aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Public schools work
Public schools have been chiefly responsible for success of the United States. Defunding and demonizing and them is a crime that will cost us dearly.
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 more than 530 private schools, also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools on eighth-grade math.
Georgia’s Lynn Westmoreland said last month that he’d get rid of the Department of Education to balance the budget. But the DOE we’ve got is clearly of this administration:
Its release, on a summer Friday, was made with without a news conference or comment from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association, the union for millions of teachers, said the findings showed that public schools were “doing an outstanding job” and that if the results had been favorable to private schools, “there would have been press conferences and glowing statements about private schools.” [...]
Two weeks ago, the American Federation of Teachers, on its Web log, predicted that the report would be released on a Friday, suggesting that the Bush administration saw it as “bad news to be buried at the bottom of the news cycle.”
And it’s not the first to find this:
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.
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.
In eighth-grade math, children in Lutheran schools scored significantly better than children in public schools, but those in conservative Christian schools fared worse.