ERIC Number: ED231015
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Feb
Private Schools in Contemporary Perspective.
Erickson, Donald A.
Given the paucity of evidence accurately characterizing private education, this paper synthesizes and interprets available research on private school enrollments, religious affiliations, tuition levels, characteristics of patrons, and common features of operation. The organization of data on church-affiliated schools is found to be faulty, with too little information currently available on levels of tuition, attributes of fundamentalist schools, or ethnic and community schools. With the exception of fundamentalist schools, there has been no dramatic expansion in private-school enrollment. The recent growth in fundamentalist schools probably stems from sensitivity to court decisions on school prayer and the perceived breakdown of social mores in public schools. Private schools, moreover, reflect rather than create religious, ethnic, and economic segregation. Whereas parents' motivations for enrolling children in private schools may involve religious and ethnic distinctions, other reasons may include public schools' waning financial support, discipline problems, and large sizes, as well as such issues as the disparity between parents' and teachers' values and government regulation of public schools. Overall, most private schools share a strong social cohesion among parents, who are generally very interested in the ways in which their children are educated. More study is needed to clarify policy issues surrounding private schools. (JW)
Descriptors: Catholic Schools, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Influences, Enrollment Trends, Parent School Relationship, Parochial Schools, Private Education, Public Schools, Religious Factors, School Choice, Tables (Data)
Publications, Institute for Research on Educational Finance and Governance, School of Education, CERAS Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Inst. for Research on Educational Finance and Governance.
Note: Prepared for the Tuition Tax Credit Seminar (Washington, DC, October 22, 1981).