Saturday, July 15, 2006

New Study Shows Public Schools Outperform Privates

In case you need more evidence that NCLB has NOTHING to do with improving public schools, but rather crushing them under unrealistic and unfunded policy mandates, and thereby opening up the market for private and parochial school competitors
[NYT] 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 report. . . also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind 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.”

Its release, on a summer Friday, was made with without a news conference or comment from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. . .

A spokesman for the Education Department, Chad Colby, offered no praise for public schools and said he did not expect the findings to influence policy. . . . “We’re not just for public schools or private schools,’’ he said. “We’re for good schools.”

[NB: I find this last comment especially outrageous. This is the federal government, funded by public money, saying that it feels no PRIMARY responsibility for the development and improvement of the public school system]

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