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Private Not Necessarily Better

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Professor Henry Levin said private schools are not necessarily better than their public school counterparts.

According to Professor Henry Levin, the differences between private and public schools are not that great.  "We would conclude, on the basis of perhaps 15 years of research, that there's nothing magic about privatization," the professor of economics and education said.  Levin pointed out that research studies have found relatively few academic advantages of attending one type of school rather than the other. "The bigger picture here," he said, "and I don't care which good study you look at--the differences in public and private school results are tiny."

Levin, also director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, further noted the impact of socioeconomic status on students' scholastic achievement.  He referenced a 2002 study of private and public schools in Latin America that indicated less of an academic advantage for private school students once socioeconomics were taken into account. 

The article, entitled "Public Schools: Do They Outperform Private Ones?" appeared in the May 9 edition of The Christian Science Monitor.

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