Private School Students Perform Better…

… academically—especially on standardized tests—and they are more likely to obtain post-secondary degrees. Before reading my summary, please take a look at these two graphs by Statistics Canada in 2015:

Chart 1 Mean test scores by type of high school attended

Chart 2 Educational attainment by type of high school attended

As you can see from figure 1, the results also correlate with the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This is an international study that is administered annually in over 70 countries to evaluate educational systems by testing the competency of 15-year-olds in reading, math and science. The PISA study revealed that in Canada, “private school students outscored their public school counterparts by 45 points on reading tests, a statistically significant margin that remained even when researchers compared students with the same socioeconomic status in both public and private schools”. This is strong testimony to the effectiveness and success of a private school education in Canada.

In regards to the second graph from Statistics Canada, the empirical data demonstrates how private school students are much more likely to pursue—and be accepted into—additional professional education programs, which can greatly help provide these individuals with the skills, knowledge, and experience to become higher wage earners in the job market. If parents want to encourage their children to excel in school, especially for the purpose of  attaining a post-secondary education, then it is generally recommended to enrol them in a private school, and one that demonstrates a culture of academic integrity and excellence (think IB schools, which reflect the importance of an internationally standardized education).

– A.S.

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2 thoughts on “Private School Students Perform Better…”

  1. I think these statistics are very interesting. I believe there are statistics similar to these in the US as well. However, I’m not sure this data alone can prove that private schools provide a better education. There is a selection bias between the two groups (private vs public). Often the students who attend private schools are more proficient and more affluent, while the lower achieving or lower income students remain in public school. Thus, one must consider a regression analysis (like the one completed in this study to distinguish between the potential root causes for the higher test scores. It would be great to see that kind of analysis for this data!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Samantha, thank you for the link (but I must confess I only had time to skim through it for the moment!)

      Please note that I did not actually claim private schools provide a better education, only that private schools students perform better academically (although I would actually support that claim 🙂 ) Anyway, I agree that I would like to find more research explaining why this is so. If it is not due to a better education, then private schools must be offering something else to explain these federal results. I think another very good theory is the social environment – most private school students or their parents want to prepare them for university, and regardless of whether or not they one day apply to uni, interacting/befriending/competing with other students with a similar high achieving goals stimulates private school students to achieve higher academically.


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