(Thrust for Educational Leadership 1999) wrote: Voucher proponents claim that public school educators could learn a lot from private schools and their "superior" practices and outcomes. However, a report from the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute has found that the most important variation between schools lays in the type of community in which they are located (affluent, suburban, inner-city), not whether they are private or public.
Researchers conducted case studies of eight public and eight private elementary schools in California to determine whether there are any identifiable and transferable private school practices that public schools can adopt to improve student outcomes. They discovered:
• Private elementary school employees are not necessarily more accountable to parents than are public school personnel.
• Private school expectations for student outcomes are not more clearly defined.
• Private schools do not provide more meaningful evaluation, supervision or mentoring of teachers, nor are they more selective in hiring teachers than their public school counterparts. Private schools also did not necessarily have more flexibility in firing teachers.
• Private schools do not necessarily focus more on issues such as values and behavior.
• Private school innovations do not necessarily stimulate improved practices at the public schools with which they compete.
The report found that inner-city private schools shared more characteristics with public schools in low-income communities than with affluent suburban private schools. Likewise, suburban public schools had more in common with suburban private schools than with urban public schools.
The researchers conclude that the report's findings "could have importan...
... middle of paper ...
...erybody can get on a team in a smaller school." Similarly, a child who needs more individual attention might benefit because "it can customize a child's experience a little more."
Finally, I think it is up to each parent to establish what is best for their children. Some children need more attention than others and they learn better in smaller classrooms. What ever route you choose make sure your children are getting a good education.
(1999). Differences between public, private schools overstated, study finds. Thrust for Educational Leadership, 29(2), 4. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.
Lawrence, L. (1997, April 28). The pros and cons of public vs. private schools. Christian Science Monitor, p. 12. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database
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