Which do think is better? What's your opinion? Please vote!
This is a fun poll and discussion - no real arguments
I'm going to answer this BEFORE reading the other comments. I don't want to be influenced by others in my initial answer.
I was brought up in Public Schools in the 1960-1970's. However, when I was in my small town rural school, there was no home schooling option. There were no private schools. So parents were very involved in our public school where I lived. If we had 20 children in our grade, we would have about 19 parents show up for parent-teacher status meetings. Many times both mom and dad would show up for those meetings.
Parents now have many more options. You can home school, send your kid to a different public school, or pay for a private school. I am all for additional options to fit the child so they can get the best education possible.
Having said that, I do have some more life experience to reflect upon. I will also say the my father was a Public School teacher for 30+ years, I have a brother and sister who are Public School teachers, and I myself taught in a Public School for 6 years. Where I live, the Public School teachers are better educated, are better paid, and have more job security than the private school teachers. The teachers I know that are in our local private schools are looking to get into a Public School.
I don't agree with letting just anyone home school their children. I have seen far too many people who pretend to home school their children just to keep them out of a public school, maybe due to social issues, or because the child was failing, or both. In my state, there are no standards for home schooling children and there is no attempt to test the progress of their education. Too many home schooled children end up "graduating" years behind the education of their peers in public or private schools. I think parents who want to home school should have to pass some level of competency and their children should have to meet periodic advancement standards to continue learning at home. Some states require that, my state did not when I was teaching.
I know just a few people who have home schooled their children successfully. But they usually have advanced college degrees and take the education of their children very seriously. It takes a lot of work to home school your children to meet the basic standards expected in either public or private schools. But if the parent is willing to put in all that work, then they can exceed the requirements of our public schools.
I think the failing of our Public School system is that everything is geared toward teaching the lower average child to succeed. If you have a gifted child, they will never be challenged in a normal classroom. If you have a child that struggles just to keep up, they may get left behind - although socially promoted with their peers. Private schools usually weed out disruptive children, so there is a better chance to avoid social issues there and have a better classroom experience. Smaller class sizes for young children, IMHO, are the gold standard for any public or private school. I say that as a former student, and as a former teacher.
Finally, let me say that when I was teaching in a Public School, we had about 90 children per grade, and maybe 3-4 parents would bother to show up for parent-teacher conferences about the status of education of their child. So times have changed. I don't have any great answers, but I left teaching with lots of questions about our educational system.
Bottom line for me, an engaged parent in their child's education usually results is a better educational outcome for the student. And I think that holds true whether you use public, private or home schooling for your children.