Saturday, February 28, 2009

Public Schools Outperform Private Schools in Math Instruction

From ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2009):

In another “Freakonomics”-style study that turns conventional wisdom about public- versus private-school education on its head, a team of University of Illinois education professors has found that public-school students outperform their private-school classmates on standardized math tests, thanks to two key factors: certified math teachers, and a modern, reform-oriented math curriculum.

More excerpts from the Science Daily article:

'According to our results, schools that hired more certified teachers and had a curriculum that de-emphasized learning by rote tended to do better on standardized math tests,' Lubienski said. 'And public schools had more of both.'

They also discovered that smaller class sizes, which are more prevalent in private schools than in public schools, significantly correlate with achievement.

'Smaller class size correlated with higher achievement and occurred more frequently in private schools,' Lubienski said. 'But that doesn’t help explain why private schools were being outscored by public schools.'

Lubienski said one reason private schools show poorly in this study could be their lack of accountability to a public body.

Lubienski hopes that politicians who favor more privatization would realize that the invisible hand of the market doesn’t necessarily apply to education.

You can read the Science Daily article in its entirety here.


Anonymous said...

Now that they knew what work best, they could probably copy the success elsewhere. It will benefit other schools for sure, at least in Math.

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Anonymous said...

Very Good article , you make some interesting points.

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DC_Dad said...

Thanks for posting the article. This entirely confirms our experiences in DC. Our son has strong math skills and was enrolled at the River School. Their math education is sorely lacking and the administration was both ineffective and dishonest in their dealings with us. We are moving him to Montgomery County Schools where the math curriculum is much stronger, particularly at Takoma Park.

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