Private School Students More Tolerant and Politically Accepting

Goldwater Institute News Release
September 9, 2009

Phoenix—Are Arizona’s high school students better served by private or public schools? We asked those who know best: the students.

The Goldwater Institute surveyed students in public and private high schools about the academic environment and racial and political tolerance in their schools. The results are being released in two reports. The first, “Tough Crowd: Arizona High School Students Evaluate Their Schools” measured students’ satisfaction with their schools and the schools’ academic environments. The second, “Better Citizens, Lower Cost: Comparing Scholarship Tax Credit Students to Public School Students” examines student perceptions about civic tolerance, diversity and volunteerism within their schools.

The survey shows that by a four-to-one margin, students in private schools report a greater sense of civic responsibility, look forward to going to school, volunteer in their community and value diversity over their public school counterparts.

Survey responses include:

“My school teaches me to value, respect and tolerate differences in others.”
76 percent of students in private school agree with that statement, compared with 51 percent of students in public school.

“My school treats all students with respect regardless of race.”
64 percent of students in private high school agree with that statement, compared with 40 percent of public school students.

My school has high expectations of me.”
71 percent of students in private high school agree with that statement, compared with 48 percent of students in public high school.

“I look forward to going to school.”
66 percent of students in private high school agree with that statement, compared to only 47 percent of students in public school.

“This survey punches semi-truck sized holes in the old arguments against private school education, and in turn, the value of the tuition tax credit program,” said Goldwater Institute Vice President of Research Matthew Ladner, Ph.D. “Students are in the best position to tell us what’s really going on in the classroom, and the results show students in private schools are getting a better education and adopting better civic values, all at a lower price tag to the taxpayer.”

“Tough Crowd: Arizona High School Students Evaluate Their Schools” and “Better Citizens, Lower Cost: Comparing Scholarship Tax Credit Students to Public School Students” are both available online. The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog supported by people who are committed to expanding free enterprise and liberty.


Comments

  1. “The survey shows that by a four-to-one margin, students in private schools report a greater sense of civic responsibility, look forward to going to school, volunteer in their community and value diversity over their public school counterparts.”

    Taking the numbers at face value, they do not demonstrate a 4 to 1 margin. Talk about inflating results.

  2. The problem is not with the students. It’s the agenda of the teachers. And government involvement.

    In prison people self-select and hang with their own race, no matter what the warden’s attempts to desegregate.

    What does that tell us about public schools?

  3. The most important aspect is ‘MY SCHOOL HAS HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF ME’. All else follows that premise. It is also true of parents expectation of parents, of parents expectations of their children and of employers expectations of employees..you get the message. I have high expectations of people who read this blog.

  4. Wolfy
    Not to over quibble, but your prison analogy is not sound since people don’t ‘self select,’ this is a protection mechanism to find a way to not be assaulted. Being part of a larger group gives protection against other gangs. Now, the question is to prison wardens actually want to get rid of gangs? My answer would be that they probably don’t as they keep a certain order unless they get out of hand.

    Anyway, what is certainly apt in your prison/school analogy is that more a more public schools seem to be built like prisons, which I don’t see happening at private schools. This may add to the overall satisfaction, no matter how overstated the GI is trying to make the difference.

  5. Veritas Vincit says

    self selection a “protection mechanism to find a way not to be assaulted.”???

    What a crock of cow pie. Study the work of Abraham Maslov sometime.

  6. VV,
    The need of security is right up there for Maslov. If you have an argument to make , make it, don’t just drop a name and make a vague statement.

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