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Private/Public School Choice and Student Performance Revisited

  • Lonnie Stevans
  • David Sessions

This paper examines the differences in an index of standardized test performance of urban private/public school seniors by race, using a sample of 4172 students from the 1992 US National Education Longitudinal Survey. In addition to using 257 exogenous variables to control for individual traits, family background, etc., we treat both student performance and school choice as jointly endogenous in the context of a simultaneous equations model with a latent variable: school choice. We find that while White students perform marginally better in private relative to public schools, a performance gain for private school minority students was not realized. Given the additional finding that school characteristics/quality do not affect minority student performance, we conclude that 'school choice' is mostly taken advantage of by White urban residents.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/096452900410730
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 169-184

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:8:y:2000:i:2:p:169-184
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  1. Derek Neal, 1998. "What have we learned about the benefits of private schooling?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 79-86.
  2. Evans, William N & Schwab, Robert M, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-74, November.
  3. Derek Neal, 1995. "The Effect of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 5353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1998. "Schools and student achievement: more evidence from the Milwaukee parental choice program," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 61-76.
  5. Paul Grimes & Deborah Lee, 2000. "Economic education and economic growth," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 28(4), pages 490-490, December.
  6. D. N. Figlio & J. A. Stone, . "School Choice and Student Performance: Are Private Schools Really Better?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1141-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  7. William Sander, 1997. "Catholic High Schools and Rural Academic Achievement," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 1-12.
  8. Murnane, Richard J & Newstead, Stuart & Olsen, Randall J, 1985. "Comparing Public and Private Schools: The Puzzling Role of Selectivity Bias," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(1), pages 23-35, January.
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