In-Person Learning Opportunities More Prevalent in Private Schools than Public Schools

In-person learning blog image

Public and private schools across the country participated in the second round of the IES School Survey, providing information on the types of learning opportunities they offered fourth- and eighth-grade students in February. The results showed that private schools offered their students in-person learning opportunities at much larger rates than public schools. Ninety-one percent of fourth-graders and eighty-five percent of eighth-graders attended private schools that offered in-person learning opportunities to all students. In contrast, 50 percent of fourth-grade and 42 percent of eighth-grade public students attended schools that did so.

Furthermore, public schools offered students remote learning to a majority of their students while less than half of private schools offered remote learning to all of their students.

Percentages of fourth- and eighth- grade students who attended schools that offered in-person, hybrid, or remote learning opportunities to all students, by school type: February, 2021

As we await future results from the school survey and upcoming NAEP 2022 assessments, previous NAEP data have shown that public and private schools differ in racial/ethnic composition and that larger proportions of private school students reach or exceed NAEP Proficient in mathematics and reading than public school students. Private, Catholic schools serve around three percent of fourth- and eighth-grade students nationally. They are made up of mostly White students, while more than half of public-school students are non-White. Prior to COVID-19, over 40 percent of Catholic school students scored at or above NAEP Proficient on grades 4 and 8 mathematics and reading, while not as many public school students reached those benchmarks.

Percentages of fourth-grade students in public and private, Catholic schools: by race/ethnicity: 2019 Percentage at or above <em>NAEP Proficient</em> in NAEP mathematics for all students, by grade and type of school: 2019 Percentage at or above <em>NAEP Proficient</em><span id='ms-rterangeselectionplaceholder-start'></span> in NAEP reading for all students, by grade and type of school: 2019

With data from the IES School Survey, we will be able to evaluate how differences in learning modes offered during the COVID-19 pandemic relate to educational outcomes of public and private school students.


As a teacher, thank you for sharing this important school information!

Posted on June 6, 2021

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