In the 2012 international test that measures what 15-year-old students know, called PISA, private school students did only a smidgen better than public school students on the math test. Almost seven percent of American 15-year-olds attend private school and they scored an average of 486, only four points more than the average public school student, and still below the international average of 494. Private school students did do a bit better in science at 508, surpassing the international average of 501.
Where private school students shine is in reading, outperforming their public school peers by 22 points. Private school students, if they formed a separate nation, would rank at #10 behind Ireland in this subject. However, if we broke out the private school students for each nation, their scores would be higher too and American private school kids would no longer be among the top 10 readers. Indeed, US private school students would be no better than average.
|2012 PISA test scores of public school and private school students|
|United States of America||public||93.01||497||482||498|
|United States of America||private||6.99||519||486||508|
|OECD Total = (OECD as single entity) – each country contributes in proportion to the number of 15-year-olds enrolled in its schools|
|OECD Average = (country average) – mean data for all OECD countries – each country contributes equally to the average|
|Data generated from http://pisa2012.acer.edu.au|
Top US students fare poorly in international PISA test scores, Shanghai tops the world, Finland slips