Private Schools Encourage Improvement in Public Schools

Variations on this article have been written for over twenty years now. It’s time for educational liberty. From the Heritage Foundation:

In big cities, as many as 80 percent of public school parents say they would send their children to parochial or independent schools if they could afford tuition. Scholarships for poor families are heavily oversubscribed, as are charter schools, which are government-funded but run by private boards. Do private schools deserve their reputations and consumer preference?

In 2007, I tried to track down all studies of this question and summarized the findings in the book School Choice: The Findings. Included were studies that compared similar students in private and nearby public schools.

Since 2007, research continued to show that, on average, private school students excel in academic skills such as reading comprehension and knowledge in such subjects as English, mathematics, and science. Studies, moreover, show that the higher the percentage of students attending private schools, including charters, in a locality or state, the higher the average achievement of all schools.

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