Republicans/Libertarians - dead wrong on education

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by dddooo, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Public Schools Perform Near Private Ones in Study

    WASHINGTON, July 14 — The Education Department reported on Friday that children in public schools generally performed as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private school counterparts fared better.

    The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores in 2003 from nearly 7,000 public schools and ore than 530 private schools, found that fourth graders attending public school did significantly better in math than comparable fourth graders in private schools. Additionally, it found that students in conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind their counterparts in public schools on eighth-grade math.

    The study, carrying the imprimatur of the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the Education Department, was contracted to the Educational Testing Service and delivered to the department last year.

    It went through a lengthy peer review and includes an extended section of caveats about its limitations and calling such a comparison of public and private schools “of modest utility.”

    The report mirrors and expands on similar findings this year by Christopher and Sarah Theule Lubienski, a husband-and-wife team at the University of Illinois who examined just math scores. The new study looked at reading scores, too.

    The study, along with one of charter schools, was commissioned by the former head of the national Center for Education Statistics, Robert Lerner, an appointee of President Bush, at a time preliminary data suggested that charter schools, which are given public money but are run by private groups, fared no better at educating children than traditional public schools.

    Proponents of charter schools had said the data did not take into account the predominance of children in their schools who had already had problems in neighborhood schools.

    An Education Department official who insisted on anonymity because of the climate surrounding the report, said researchers were "extra cautious" in reviewing it and were aware of its “political sensitivity.”

    The official said the warning against drawing unsupported conclusions was expanded somewhat as the report went through in the review.

    Students in private schools typically score higher than those in public schools, a finding confirmed in the study. The report then dug deeper to compare students of like racial, economic and social backgrounds. When it did that, the private school advantage disappeared in all areas except eighth-grade reading.

    The report separated private schools by type and found that among private school students, those in Lutheran schools performed best, while those in conservative Christian schools did worst.

    In eighth-grade reading, children in conservative Christian schools scored no better than comparable children in public schools.
  2. This is completely opposite to what I would expect. My own observation is that private schools generally do much better than public schools, mostly because of the family background. Kids from richer families definitely have an advantage.

    However, this line caught my eye:
    "Additionally, it found that students in conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind their counterparts in public schools on eighth-grade math."
    It would be interesting to see what the comparison would be if the Christian schools were excluded. I'll bet that there would be a large difference in private schools' favor.

    My conclusion is, that Christian schools don't teach math. Why do they need to? If you can read the Bible, God will do everything else for you.
  3. You are absolutely right but:

  4. Pabst



    My personal experience is a prime example.

    I grew up in a diverse Chicago neighborhood with poor schools. I commuted 13 miles each way to a Catholic high school on suburban Chicago's North Shore. The Jesuit school I attended, while excellent, was not quite as good as the public high school in the same district (New Trier). New Trier spent about 3x more per student than my private school. However my high school was leaps and bounds better than any public school in the City of Chicago. So across the board comparisons lack real life applicability.

    School choice advocates have never argued that suburban public high schools fail to deliver a quality, albeit expensive, product. Rather we argue that inner city schools provide a horseshit product that also happens to be expensive. The worry is not whether rich suburban kid's are learning to read. They are. The problem is the scholastic apartheid taking place in our nations inner city public schools. So the study worth reading would be a comparison between urban public institutions and the Catholic schools also in those areas.
  5. Right on the money!
  6. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    You failed to include a main proponent of school vochers in your "dead wrong" accusation.

    The voting block that votes 95% democrat, urban "african-americans".

    So, revise your title. "Urban Blacks are Dead Wrong on Education"
  7. Fine by me if your information is accurate

    "Urban Blacks are Dead Wrong on Education" if pattersb is not lying.
  8. Many public schools are essentially private schools. Take Summit HS in Summit, NJ. The township of Summit spends well over $30k/ yr per pupil. Attending the Delbarton School of NJ costs about $24k/ yr. Even accounting for the money coming from the endowment, gifts, donations, etc. that are allocated towards the Delbarton general budget, there is probably less spending per Delbarton student per year. Teaching, facilities, counseling and other measures of quality are probably about the same in both schools.

    At one point in high school I had the opportunity to go to the best private school in the area or go to an excellent public high school. I went to the public school as it was a lot cheaper and was probably better anyways. It was a night and day difference from the crappy public school I was attending before that.

    I find it hard to believe that good private schools fare as well as average public schools. The best private schools can cherry pick the best students from the entire regional pool (or national in some cases). I think part of the the skewering of results in this study is due to the sheer number of fundamentalist and nonselective private schools that are lumped in. Most private schools are not Choate although in the public imagination "private school" conjures notions of elitism. There is a good chance that if you are living in Witchita and going to private school you are going there because you were kicked out of the public high school or you are a Jehovah's Witness.
  9. pattersb

    pattersb Guest

    ... I think we are missing the obvious here.

    These programs are directed at inner city youths, whose 4-6-8-12 grade proficieny tests are below 20%, the drop-out rates are +50% and the truancy rates are at 75%.

    The schools have metal detectors in the doorways, and the police are called on a daily basis.

    The intention of school vouchers is to provide families who are serious about an education for their kids a means to escape such systems.

    This isn't about suburan public high schools against suburban catholic high schools.

    From what I've read, early indications seem to confirm your claim, charter-schools on average are not outperforming the public schools in these cases.

    So ... it's probably the students themselves, not the schools. I've said it before, students earn "F's", not schools.
  10. Pabst


    Milwaukee has the most comprehensive voucher system in the nation.

    Student's who've elected to attend Parochial schools have seen robust, long term improvement in test scores. Not to mention that the expenditure per student by Catholic schools in Milwaukee is about half of the amount wasted by public schools.

    A recent study of students in the Milwaukee choice program seriously questions these criticisms. The study, performed by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Houston, [1] found that students in Milwaukee's voucher program outperformed their public school counterparts. [2]

    The Harvard/University of Houston study found children in the Milwaukee voucher program for 3 years or more do better on reading and math achievement tests than similar students not in the program. [3]

    Reading scores of voucher students in the third year of the program were 3.13 percentile points higher than their peers in the Milwaukee Public Schools system and 4.81 points higher in the fourth year. [4]

    Math scores for voucher students on average were 4.98 percentile points higher in the third year and 11.59 points higher in the fourth year. [5]

    The study's authors explain the 3 to 4 year lag by suggesting that students need a period of adjustment to a new educational environment. [6]

    #10     Jul 16, 2006