Public vs. Private? What are the right questions to ask?

December 11, 2014

This article by Mark Dynarski posits that studies comparing test scores between one set of public schools and one set of private schools (actually parochial Catholic schools which are different than accredited independent schools like Walden School) may not be asking the right questions.

In 2012-13 Walden School’s tuition was $17, 763 while LAUSD was spending $19, 070 average per student enrolled for the same year. Pasadena Unified spent less on average per student – only $8,759.

If all schools could learn how to deliver an excellent education for all students at a reasonable cost, would not we all benefit?

19th century education advocate Horace Mann argued that the path to an informed citizenry is through universal education. Early 20th century educational theorist John Dewey argued that the purpose of education is for each student to realize their potential and use their education to make advances in society for the greater good.

At Walden School, we believe that each child has a gift and it is our job to nurture that gift and to support a child’s development as they acquire their “voice” and help them make a larger contribution to our world. Through a Walden education, students learn reflective practices that help them navigate the challenges of living in the 21st century while at the same time ask thoughtful questions that challenge the status quo. At Walden School, the questions are just as important as the answers.

Read more here from NAIS President John Chubb in his critique of “The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools.”

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