Saturday, July 15, 2006

Public schools are as good as private schools. Well kind of.

The U.S. Department of Education has put out its "National Assessment of Education Progress" where it compares the results of private schools to public schools. The amazing thing about this report is that our government goes out of its way to create a formula that makes public school progress comparable to private.

For example in the report it states how private school 4th graders had a reading score 14.7 points higher than the average public school. Of course this data doesn't sit well, so the government found a way to make it appear that the two schools are actually equal and there is no added benefit for private school. Using what it calls "Hierarchical Linear Modeling" the report proudly states how "the difference in mean was near zero and not significant". To get to zero the reports creators adjust public school students scores based on certain "characteristics" like students gender and race/ethnicity and school characteristics like school location and size.

Am I alone asking what is our government doing attempting to go out of its way to try and convince us that public schools are just as good as private when they're clearly not. I can't see how excusing mediocrity by inventing convenient formulas is going to help these public school students in the future when it comes time to get a job.

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