High School Achievement: Public, Catholic, and Private Schools Compared

High School Achievement: Public, Catholic, and Private Schools Compared

High School Achievement: Public, Catholic, and Private Schools Compared

High School Achievement: Public, Catholic, and Private Schools Compared

Excerpt

American elementary and secondary education has been generally education in public schools, supported by taxes and governed by local school boards. There have recently been changes in the structure of support and control, with state and federal governments playing increasingly important roles in both respects. But the public-school character of elementary and secondary education has remained largely unchanged. Currently and for many years, the percentage of American children in private schools has been about 10 percent.

However, the role of private schools in American education has emerged as an important policy question in recent years. Although any answer to this question depends in part on values, it also depends on facts—facts that address such questions as: How well do public and private schools work for children? Do they work better for some types of children than they do for others? Are private schools divisive, and, if so, in what ways? Are private schools more efficiently managed than public schools, and, if so, why?

Recent policy discussions concerning private schools in the United States have included proposals that would increase their role in American education and proposals that would decrease their role. On the increase side, there have been proposals for tuition tax credits for private schools (a bill to provide such credits was narrowly defeated in Congress). At the state level, proposals for educational vouchers have been discussed, and in . . .

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