Education Report Roundup

Analysis of PISA Finds Private School Effect

October 20, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new study that examines test scores from 29 countries concludes that competition from private schools improves achievement for students in both public and private schools.

Martin R. West, an assistant education professor at Brown University, and Ludger Woessmann, an economics professor at the University of Munich in Germany, find that a 10 percent increase in the share of national student enrollment at private schools leads to an average improvement that is nearly equal to half of a year’s worth of learning in mathematics, and a gain that is equivalent to more than one-fifth of a grade level in science and reading.

The researchers used standardized test data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. An overview of the research appears in the winter edition of Education Next, published by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

The researchers say differences in the extent of private schooling in the nations studied stems largely from the Catholic Church’s 19th-century construction of its own schools in certain countries.

The study sought to “capture only that share of the private sector’s size that can be attributed to 19th-century Catholic policies,” and use that estimate “to isolate the causal effect of private school competition on the achievement of individual students across 29 countries.”

The researchers say they also sought to adjust for many other factors, such as family background and other national characteristics beyond the role of Catholic schooling.

A version of this article appeared in the October 22, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read