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Private school not a leg-up for poor

Students in a New York City school in the Bronx

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Most research suggest that students in private elementary and secondary schools outperform those who attend public schools.
But a new study out today finds inner-city, low-income students do just as well, in either public or private school. John Dimsdale has more from Washington.


John Dimsdale: The Center on Education Policy, an advocate for public education, concludes private schools offer no advantages for poor, urban students.

The Center's President, Jack Jennings, says this study counters arguments for vouchers of public money for sending students to private schools.

Jack Jennings: The advocates for vouchers are saying poor kids in inner cities should have the right to go to a private school because they'll do better. What we're finding is that it's the family background that makes a difference.

When the study dropped parental participation in education as a factor, the private school advantage disappeared.

But Myra McGovern at the National Association of Independent Schools says that's not a fair comparison.

Mary McGovern: The very elements that they removed are often the ones that independent schools really nurture. They know that parent contributions are very important to the success of students.

Instead of vouchers for private schools, the new study advocates money for tutors and translators to get parents involved.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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