New York City is home to the largest public school system in the country. This network is made up of nearly 1500 public (state funded and run by the city’s Department of Education http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm) schools and charter schools which are funded by the state but not run by the Department of Education (http://www.nycchartercenter.org/about.asp).
The public school system in New York City is not rated as the best in the country but the level of education imparted in these schools has been constantly improving over the years, so much so that the students who study at these schools now adequately meet the levels required by standardized state tests. Public schools in New York City also have facilities for those children who have learning disabilities in the form of the special education programs which are manned by qualified teachers who are trained to deal with children who have special needs. Additionally several of these public schools also have gifted and talented programs which are aimed at the brightest and the best students who are enrolled in the city’s many public schools and dual language programs which offer students a chance to study their courses in a foreign language. Dual language programs place native English speakers and speakers of another language (Spanish, Chinese, French, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole) together in one classroom with the goal that all the students develop proficiency, if not fluency, in both languages. For a list of these dual language schools, visit (http://insideschools.org/). Most public schools in New York City also offer ESL programs (English as a second language) which are designed to teach non-English speaking students English.
In recent years, the Department of Education in New York City has even instituted programs like NYC Teach which encourages professionals in various disciplines to become teachers in New York City public schools and the Children First program which aims to introduce reforms in the city’s public schools by making them more accountable.
In addition to these public schools where education is free for every New York City resident, the city also has a large network of independent schools which are composed of private (international schools are included in this category) and parochial schools (religious schools). These fee-based, independent schools differ from the public schools as they are characterized by smaller classes and educational programs that include several eclectic courses and many extracurricular activities. Many parents are convinced that these independent schools have better facilities like greater individual attention per student and instruction that is delivered by highly qualified teachers.
However, all this comes at a price and the average school fees for private schooling in New York City ranges from $2000 to $3000 a month though these fees are slightly lower in the case of some parochial schools. For a listing of private schools in New York City, visit (http://abacusguide.com/).