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Are Private Schools Better than Public Schools



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NL 74 University of Wisconsin Madison Institute for Research on Poverty Volume 5 Number 1 Summer 1981 Are private schools better than public schools A critique of the Coleman Report 1 Work effort savings and the income distribution What are the effects of income transfers 5 The dynamics of poverty 9 Participation as a measure of program success 12 The Wisconsin Workshop on Child Support 21 ISSN 0195 5705 Are private schools better than public schools A critique of the Coleman Report by Michael Olneck An associate professor in the Departments of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin Madison Michael Olneck is also on the research staff of the Institute for Research on Poverty On April 12 of this year the New York Times carried an article with the understated headline Remarks by Sociologist Stir Debate over Schools The Washington Post was more blunt Private High Schools Are Better Than Public Study Concludes The object of their attention was a newly released draft report prepared for the National Center for Education Statistics NCES by University of Chicago sociologist James Coleman and two collaborators Thomas Hoffer and Sally Kilgore The report Public and Private Schools analyzed 1980 data from a large scale National Opinion Research Center survey High School and Beyond and after comparing students in public Catholic and other private schools concluded that nonpublic schools provided more orderly and demanding learning environments taught students more did not aggravate racial segregation and in the case of Catholic schools reduced the strength of the link between family background and academic achievement Adding to the controversial nature of Public and Private Schools were analyses that the authors said demonstrated that policies facilitating the use of nonpublic schools e g tuition tax credits vouchers would favor minorities and the disadvantaged rather than well to do whites Indeed the authors introduced and concluded their



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