The Lubienskis’ analysis draws on data from the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, as well as the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99.

After accounting for socioeconomic status, race, and other demographic differences among students, the researchers found that public school math achievement equaled or outstripped math achievement at every type of private school in grades 4 and 8 on NAEP. The advantage was as large as 12 score points on a scale of 0 to 500 (or more than one full grade level) when the authors compared public school students with demographically similar 4th graders in conservative Christian schools. 

What? how? how did that happen is everything the media has told me for years a lie?  

Based on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics exam, this analysis compares achievement in public, charter, and different types of private schools. When compared with other subjects (like reading, for instance), math is more heavily influenced by school than home experiences, so studying math achievement provides clearer insights into the relative performance of different types of schools.

My bold Don’t rich people have…well people to research these type of things? Public school is free since we all pay taxes its already paid for but what kind of moron thinks spending $20,000 a year for 12 years grades 1-12 or $240,000 just to get a kid through high school and that kid will still need a Legacy admission 10-30% of the time  just to get into an Ivy League school is worth it?  If George Bush’s handling of the economy the lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan etc etc  is any indication of the education one gets in Harvard’s MBA program  then one must wonder if the Ivy league is cheating our 1% out of an education.

To summarize the most important findings once demographic and location differences were controlled:

  • Public schools significantly out-scored Catholic schools (by over 7 points in 4th grade, and

    almost 4 points in 8th grade).

  • Of all private school types studied, Lutheran schools performed the best. 4th grade scores

    in Lutheran schools were roughly 4 points lower than in comparable public schools, but were (a statistically insignificant) 1 point higher at the 8th grade.

  • The fastest growing segment of the private school sector, conservative Christian schools,

    were also the lowest performing, trailing public schools by more than 10 points at grades

    4 and 8.

  • Charter schools scored a significant 4.4 points lower than non-charter public schools in 4th

    grade, but scored (a statistically insignificant) 2.4 points higher in 8th grade.


Also of note Smaller Class sizes improve school performance


Every now and then someone in education policy (Arne Duncan) or education philanthropy (Bill Gates) or the media (Malcolm Gladwell) will say something about why class size isn’t really very important because a great teacher can handle a boatload of kids.

Not really.

A new review of the major research that has been conducted on class size by Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder makes clear that class size matters, and it matters a lot. Schanzanbach, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern and chair of the Institute for Policy Research’s Program on Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies, writes in the review:

Considering the body of research as a whole, the following policy recommendations emerge:

*Class size is an important determinant of student outcomes, and one that can be directly determined by policy. All else being equal, increasing class sizes will harm student outcomes.

* The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run, but also their long-run human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future.

* The payoff from class-size reduction is greater for low-income and minority children, while any increases in class size will likely be most harmful to these populations.

* Policymakers should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds. While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall.

Why do small classes work? She writes:

The mechanisms at work linking small classes to higher achievement include a mixture of higher levels of student engagement, increased time on task, and the opportunity small classes provide for high-quality teachers to better tailor their instruction to the students in the class.

My bold. Malcom Gladwell drank the cool aid how sad, I used to like his books.



A jack of all trades master of none a pot felon who can't get a job worthy of his talents so I write for free.