NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED498007
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep-1
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Are Public or Private Schools Doing Better? How the NCES Study Is Being Misinterpreted. Backgrounder No. 1968
Watkins, Shanea
Heritage Foundation
The results of a recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) study that finds that public school students are performing better then private school students should be interpreted cautiously. The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) data used in the study provide a snapshot of student achievement at the time the NAEP tests were administered. As a result, the NAEP data can be used only to describe the characteristics of the student population in the United States at the time when students took the NAEP tests. Although NAEP data are not suitable for establishing whether a specific math or reading achievement outcome is associated with attending either a private or public school, the results of the NCES study are being interpreted to imply that voucher programs, which include private schools, are ineffective. Research literature that addresses the effectiveness of school voucher programs in raising math and reading achievement, based on more sophisticated methodology, is more convincing and conclusive, indicating that students who attend a private school through a voucher program experience greater gains in math and reading than do their public school counterparts. Voucher programs are a powerful school choice tool that results in many positive outcomes for the students who participate in them. (Contains 13 footnotes.)
Heritage Foundation. 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Fax: 202-546-8328; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation, Washington, DC. Center for Data Analysis.
Identifiers - Location: United States