Do Private Schools Achieve Better Results?

In college entrance tests, such as the SAT, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) found that students in private schools consistently outperformed their public school peers in all subjects. But does this achievement gap necessarily mean that private schools add value? A new study suggests that this may not be the case. Read on to learn more about this study and to find out how to make the right choice between private and public school education for your child. Evidence suggests that private schools benefit from being academically selective, allowing them to admit only academically excellent students. By contrast, most state schools are not selective and therefore admit students with a variety of academic abilities.

In addition, students in private schools are much less likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds than their counterparts in state schools. Controlling these two variables explains much of the difference between private and state schools in test performance. Designing randomized trials to test all possible variables associated with public and private schools has proven difficult in the UK. However, evidence from the Louisiana Scholarship Program suggests that private schools do not add value in the United States, at least. Sixth-graders in private schools tend to perform better at A-level than similar students in public schools, according to a new study. The announcement sparked a series of articles condemning the apparent inequality that private education produces, both in terms of academic achievement and future labor market results.

The Hotchkiss School has been offering rigorous, student-centered education and private boarding schools in Connecticut since 1891. The fact is that some schools are simply better than others, but the results of this new study suggest that factors that were once thought to play the most important role in determining the quality of public versus private education may not be as important. This is not surprising, in large part because of the superior resources of private schools and smaller classes. Data released by NAIS and Gallup show that private school graduates perform better in the long term. To examine the effect of private school attendance on students' A-level success, the study looked at previous academic performance at the GCSE level and family history to compare similar students enrolled in private and state schools. You will find that many private schools are happy to consider your case and offer a financial solution, especially for need-based financial aid applications. There was also no evidence to suggest that low-income children or children enrolled in urban schools benefited more from enrolling in private schools. Private schools are more competitive, which often correlates with more motivated and academically minded students.

These studies suggest that a significant proportion of the gap between test scores in state and private schools can be explained by the prior academic ability of students in private schools. Recently, NAIS partnered with Gallup to compare the college experiences of NAIS graduates with those of other high schools. The results showed that there was no significant difference between graduates from public and private high schools. In conclusion, while there is evidence to suggest that students attending private schools may have higher test scores than their peers attending public school, this does not necessarily mean that they are receiving a better education. Private school attendance may be beneficial for some students, but it is important to consider all factors before making a decision about which type of school is best for your child.

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