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Department of Education: Catholic Schools Beat Public Schools
Patriot Post ^ | 2/22/12 | Terence Jeffrey

Posted on 02/22/2012 8:52:37 AM PST by rhema

When two schools meet in a basketball game, the winner is indisputable. One team outscores the other.

The same is true in certain types of academic competition. When students take standardized national tests, students from some schools outscore students from others.

In the most recent round of National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the winners were indeed indisputable. Catholic schools thrashed public schools.

It wasn't close.

"In 2011," says the Department of Education in a report on the NAEP tests, "the average reading score for eighth-graders attending public schools was 19 points lower than the overall score for students attending private schools,and 20 points lower than for students attending Catholic schools specifically."

If the Catholic school in your community beat the public school in basketball by 20 points, partisans of both teams would deem it a rout. If the Catholic school beat the public school by similar margins year after year, people would wonder what was wrong with the public-school basketball program. Were the coaches incompetent? Did they not care about instilling excellence in their teams?

Well, in the Department of Education's national eighth-grade reading test, the Catholic schools not only routed the public schools by 20 points last year, they have made a habit of such routs.

In every round of NAEP reading tests over the past 20 years, Catholic-school eighth-graders have defeated public-school eighth-graders by double-digit margins. The closest the public schools ever got to the Catholic schools was 17 points -- and that was in 1992, long before today's elementary school students were even born.

The Catholic victory margins are not as great in mathematics, but the history of unbroken domination is the same.

"In 2011," says the Department of Education, "the average mathematics score for eighth-graders attending public schools was 13 points lower than the overall score for students attending private schools and 13 points lower than for students attending Catholic schools specifically."

In math, the closest the public schools ever got to beating the Catholics schools was when they lost by only 9 points -- but that was 22 years ago. Since then, the Catholic schools' victory margin in math has gradually grown.

So, what is the matter with public schools? Why can't they compete with Catholic schools in basic academic disciplines like reading and math?

One thing is certain: It isn't a lack of money.

In the 1998-99 school year, according to the Department of Education, U.S. public elementary and secondary schools spent $9,923 per pupil (in inflation-adjusted 2009-2010 dollars). In the 2007-2008 school year, they spent $12,236 per pupil (in 2009-2010 dollars). In just eight years, America's public schools increased average per-pupil spending by $2,313 in inflation-adjusted dollars -- a real increase of 23 percent.

But in that same period, the average public-school eighth-grade reading score virtually flat-lined -- going from 261 (out of a possible 500) in 1998 to 264 in 2011.

The average public-school eighth-grade math score showed slightly more improvement for the additional $2,313 per student. It crawled from 272 (out of 500) in 2000 to 283 last year.

If significantly increasing the money transferred from taxpayers to public school administrators and teachers cannot significantly increase the math and reading scores of the students these administrators and teachers are supposed to serve, what will?

Ideally, organized on a community-by-community basis, all parents of all students would get a voucher equal to the cost of educating a child in the local public school, and the parents would be able to choose, in a free market, exactly where they wanted their child educated.

But, unfortunately, if we did this in today's America -- where the president believes he can order Catholics and Catholic institutions to act against their faith -- people in government would surely use a voucher program as a political weapon to sap the spirit from religious schools and turn them into dismal facsimiles of the failed public schools that the voucher-bearing parents and their children have fled.

The truth is the primary purpose of the average American public school -- like the Catholic school -- is not to teach children reading and math. It is to develop character -- to help assimilate students into the school's vision of our civilization.

And here, even more than in reading and math, our public schools have become the leading indicator of national decline.

In the public schools today, children are not taught to believe that the traditional family is the indispensible foundation of our society, or that every human being -- including those still unborn -- has an inalienable God-given right to life, or that the United States of America enjoys an exceptional place in the history of nations because our Founding Fathers instituted a government that was constitutionally limited in its functions, leaving it to a moral and self-reliant people to thrive and prosper in a free society.

The liberal elites who generally define and determine what is taught in our public schools do not believe these things and do not want the children who graduate from the government academies to believe them, either.

Today, public schools are competing with Catholic and other religious schools not just in developing the math and reading skills of their students, but for the very soul of America.

May the private religious schools win this all-important contest, too.


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: catholic; education; naep

1 posted on 02/22/2012 8:52:43 AM PST by rhema
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To: rhema

That’s because they teach the 3 R’s and don’t waste their time with the “false” political agenda.


2 posted on 02/22/2012 8:57:02 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: rhema
My husband grew up in a family that moved constantly because of his father's work. His mother was Catholic and whenever she could, she put him and his brother into a Catholic school. But, sometimes he went to a public school.

He puts it this way: Whenever I went from a Catholic school to a public school I was ahead of everyone in my class. Whenever I went from a public school to a Catholic school, I was behind everyone in my class.

My husband turned 60 on his last birthday, so this is a while ago; but, seems like nothing has changed.

3 posted on 02/22/2012 9:02:36 AM PST by LibertarianLiz
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To: Sacajaweau

“That’s because they teach the 3 R’s “

Look for the beat down by the white hut to begin. I mean, it’s just not fair that Catholic students are better-—they MUST conform and be dumbed down—it’s in the Constitution for cryin’ out loud.—Ya know—the part about the general welfare and all dat.


4 posted on 02/22/2012 9:02:39 AM PST by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: rhema
Well this is a giagantic "DUH"!!

Catholic and private schools are funded by tuition. They have to perform well to maintain their income (free market).

Public schools have been social experiments over the past few generations. New math, phonetic spelling and social indoctrination are just a few of the experiments our kids have been exposed to with dismal results.

Public school graduates are dumb by design but, they feel good about it.

5 posted on 02/22/2012 9:06:16 AM PST by pfflier
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To: rhema

My child is in a private, Christian school. Their curriculum is far more advanced than that of the public school’s. I spoke with a friend whose child was in the same grade, but in the public school and the difference between the two schools was huge. My child is reading and writing (in cursive) and hers was drawing shapes. No comparison.


6 posted on 02/22/2012 9:09:40 AM PST by Trick or Treat (Need new tagline.)
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To: rhema

That’s because Catholic schools can be selective about their students. They don’t have to have the lazy assed students who don’t want to learn. Public schools have to take them. So it’s terribly slanted in the Catholic schools favor.


7 posted on 02/22/2012 9:10:43 AM PST by crosshairs (Liberalism is to truth, what east is to west.)
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To: crosshairs

Indeed there are two major factors that slant in the favor of Catholic schools.

Self selection bias. Parents of Catholic school children made a decision taking charge of their child’s education. That alone puts them in a select group of those whose parents are actually involved and interested in their child’s education.

Financial incentive. This works both ways - the school wants to ensure that parents get their monies worth - and parents want to make sure THEY get their monies worth.

A scientific comparison would randomly assign who got to go to which school and cover the costs. I doubt if the usual parent of a public school child, told that their child was going to go to Catholic school free of charge - would suddenly become more involved in their child’s education, and neither would the child feel the parent’s financial interest in their academic success.

That being said, during the teenage years the peer group seems to be more influential than parents - and surrounding your child with a peer group that is doing well academically with parents involved in their education thus seems to be a GREAT thing to do to influence your child’s future success.


8 posted on 02/22/2012 9:18:32 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: crosshairs
That's their excuse. Most public schools are cesspools and the lousey teachers are protected by tenor and corrupted by unions.
9 posted on 02/22/2012 9:21:35 AM PST by mimaw
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To: rhema

Ican’t say that I’m surprised. I live in SC and, in our county, the private schools outscore the public schools in the SATs by 400-500 points!


10 posted on 02/22/2012 9:22:45 AM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: mimaw

I am sure that the O administration will find a way to close these exceptional religious schools.Just watch.


11 posted on 02/22/2012 9:26:16 AM PST by georgia peach (georgia peach)
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To: mimaw

I am sure that the O administration will find a way to close these exceptional religious schools.Just watch.


12 posted on 02/22/2012 9:26:49 AM PST by georgia peach (georgia peach)
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To: crosshairs

“That’s because Catholic schools can be selective about their students. They don’t have to have the lazy assed students who don’t want to learn. Public schools have to take them. So it’s terribly slanted in the Catholic schools favor.”

This is the battle-cry of public education mediocrity. Critics use the same excuse for Charter schools whose students excel, even though Charter Schools must take all comers, by law.


13 posted on 02/22/2012 9:33:43 AM PST by Jenny217
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To: Trick or Treat

“My child is reading and writing (in cursive) and hers was drawing shapes.”


LOL, your comment brings to mind my nephew’s wife who went to public school and then pursued a career in Social Services.

Anyway, when my Father died she was offered his old typewriter which would type in Cursive and she asked, dead seriously, “it only types swear words”? Ah, public education.


14 posted on 02/22/2012 9:34:58 AM PST by Wurlitzer (Welcome to the new USSA (United Socialist States of Amerika))
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To: crosshairs
That’s because Catholic schools can be selective about their students. They don’t have to have the lazy assed students who don’t want to learn.

They can be, but most are not.

I went to Catholic school, as do my children.

When I went to Catholic school (70's), we even took in kids who got expelled from public school.

I am involved at my children's school, and we have never asked any family to remove their child because they are "lazy" or for bad grades.

If a child has a learning disability, the school is upfront with the parents - we simply do not have the nearly unlimited ability to reach into taxpayer pockets and provide the resources they require.

If a child is truly "lazy" and cannot handle the cirriculum, the parents may choose to remove them from the school, but I have never seen them be asked to leave because of that.

15 posted on 02/22/2012 9:36:49 AM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: crosshairs
That’s because Catholic schools can be selective about their students. They don’t have to have the lazy assed students who don’t want to learn. Public schools have to take them. So it’s terribly slanted in the Catholic schools favor.

You don't get kicked out of Catholic school for having poor grades. You only get kicked out for bad conduct.

I know plenty of C students in Catholic school, but they would be F students in public school. But bad conduct? Well, that isn't tolerated.

16 posted on 02/22/2012 10:09:41 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: rhema

I suspect that, should the standardized tests include more modern and enlightened subject matter, such as rainforest math, advanced empathy training and gay studies, the public schools would clearly win.


17 posted on 02/22/2012 10:15:02 AM PST by Smedley (It's a sad day for American capitalism when a man can't fly a midget on a kite over Central Park)
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To: rhema

Catholic Schools are the single greatest evidence that throwing money at a school is not necessary in order to have a world-class education.


18 posted on 02/22/2012 10:16:47 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Pray Continued Victory for our Troops Still in Afghan!)
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To: rhema

And home schools trump ‘em all!! :)


19 posted on 02/22/2012 10:21:48 AM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: crosshairs

“That’s because Catholic schools can be selective about their students. They don’t have to have the lazy assed students who don’t want to learn. Public schools have to take them. So it’s terribly slanted in the Catholic schools favor.”

This is true, and yet, that is how it SHOULD be.

Good students are dragged down by the kids who don’t want to be there, have an attitude, etc.

Public school teachers can’t cull out the non-cooperative.


20 posted on 02/22/2012 10:23:24 AM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: SampleMan
But bad conduct? Well, that isn't tolerated.

The last thing we need is a well educated criminal class. The average IQ in law enforcement is 90. The government dog shooters can barely do their job as it is because most criminals are less than that.

21 posted on 02/22/2012 10:48:52 AM PST by Reeses
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To: rhema; All

does anyone have a link to the DoE on this one?? tried to email the author and did a google search yet nothing...


22 posted on 02/22/2012 2:26:14 PM PST by God luvs America (63.5million pay no federal income tax then vote demoKrat)
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To: rhema

The schools in my town are awful. The Catholic school must be better - but they don’t tout it, they talk about their religious side. The generic Christian school in the next town over gets rave reviews from the parents I know who send their kids there - but I can’t tell which girls in the choir go there and which go to the local public school.

“Better than the public school” is kind of like saying “more nutritious than horse droppings”.


23 posted on 02/22/2012 2:36:47 PM PST by JenB
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