ERIC Number: ED411611
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Careful Comparisons: Public and Private Schools in America.
Anderson, Karen M.; Resnick, Michael A.
Are private schools superior to public schools? This report presents the numbers, analyzes the arguments, and concludes that the answer is "no." All things being equal, a good school is a good school, whether it is public or private. The report provides information about school demography, school characteristics, student achievement, teachers and principals, and public opinion. Findings indicate that 11 percent of all school-age children attend private schools, and that the population of private school students is less diverse than that of public schools. Private and public schools have highly similar graduation requirements, although teachers at private schools believe that they have more influence over curriculum offerings than do public school teachers. Private schools as a whole have smaller class sizes than do public schools. Public school teachers earn higher salaries and are more likely to have an advanced degree than private school teachers. The data on academic achievement is mixed; however, parents' level of education and family income are strongly linked to student achievement, independent of school type. Private schools have lower dropout rates and higher college-attendance rates than public schools. This may be explained by the selective nature of private schools. Polling data show that the general public believes that private schools have higher academic standards, are safer, and are more likely to promote "honesty and responsibility." On the other hand, public schools provide a better education to special needs children and more diverse learning envUironments. Six tables and one figure are included. (Contains 30 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA.