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No, Private Schools Aren’t Better at Educating Kids Than Public Schools. Why This New Study Matters

By Valerie Strauss ~ Washington Post via Common Dreams ~

The results confirm what earlier research found but are especially important amid a movement to privatize public education

Despite evidence showing otherwise, it remains conventional wisdom in many parts of the education world that private schools do a better job of educating students, with superior standardized test scores and outcomes. It is one of the claims that some supporters of school choice make in arguing that the public should pay for private school education.

The only problem? It isn’t true, a new study confirms.

University of Virginia researchers who looked at data from more than 1,000 students found that all of the advantages supposedly conferred by private education evaporate when socio-demographic characteristics are factored in. There was also no evidence found to suggest that low-income children or children enrolled in urban schools benefit more from private school enrollment.

The results confirm what earlier research found but are especially important amid a movement to privatize public education — encouraged by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — based in part on the faulty assumption that public schools are inferior to private ones.

DeVos has called traditional public schools a “dead end” and long supported the expansion of voucher and similar programs that use public money for private and religious school education.

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