To better understand the performance of students in private schools, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) performed two studies and has released a two-part series of reports: Student Achievement in Private Schools and Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling.
Student Achievement in Private Schools and Comparing Private Schools
In Student Achievement in Private Schools, results of the 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005 assessments for all private schools and for the largest private school categories—Catholic, Lutheran, and Conservative Christian—are compared with those for public schools (when applicable). This first report focuses on important demographic differences between students nationwide in private and public schools.
Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling
The goal of the second report, Comparing Private Schools and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Modeling, was to examine differences in mean NAEP reading and mathematics scores in 2003 between public and private schools when selected characteristics of students and/or schools were taken into account.
Among the student characteristics considered were gender, race/ethnicity, disability status, and identification as an English language learner. Among the school characteristics considered were school size, location, and composition of the student body and teaching staff. In particular, if the student populations enrolled in the two types of schools differed systematically with respect to background characteristics related to achievement, then those differences would be confounded with straightforward comparisons between school types.
Hierarchical linear models (HLMs) were employed to carry out the desired adjustments.
Find out more about private school participation in and performance on NAEP. Use the NAEP Data Explorer to explore national data regarding private school performance. Select a grade level, a subject, and "national" as the jurisdiction. Then, select the option to view data by type of school, or search the list of variables for data related to private schools.