Students enrolled in private schools often get good grades and high test scores.
And there’s a reason for that – they’re from wealthier families.
A new peer-reviewed study from Professors Richard C. Pianta and Arya Ansari of the University of Virginia found that once you take family income out of the equation, there are absolutely zero benefits of going to a private school. The majority of the advantage comes from simply having money and all that comes with it – physical, emotional, and mental well-being, living in a stable and secure environment, knowing where your next meal will come from, etc.
The study published in July 2018 attempts to correct for selection bias – the factors that contribute to a student choosing private school rather than the benefits of the school, itself.
The study’s abstract puts it this way:
Results from this investigation revealed that in unadjusted models, children with a history of enrollment in private schools performed better on nearly all outcomes assessed in adolescence. However, by simply controlling for the sociodemographic characteristics that selected children and families into these schools, all of the advantages of private school education were eliminated. There was also no evidence to suggest that low-income children or children enrolled in urban schools benefited more from private school enrollment.
This has major policy implications.