Private High Schools no Better than Public

A new study from the Center on Education Policy indicates that there is no increase in student performance or college attendance for students attending private high school versus students attending public high school. From a press release on the study:

“Contrary to popular belief, we can find no evidence that private schools actually increase student performance,� said Jack Jennings, president and CEO of CEP. “Instead, it appears that private schools simply have higher percentages of students who would perform well in any environment based on their previous performance and background.“

This report does note two exceptions to its main findings. First, it finds that students who attended independent private high schools had higher SAT scores than public school students, gaining an advantage in efforts to enroll at elite colleges. Second, the report indicates that students attending some private Catholic schools run by holy orders (such as Jesuit schools) instead of a diocese did see some positive academic effects. However, there are very few of these schools nationwide, as most Catholic schools are operated by their diocese. [full text]

Those Jesuits sure know what they’re doing when it comes to education.

Over at, self-declared union-hater Justin Katz is wondering if he should send his children to private school. This study would suggest that perhaps he should save his paycheck for other things.

2 thoughts on “Private High Schools no Better than Public

  1. The common disconnect is that the more you pay for education the better the education, and then everyone wants a bargain at the discount store.

    The fact of private schools is that parents can reign in or nullify the academic freedoms that make public and tenured institutions great opportunities to open young minds.

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