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Full text of "ERIC ED485880: Private Education: Good for Students; Good for Families; Good for America"

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Fast Facts about 
Private Schools 

Did you know that in America: 

• One in four schools is a private school; 

• One child in nine attends a private school; 

• Private schools produce an annual savings to tax- 
payers estimated at more than $48,000,000,000; 

• Private school students perform better than 
their public school counterparts on standardized 
achievement tests; 

• Ninety percent of private high school graduates 
attend college, compared to 66 percent of public 
high school graduates; 

• Private school students from low socio-economic 
backgrounds are more than three times more 
likely than comparable public school students to 
attain a bachelors degree by their mid-20s, 
meaning that private schools contribute to 
breaking the cycle of poverty for their students; 

• Private schools are racially, ethnically, and 
economically diverse. Twenty-three percent of 
private school students are students of color; 

28 percent are from families with annual 
incomes under $50,000; 

• Private secondary school students are nearly 50 
percent more likely to take AP or IB courses in 
science and math than public school students; 

• The participation of private school students in 
community service projects is significantly higher 
than their public school counterparts. 

CAPE member organizations: 

American Montessori Society 
Association Montessori International-USA 
Association of Christian Schools International 
Association of Waldorf Schools of N.A. 

Christian Schools International 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 
Friends Council on Education 
Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod 
National Association of Episcopal Schools 
National Association of Independent Schools 
National Catholic Educational Association 
National Christian School Association 
Oral Roberts University Educational Fellowship 
Seventh-day Adventist Board of Education 
Solomon Schechter Day School Association 
Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools 
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 
28 Affiliated State Organizations 

The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) is the 
primary advocate for American private K-12 education. Based 
in Washington, D.C., with organizations in most states, CAPE 
strengthens the nation's educational system by working with 
parents, educators, and legislators to preserve educational 
pluralism and ensure that parents have a choice in the 
schooling of their children. 


13017 Wisteria Drive #457 
Germantown, MD 20874 
301-916-8460 (tel) 
301-916-8485 (fax) 


Good for Students 
Good for Families 
Good for America 

A or Council for American 
V ^/*\ 1 CL Private Education 

Voice of Americas Private Schools 

Americas first schools were private schools. Its first 
leaders were taught in private schools, whose goal was 
to graduate a student capable of making a positive con- 
tribution to society. Today, private schools gladly join 
their newer counterpart — public schools — in creating 
an educational system that is the envy of the world and 
the hope for our continued freedom. 

In a 1999-2000 survey by the National Center for 
Education Statistics (NCES), the number one goal of 
private schools was academic excellence. Thanks to 
committed parents, motivated students and limited 
distractions, private schools are free to focus on 
quality education for the more than six million chil- 
dren they enroll. 

More than 350 years after John Milton claimed that 
truth emerges from “the marketplace of ideas,” the rich 
diversity of private schools is a staple in the market- 
place of American education, and the nation is stronger 
for it. 

Our common motto is simple: Private education is good 
for students, good for families, and good for America. 

Good for Students 

In a June 2002 report, NCES found that private 
school students scored higher on standardized tests, 
had more demanding graduation requirements, and 
sent more graduates to college than public schools. The 
report said that students who had completed at least 
the eighth grade in a private school were twice as likely 
as other students to graduate from college as a young 
adult. NCES statistics also showed that students 
in private schools are much more likely than others to 
take advanced-level high school courses. 

Students thrive when allowed to learn in a safe and 
supportive environment. Joint reports by the NCES 
and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and a private study 
by the Horatio Alger Association have found that pri- 
vate school students are significantly more likely than 
others to feel safe and be safe in their schools. 

Good for Families 

Choosing a school for their children is one of the most 
important decisions parents must make. Whether they 
move into a school district, apply to a private school, 
or adjust family duties to make home schooling possi- 
ble, most families want school choice. 

Eor the parents of more than six million children, the 
choice is private education. They choose a private edu- 
cation for many reasons, with quality academics, a safe 
and orderly environment, and moral and ethical values 
the common reasons cited. 

And choice makes them satisfied consumers. The 
NCES reports that more than three-quarters of private 
school parents are “very satisfied” with their child’s 
school compared with less than half of parents whose 
children were assigned to a public school. 

Parents often look to private schools as an extension 
of the home in promoting the values they embrace, 
and private schools respond. A recent NCES survey 
found that promoting religious/spiritual life was second 
only to academic excellence in the goals of private 
school principals. 

Good for America 

Nothing in a democracy is more important than 
the education of the next generation of its citizens. In 
standardized tests designed to measure how well 
American youth are prepared to meet their citizenship 
responsibilities, students in private schools score higher 
than their public school counterparts. 

Gaps between minority students and majority students 
are narrowed in private schools. According to NCES, 
minority students in private schools are more than 
twice as likely to enter four-year colleges than their 
counterparts in public schools, making private schools 
the nation’s greatest hope for boosting minority partici- 
pation in society from boardroom to classroom. 

The public applauds the accomplishments of private 
education. Public Agenda, a national research organiza- 
tion, found that adults believed, by a wide margin, that 
private schools do a better job of providing a quality 
education than public schools. That’s why we say 
‘'Private education promotes the public good. ” 


Digest of Education Statistics: 2002, NCES, 2003 

Federal, State, and Local Governments Public Elementary-Secondary Education 
Finance Data 2002, U.S. Census Bureau, 2004 
High School Transcript Study (HSTS) 2000, NCES, 2004 
Indicators of School Crimes and Safety: 2003, Bureau of Justice Statistics and 
NCES, 2003 

National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NEES: 88), NCES, 1990-2003 

The NAEP 1998 Civics Report Card for the Nation, NCES, 1999 

On Thin Ice, Public Agenda, 1999 

Private School Universe Survey: 1999-2000, NCES, 2001 

Private Schools: A Brief Portrait, NCES, 2002 

Projections of Education Statistics to 2013, NCES, 2003 

School Enrollment-Social and Economic Characteristics of Students: October 2002, 
U.S. Census Bureau, 2004 

Service-Learning and Community Service Among 6th- through 12th-Grade 
Students in the United States: 1996 and 1999, NCES, 1999 
The State of Our Nations Youth: 2000-2001, Horatio Alger Association, 2000 
Trends in the Use of School Choice: 1993-1999, NCES, 2003 

An annotated version of this brochure with footnotes and links to data sources 
can be found on the CAPE Web site at