Monday, March 23, 2009

Public vs. private education students at UI

Daily Illini:
A recent study by two University professors is challenging the assumption that private schools offer a better education than public schools.

Sarah Lubienski and her husband Chris Lubienski, both professors in Education, released a follow-up study to research performed several years ago. In the original study, researchers found that public school fourth- and eighth-graders scored higher on math standardized testing than their counterparts in private schools.

Chris Lubienski said the study looked at math scores because math is considered the best measure of what one learns in school. Children learn to read at home, he added. The study accounted for demographics and compared students of similar economic backgrounds. The research was compiled using federal government data.

"The assumptions that people should choose private schools because they're academically superior doesn't really hold up," Chris Lubienski said.
Via Illinipundit!

Here's another article:
Sarah Lubienski, a professor of curriculum and instruction in the U. of I. College of Education, says teacher certification and reform-oriented teaching practices correlated positively with higher achievement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam for public-school students.

“According to our results, schools that hired more certified teachers and had a curriculum that de-emphasized learning by rote tended to do better on standardized math tests,” Lubienski said. “And public schools had more of both.”

To account for the difference in test scores, Lubienski and her co-authors, education professor Christopher Lubienski (her husband) and doctoral student Corinna Crane, looked at five critical factors: school size, class size, parental involvement, teacher certification and instructional practices.

In previous research, the Lubienskis discovered that after holding demographic factors constant, public school students performed just as well if not better than private schools students on standardized math tests.

“There are so many reasons why you would think that the results should be reversed – that private schools would outscore public schools in standardized math test scores,” she said. “This study looks at the underlying reasons why that’s not necessarily the case.”

Of the five factors, school size and parental involvement “didn’t seem to matter all that much,” Lubienski said, citing a weak correlation between the two factors as “mixed or marginally significant predictors” of student achievement.
Very interesting!

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