So Are Private Schools Better At Educating Our Students Than Public Schools?


From Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post on The Answer Sheet blog:

University of Virginia researchers who looked at data from more than 1,000 students found that all of the advantages supposedly conferred by private education evaporate when socio-demographic characteristics are factored in. There was also no evidence found to suggest that low-income children or children enrolled in urban schools benefit more from private school enrollment.

It is part of a longer post entitled “No, private schools aren’t better at educating kids than public schools. Why this new study matters.

In the wake of what Brian Jodice of PEFNC and Dr. Terry Stoops have written giving unfounded praise to an inconclusive NC State Study concerning vouchers, it might bear reading this post from Ms. Strauss that highlights a study that concludes:

In sum, we find no evidence for policies that would support widespread enrollment in private schools, as a group, as a solution for achievement gaps associated with income or race. In most discussions of such gaps and educational opportunities, it is assumed that poor children attend poor quality schools, and that their families, given resources and flexibility, could choose among the existing supply of private schools to select and then enroll their children in a school that is more effective and a better match for their student’s needs. It is not at all clear that this logic holds in the real world of a limited supply of effective schools (both private and public) and the indication that once one accounts for family background, the existing supply of heterogeneous private schools (from which parents select) does not result in a superior education (even for higher income students).”

Given the sample size and the depth of the UVA study compared to the NC State study, it might shed a little more light into the incredible effects that socio-economic factors have in the performance of our students.

Here is a link to the entire study:


2 thoughts on “So Are Private Schools Better At Educating Our Students Than Public Schools?

  1. The PEFNC study only looked at 1st and 2nd year students. If you know kids at all, which apparently these people do not, if they are in a new place/school, they will be excited and on their best behavior. They will just be learning what they can and cannot do. We need to study students that have been enrolled for longer periods.


Comments are closed.