agree with the three previous comments. I am also a product of the Texas Public Education System and also taught for 8 years in public schools here in North Texas. I think that this post was completely opioniated and not factually backed up at all. I do agree that there are some schools/districts that are lacking a little and not up to “par”, however there are some amazing districts right here who are getting their students college and career ready, who are fostering their imaginations, and who are giving them the tools to be successful in life. I know so many students who have graduated from public schooland gone on to top notch universities and are doing great things. This is not achieved only through private education. Private school is a personal choice that I respect, but by no means should public schools be bashed like this post did.


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