Mom vs. Mom: Public or Private School?
On just wanting them to be happy, healthy, and Harvard-bound
Parenting is the world’s toughest job, one that consists of making countless decisions. Amongst the most important of these is where your child will go to school—and will it be private or public?
Titò Romagnolo de Laurentiis is very familiar with this topic. Originally from Italy, she has been living in the States for many years and it is here that she raises her two daughters, 11-year-old Liliana and 8-year-old Giordana. Having tried both academic systems, she notes, “Both public and private schools have their drawbacks. It’s generally thought that the latter is more organized and provides a guaranteed entry to an elite university. This is what all parents hope for, especially after having paid $40,000 a year starting from pre-school.” But then, she says she asked herself, “Is private school really the best choice, or did I make this decision because it made me feel more comfortable?” It was this that prompted her to realize that her daughters “were living in a bubble that was not New York, where they did not encounter kids from other cultures, religions, or social or economic backgrounds.” So this year, she moved them to public school. “They practice various sports, have received great report cards, and have made friends with different backgrounds,” she notes. In other words, the switch was a success.
Alessandra Piantoni, from Monza, Italy, who has taught in a private school, agrees. “People who have gone to private school are not in touch with reality. My son, Francesco, who is seven, has always attended public school.”
Whichever way you see it, the fact remains that in selective schools, the kids are more closely tutored and, on average, the level of instruction is superior. “Maybe,” says Titò, “but I’ve noticed that my daughters are more mindful of the people around them; they are more curious about and sensitive to their community. One of the greatest gifts that I can give them is the knowledge that the world does not revolve around them, but that they are a part of the world!”—Veronica Russo