I've been wondering for a while why people spend so very much money on private schools (you can spend $35,000/year on a private ELEMENTARY school around here). I've tutored a lot of kids from private schools and they vary just as much as public schools. There are some very, very good public schools and some not safe or not good ones. There are some very, very good private schools and there are some with totally inept teachers and laissez-faire curricula that have given me significant amounts of work trying to catch kids up from 6+ years of these schools. In fact, at least in California, the official criteria for teachers is more stringent in public school than private.
So, why do people continue to pay for private school instead of sending their kids to the really good public schools that are often really close by.
I found a good explanation here. If you're paying the money, you have a vested interest. Read it; very interesting.