Military Schools vs. Public Schools

When comparing military schools vs. public schools it is important to note we are comparing private military schools (which are essentially boarding schools) to public schools. Keep reading to learn the similarities and differences between public and military schools.

Military Schools vs. Public Schools Introduction

There are two sides to the issue of Military Schools vs. Public Schools. On the one hand, military school—largely college-preparatory private boarding schools, where students wear uniforms and live in a world of military style discipline—can be quite a contrast to public schools, where—in some cases—it seems like students can wear almost anything and behave pretty much as they wish.

However, now that there are a number of public military schools, we get a second look at the relationship between military schools vs. public schools.

The Private Military Schools vs. Public Schools

As hinted at above, private military schools can stand in stark contrast to public schools. Some private military schools date from the middle of the nineteenth century, a good fifty years before there were public schools. Many are all-boys schools, stemming from the historic fact that at one time, only men served in the Armed Forces and only men went to college, so only boys went to schools that prepared them for military service and higher education. Now, many of the private military schools are coeducational, and they largely prepare students for college rather than the military, with some claiming 100% college acceptance rates.

Today, private military schools are characterized overall by outstanding academics, high levels of faculty with graduate degrees, a fair number of international students, mandatory JROTC connected with one of the branches of the service, and outstanding athletic programs. Many of them are Christian—some affiliated with particular sects, and others non-denominational, but most seeking to include a spiritual dimension in their education.. Many of them have day students, as well as boarding students, and most charge a sizable, and some a hefty, tuition. While those accepting international students have ESL programs, most do not have provisions for students with AD/HD or learning differences and will not accept students without excellent academic records or with a history of disciplinary problems.

In a secular society, public schools have the minimum requirements for order required for education, and sometimes have a difficult time enforcing even these. A few public schools have strict dress codes and even have students wear public school uniforms, but in many cases, the dress code may be limited to prohibiting spaghetti straps, strapless tops, too short skirts, midriffs showing, and for boys, “pants on the ground” with boxers or underwear showing above. Public schools must admit all comers and provide them with an education: providing special services of a wide variety of types.

The academic offerings range from remedial to AP level, and students who graduate may go directly to work, enlist in the military, or go to community college, junior college, technical school, or a college or university. Sports offerings and other extracurricular activities may be extensive. Students may receive an excellent education, but their connections with their classmates may be limited—certainly not the hierarchy proposed in military schools.

Public military schools differ from both other public schools and from private military schools. Public military schools don’t have the faith affiliation, but they do have the hierarchy and the focus on college preparatory curriculum, the uniforms (which are free to students), and the JROTC program requirement.