Education: GOAL: A DECENT GUY WHEN YOU'RE DONE

GOOD prep schools have in common one audacious aim: to be parent and teacher at the same time. To handle the parental role, they stress sports, discipline, manners, religion and democracy. To teach well, they accent intimate learning in classes that average nine students compared with the public school average of 28. Avoiding distractions, they generally offer spartan living on spacious, tradition-encrusted campuses, most of them in the Northeast. Despite these uniform methods, the schools that operate 24 hours a day come in all shapes and sizes:

Big (519 boys) Deerfield has the last...

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