Public School vs. Private School

Goals

To find quantitative evidence to support the claim that a private school education is preferable to a public school education at the middle and high school levels (grades 5+). Specifically answer the questions in the attached PDF file. This research will be used to write an article for a Christian private school.

Early Findings

Initial research found that there is an abundance of information comparing private schools and public schools with advocates for and against each.

Learning Opportunities and Curriculum

  • Since private schools have more leeway in determining what classes they offer, students often have a wider range of choices in art, music, and other creative classes. Public schools tend to focus on core subjects like math and language arts to prepare students for standardized testing.
  • Private school students score an average of "3.1 points higher on the ACT test" than public school students.
  • The average 8th grader in a private school will score 18 points higher on a math test than a public school 8th grader.

Class Size and Demographics

  • A well-known study in the realm of academia was conducted in the 1980s comparing standardized achievement test results with class size. The results showed that students in the smaller-sized class were on average three months ahead in terms of learning material.
  • The average teacher-to-student ratio for a typical private school is 11.9 compared to 16.2 for public schools.
  • 81% of private school students live in two-parents households compared to 65% of public school students.

Key Criteria in Determining School Quality

  • The first element to consider when selecting a private school, or any school, is the academic needs of the individual student and whether a particular school can meet them.
  • Additional criteria include preparation for continued education, access to technology, and teacher quality.
  • Location, cost of tuition, and other expenses are also important factors to consider.

Proprietary Research

In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Proposed next steps:

You need to be the project owner to select a next step.
We recommend continued research to find 10-14 insights or statistics comparing the academic quality of private vs. public schools (grades 5+). These insights and statistics will specifically address the following: class size, accelerated learning opportunities, the student-teacher relationship, extracurricular activities, approaches to "hot button" social or personal topics, and teacher quality. All data will support a pro-private school perspective.
Additionally, we recommend an analysis of how a Christian curriculum enhances the student experience (grades 5+). Our analysis will provide 5-7 insights or statistics that specifically address the effect of a faith-based curriculum on the following: teaching methodology, family dynamics, and peer influence. All data will support a pro-private school perspective.
In addition, we could provide an overview of private education as an investment for parents. We will broadly address why and how schools are selected, as well as how the potential return on investment (ROI) will be realized by parents and students.