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Catholic Schools Better?

The point of this post is not really whether religious schools are better or not but to point out that privately run schools tend to be so. The article is about catholic schools but many of the things that the article argues make catholic schools produce better results are applicable to private schools in general. I just really want to make a few points.

  • Like all arms of government, public schools don’t need to run on a real budget.
  • Public schools often times don’t need to compete for business and so often times there is nowhere else to go if the quality is low.
  • Private schools, such as catholic institutions, have to offer quality otherwise they could lose their students.
  • There is a parental role here, parents in general are obviously taking a bigger interest in their child’s education if they are paying out of pocket for it.
  • Private schools are not generally beholden to teachers unions, giving them the ability to focus their funds on education, rather than on teachers benefits.
  • From what I can find teaching wages are roughly the same or better at private schools compared to public ones.
  • Curriculum flexibility is much greater in private schools.
  • And many many more!

I think education would be better by leaps and bounds if parents could take a voucher, for the same amount as the locale would spend per student, and be able to apply it to a private or public school of their choosing. Quite simply allow the laws of economics to decide which schools succeed and which fail. I would guess this would end up saving a lot of money and improve the quality of education.

UPDATE: It is true also that private schools don’t have to accept every student and can be more selective and thus achieve better scores that way, but lets be honest public schools suffer from not having to perform. Competition between public and private schools and public and public schools for tax dollars devoted to education would only lead to better results, as competition almost always does.

Where I live, to my knowledge, the only private schools are catholic ones (their might be some small ones… I dunno) but there are numerous public schools, where Augusta’s school system is abysmal, some of the other public schools in the area aren’t as bad. Competition between them in something other than sports would be a good change.

Vote with your feet, Catholic school? Another public school in the area? A school specializing in mathematics or science? Allowing parents to choose and have the worst schools starve to death would be a much better use of our scant education dollars.

UPDATE 2: What I’m finding about catholic schools is teaching wages are actually less than nearby public schools, yet the positions are quite competitive. Interesting. I can’t find anything telling me whether that is common to all religious schools or a catholic school quirk.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2011/02/08 at 23:19

    I recall being taught some basic things sometimes years before my public school friends. Cursive writing? It was second grade for us, but fifth grade for others. Those annoying English diagrams? We started those early and did them often. Perhaps that applied across the board, I’m not sure.

    As for tuition, I know it has gone up quite a bit since I was there. But there’s also that whole entire Catholic institution behind the school. I’m sure there is some leeway in profitability.

  2. 2011/02/09 at 00:20

    That is true, near as I can tell the church doesn’t make any money off of its schools. The fact is they are run like businesses so that money doesn’t have to be put in. Much like catholic hospitals. (if you ever need of medical care in Portland, go to the catholic hospital, unless you wish to die in the waiting room, than Maine Med is the place to be)

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