U.S. private school students not much better than public school students in math

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
Reading Math Science
Country Category % Mean Mean Mean
United States of America public 93.01 497 482 498
United States of America private 6.99 519 486 508
OECD Total public 82.37 490 481 492
OECD Total private 17.54 519 514 520
OECD Average public 80.69 491 489 496
OECD Average private 19.2 527 522 528
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

Related stories:

Top US students fare poorly in international PISA test scores, Shanghai tops the world, Finland slips


POSTED BY Jill Barshay ON December 4, 2013

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[…] U.S. private school students not much better than public school student in math Hechinger Report: 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. […]

[…] On international tests, private school students barely outpace their public school peers in math scores. Hechinger Report […]

Bruce William Smith

Given that the difference between “OECD Average” and “OECD Total” gives extra weight to small countries like the Netherlands with many private schools, the greatest divergence from the intended mean — 500 — is to be found among small countries’ private schools in science. But the private-vs.-state nature of the school management is here shown to not make much difference compared to other factors. If private school teachers are still going to use regular state textbooks to teach a curriculum organized in the same manner as the state curriculum, as is the case with American mathematics courses, they aren’t going to add much value; but if they teach a fundamentally different curriculum, one matching that of the world leaders in their subjects, as we propose to do in One World Lyceum, they can add enormous value, particularly to that minority of American students who have not yet already fallen hopelessly behind, even in communities, like Irvine, California, that have a strong (though not really deserved) reputation for their schools.

The Quick and the Ed » Quick Hits (12.5.13)

[…] it? Not necessary, according to the PISA study. The results show that students in private school do not score much higher in math and English than students in public school. (The Hechinger […]

Kempenfelt Bay

At Kempenfelt Bay school Underachieving Ontario students are passing out more academically deservingkids for
university spots and lucrative scholarships with exaggerated grades bought from secretively
run, for-profit schools.

[…] Read the source article at Education By The Numbers […]

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