Guidebooks are kind of old fashioned and almost always out of date. Still, like cookbooks, I cannot imagine life without them. These titles are the best of the lot when it comes to researching private schools.
Tucked away in a corner of The Princeton Review's enormous catalog of 150 titles of test prep is this little gem. Random House is behind The Princeton Review which is behind thousands of students preparing to get into something. Once again, you can find all the information contained in this valuable reference book online or elsewhere. But who's got the time to do that? My colleague Emily Glickman at Abacus.com reviewed this book positively on Amazon.com. That's enough for me. It's affordable too.
The Bunting & Lyon Blue Book is for private schools what the Kelly Blue Book is for cars. Bunting & Lyon covers only a thousand or so of what it considers the top schools. While most of this information is available on the web, Bunting & Lyon consolidates it for ease of reference. Details like admission criteria and credentials of the head of school, for example, take hours to research on your own. Bunting & Lyon puts it at your fingertips. The cost of $115 puts it out of reach of many parents. It is an invaluable tool for consultants and other professionals.
The full title is actually Georgia Irvin's Guide to Schools, 2nd Edition: Metropolitan Washington, Independent and Public/Pre-K-12
. Who is Georgia Irvin? As you can see from her website, Ms. Irvin is the doyenne of Washington, DC private school consultants. Her Guide to DC Schools is designed, in my opinion, to whet your appetite for Ms. Irvin's services. Will she be able to find the right DC area school for your child? If she can't, probably nobody else can. Oh, the book? It's really a tease for Ms. Irvin's practice. Most of the information, sans her experienced prose, is available on the Internet or from the schools themselves.
Victoria Goldman is a New York journalist who has written several guides on Manhattan private schools. If you are looking for a school in Manhattan, you need Ms. Goldman's tomes in your library. Like most print guides to private schools they offer material which you can find on the web or from the schools themselves. The advantage is having it all in one handy place at your fingertips. Victoria Goldman does not offer her opinion about schools, just facts. If it's opinions you want, you will have to look elsewhere or pay an educational consultant. The book can be purchased here
or from your favorite book store. Also available is a Guide To Los Angeles Schools.
Porter Edward Sargent published his first handbook of private schools in 1914. Not just any private school gets a listing in Porter Sargent. It has a highly selective approach based on the school's accreditation, where its graduates matriculate and so on. At $99 it is a reference tool for consultants and other professionals, though a bit pricey for most parents.
Canada's national sport has caught on like a slap shot here in the United States. Unlikely cities like the one I live in - Raleigh, North Carolina - have their own professional hockey teams and a huge following of loyal fans. So it makes sense that parents want to send their sons (mostly sons, for some reason) to private schools which have great hockey programs. You need Thomas Keegan's book if you have begun the quest for a hockey school. He offers sound advice and emphasizes the rigors of playing varsity hockey. He also looks ahead to your chances of playing at the college and pro levels. If you still think you have the right stuff and are passionate about hockey, then you must buy and devour this book to score, er, be a success.
Vincent Curtis trekked all around the country personally visiting schools. When the old man was alive, he was a legend in the private school world. If he said he had visited Madeira, he indeed had. And he probably had peered into several nooks and crannies to see what was what. The present management of The Register carries on the tradition. The Register is available free in downloadable .pdf format.