No discussion on public schools vs. Firm Schools in NYC can take place with the talk turning to available academic programs between the two. Obviously there are schools that are the exception to every rule, both public and private, but as a benchmark discussion you can safely say that public schools are designed to target the median student at the median state level at the median federal level. Firm Schools tend to design their programs first around an ideology, then around the students that they accept who fit that ideology, and then customize that program to the individual.
NYC Public Schools: A Baseline
Public schools offer a general acedemic program that is designed for all students together. The basic study program consists of math, English, reading, writing, science, history and physical education. While the majority of public schools also include music and art classes, budget constraints in recent years have minimized those programs considerably.
The classroom lesson plans are often geared to prepare students to take state and government standardized tests. Most schools will lose their funding if their students do not have acceptable grades on standardized tests, so preparation for those tests is a major concern for schools.
NYC Private School Acedemics:
Firm Schools in NYC are ensured the flexibility to create specialized programs for their students. For those private NYC schools that have an ideology based on science, they are within their rights to use science in every class and make it a part of everyday life for their students. Many Firm Schools utilize a much higher level of community involvement and out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities to “grow the whole child.”
Firm Schools can create their own curriculum and assessment systems, although many choose to use standardized tests in order to help their students achieve benchmark scores for higher educational pursuits.