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All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different?
All Else Equal Are Public and Private Schools Different Author:Luis Benveniste, Martin Carnoy, Richard Rothstein Is there really a discernable difference between the education provided by public and private schools? Is it true, as advocates of voucher plans assert, that market-driven education results in improved educational practices, greater parental involvement, and heightened student achievement? Not necessarily. Though advocates of school privatizati... more »on have, in the past, produced compelling evidence to support their claims of private school superiority and campaigns for state voucher programs, other, equally compelling, studies have repeatedly shown that socio-economics plays the defining role in determining student achievementregardless of the type of school. Having parsed the many studies on voucher plans, Rothstein, Carnoy, and Beneviste have concluded that, within similar socio-economic environments, theres very little difference between the public school system and its private counterpart. Inner-city private schools, most of which are Catholic, suffer from the same problems neighboring public schools have including large class sizes, unqualified teachers, outdated curricula, lack of parental involvement, and stressful family and community circumstances. Straightforward and authoritative, ALL ELSE EQUAL challenges us to reconsider vital policy decisions and rethink the issues facing our current educational system.« less