Education Report Roundup

Study Disputes Edge For Private Schools

By Debra Viadero — May 03, 2005 1 min read

“Re-Examining a Primary Premise of Market Theory: An Analysis of NAEP Data on Achievement in Public and Private Schools,” is posted online by the National Center For the Study of Privatization in Education. ()

A new national study offers evidence challenging the idea that students do better in private schools than they do in public schools.

The study, by Christopher A. and Sarah T. Lubienski, a husband-and-wife research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, analyzed test results from 1,300 public and private schools for 4th and 8th graders who took the federally sponsored National Assessment of Educational Progress tests in mathematics in 2000. Though the private school students in the testing pool had higher overall scores than their public school counterparts, the pattern reversed when the researchers factored in socioeconomic differences between the two groups. Compared with private school peers from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, the researchers found, public school students scored higher—and that was true across the whole socio-economic range.