Interested in seeing public schools improve?
Then join the battle today against poverty and its deepening impact on the nation.
Chris and Sarah Lubienski, University of Illinois professors, report in a new study that the money spent to send children to private schools does not insure that students receive a better education than students who study in public classrooms.
The Lubienskis analyzed the math scores of tens of thousands of students who took part in the National Assessment of Educational Progress. When these scores are reported each year, students from private schools always produce higher scores overall than students in public schools.
But the Lubienskis wondered why.
Were the private school scores higher because the instruction was better, thus justifying the tuition payments? Or were the scores higher for some other reason?
In their research the couple created a grid to control for class and economic status of students and their families. They dug deeper into the family life of the students who took the test. The asked a series of questions to help in determining just who these students were.
How many qualified for free school lunches? How many lived in a household with access to a computer? How many had parents who dropped out of high school or completed college?
With controls in place for socio-economic status, the project compared public and private test scores.
Public schools out performed private schools nationally. Further, the public school students reported scores higher than private school students at all class or economic levels.
One conclusion seems obvious, as Joshua Benton of The Dallas Morning News puts it, "The reason private schools look better on paper is because they serve more middle- and upper-class kids" ("Can cash buy good schools?" Monday, June 27, pages 1 & 6B).
The bottom line is clear here. The most important indicator for educational success in this country is socio-economic status.
The Lubienski's findings square with the facts. Private schools typically don't have all of the institutional resources of public schools. They do have one thing public schools generally don't have: a more affluent student body.
So, the next time you hear someone touting the superiority of private education from an educational standpoint or when you hear someone comparing the public school district of a more affluent suburban area to a poor urban area, remember what is underneath such comparisons.
Want to see public education improve?
Get involved in the battle against poverty.
Remember as you begin that adult illiteracy, inadequate housing, underemployment/poor wages, inaccessible health care, drug addiction and a lack of community economic development are all extremely important issues for the improvement of public education.
Announcement from Duke Memorial UMC
1 week ago