An analysis of factors that affect public and private school science achievement



Data on 30,030 sophomores in the “High School and Beyond” project were analyzed to test the private school superiority hypothesis for science achievement. The supposition that private schools are superior to public schools in producing science achievement is rejected on the basis of the present analysis. Major differences in science achievement between public and private schools appear attributable to relatively fixed characteristics of students and to their experiences beyond the school environment, rather than to factors easily alterable by educators. The authors point out and discuss the value of homework, the problem of excessive television viewing, the influence of parental involvement in education, and the effect of the amount of academic classes taken.