Conservative Christian Schools Perform More Poorly Than Public Schools

One problem with modern conservativism is the manner in which they base opinions based upon their theology rather than the facts. They believe private instiutions are always better than government ones, and there is no need for facts which might show otherwise. Pharyngula (via Athiest Revolution) notes a report from last month in The New York Times comparing public to private schools. Public school students performed similar to private school students, while those attending conservative Christian schools performed the poorist:

The Education Department reported on Friday that children in public schools generally performed as well or better in reading and mathematics than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private school counterparts fared better.

The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores in 2003 from nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools, also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools on eighth-grade math.

This does not mean that improvements aren’t needed in public schools, but the National Education Association was happy with these findings:

Reg Weaver, president of the National Education Association, the union for millions of teachers, said the findings showed that public schools were ”doing an outstanding job” and that if the results had been favorable to private schools, ”there would have been press conferences and glowing statements about private schools.”

”The administration has been giving public schools a beating since the beginning” to advance his political agenda, Mr. Weaver said, of promoting charter schools and taxpayer-financed vouchers for private schools as alternatives to failing traditional public schools.

These results are similar to previous studies:

The report mirrors and expands on similar findings this year by Christopher and Sarah Theule Lubienski, a husband-and-wife team at the University of Illinois who examined just math scores. The new study looked at reading scores, too.

The study, along with one of charter schools, was commissioned by the former head of the national Center for Education Statistics, Robert Lerner, an appointee of President Bush, at a time preliminary data suggested that charter schools, which are given public money but are run by private groups, fared no better at educating children than traditional public schools.

Considering that I haven’t seen discussion of this today I find the reports that the Bush Administration would try to bury this report interesting:

Two weeks ago, the American Federation of Teachers, on its Web log, predicted that the report would be released on a Friday, suggesting that the Bush administration saw it as “bad news to be buried at the bottom of the news cycle.”

I appears to have worked. Once again the Bush Administration shows that it won’t let the facts get in the way of their policies.

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  1. 1
    panikeeer says:

    I didnt find thing that i need… 🙁

  2. 2
    Jeremy says:

    Yeah right thats a bunch of crap. I’ve been to both private conservative Christian schools and public schools and there is a night and day difference between not only how smart the kids are but also how motivated they are. The kids in private school actually cared about their grades and were smart unlike these public school kids who’s only concern is getting high and being dumb asses. I’d like to see how they measured the difference in the performance between the two types of schools. Also the myth that private schools only teach to their ideology is false. At the “conservative Christians school” I went to taught evolution, the only difference was that they also gave the other side of the story that many Christians believe.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    This is why we need to use studies rather than individual’s perceptions. You obviously hung out with the wrong kids. I’m sure there were plenty of kids whose “only concern is getting high and being dumb asses” in my high school, but they really didn’t have much impact. The people I knew were more interested in which advanced placement classes to take, which extracurricular activities would look best on college applications, and deciding which college to go to than in getting high. Similarly you descripiton doesn’t apply to my daughter’s public high school.

    From a scientific viewpoint there is no “otehr side of the story” with regards to evolution. Evolution is established science. Unless they made clear the distinction between scientific versus religious views it sounds like your private school dropped the ball in teaching science.

  4. 4
    yucca says:

    this is not surprising, but ill tell you something interesting: here in scotland the statistics are just the opposite. chatolic schools perform better than any others. this, i think, may have something important to say about the role of religion in american as opposed to europe.

    ill see if i can get you some statistics…

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