Private School 101

Press Releases

Feb. 28, 2022

Arlington, VA

For Immediate Release:

Parents Defending Education is pleased to announce, “Private School 101: What Parents Need to Know to Be Educated Consumers,” our latest parent resource for private K-12 education. 

Parents Defending Education knows that K-12 education is not a one-size-fits-all model. To help parents make wise decisions, Parents Defending Education has produced the report with a lay of the land of private schools. In order to make smart decisions about private schools, parents need to know about the organizations that influence these schools: the associations, accreditors and outside consultants. Some private schools associations can be as ideologically captured as public school districts. School choice means giving all students–not just children from wealthy families–access to schools that best meet their individual needs, including private schools. But all private schools aren’t the same.

Private schools enroll about 10% of America’s K-12 students. In 2020, 37% of private school students were enrolled in Catholic schools; 39% were enrolled in “other religious” schools; and 24% were in nonsectarian (non-faith based) schools. Many students enrolled in regular nonsectarian “independent” schools are in schools that are members of a single schools association, the National Association of Independent Schools, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. representing about 1,600 private schools and 670,000 students. It acts as the hub of a woke-industrial complex web of local associations, accreditors and outside consultants that influences “independent” schools to replace academics with activism.  Research conducted by Parents Defending Education reveals that many of the challenges impacting public schools are also impacting private schools. The report is designed to help parents be the most informed customers as they explore the private school market and also help current private school families stay vigilant about what is taught in private K-12 schools.