Don’t send your children to private school! University students who attended public school perform worse than those who received public education, study finds


Students who attended public school do better at university than graduates of private schools with the same results on end-of-term exams.

This is the clear finding in a number of Australian studies since the 1980s, and in England since the 1990s.

And it appears that the differences between graduates of public and private schools are substantial.

public schools, showing the percentages who received a second higher diploma or higher diploma by attaining level A at the end of school” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Results in English for graduates of independent schools and all categories of public schools, showing the percentages who received a second higher diploma or higher diploma by attaining level A at the end of school

The most recent English-language research followed all students who completed the end of school A-levels and went straight to a full-time four-year course.

Australian research found that, on average, public school graduates received the same grades at the end of the first year of college as private school graduates who had upper tertiary education entry marks of about three to six points.

English research found that at each A level, on average, around seven percentage points more public school graduates than private school graduates received the honors of First or Second Class, First Division (Upper Second). .

English research found that at each A level, on average, around seven percentage points more public school graduates than private school graduates, like David Cameron

English research found that at each A level, on average around seven percentage points more public school graduates than private school graduates, like David Cameron

Results in English for graduates of independent schools and all categories of public schools, showing the percentages who received a second higher diploma or higher diploma by attaining level A at the end of school.

Research from Australia and England also found that with the same higher education entry scores, graduates of mixed schools tend to do better than graduates of single-sex schools.

Graduates from cheaper private schools (in Australia, Catholic schools) tend to do better than graduates from more expensive private schools (in Australia, independent schools)

And graduates of public (English) comprehensive schools do better (to a small extent) than graduates of public selective schools.

The general conclusion is that graduates from non-elitist and mixed schools do better in university than graduates from socially and academically elitist and single-sex schools who achieved the same higher education entry score.

Independent private schools have similar shares of enrollment in the last <a class=school year in Australia and the UK, but the public sector has a lower share in Australia due to the large private Catholic sector” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Independent private schools have similar shares of enrollment in the last school year in Australia and the UK, but the public sector has a lower share in Australia due to the large private Catholic sector

Independent private schools have similar shares of final year enrollment in Australia and the UK, but the public sector has a lower share in Australia due to the large private Catholic sector,

THE RESULTS AT A GLANCE

Research from Australia and England has also found that with the same higher education entry scores, graduates of mixed schools tend to do better than graduates of single-sex schools.

Graduates from cheaper private schools (in Australia, Catholic schools) tend to do better than graduates from more expensive private schools (in Australia, independent schools)

And graduates of public (English) comprehensive schools do better (to a small extent) than graduates of public selective schools.

The general conclusion is that graduates from non-elitist and mixed schools do better in university than graduates from socially and academically elitist and single-sex schools who achieved the same higher education entry score.

So what can explain this difference?

There are no definitive explanations for these results, although there are some attempts in the literature, some indicative data, and some well-informed speculation.

And there is, of course, great variation between individual students – and between schools, universities, and college courses.

Explanations tend to focus on aspects of secondary education and student effort levels in college, and all can be involved in particular cases.

Preparing for final assessments in private schools, compared to public schools, improves tertiary entry results above ‘underlying abilities’, and graduates decline to ‘underpinning abilities’. underlying abilities ”at the university.

Preparation for life and learning beyond school in private schools (and single-sex schools) compared to public schools (and coeducational schools) is poor, resulting in lower university performance than “Underlying capabilities”.

Private school graduates put less effort into university because of the perceived long-term benefits of their high school education and other socio-cultural reasons.

It seems reasonable to assume that higher education entry scores are boosted by better quality of education in high-fee private schools.

Paid resources many times that of public schools can fund smaller class sizes and other means of improving learning.

One explanation could be that graduates of private schools (pictured) put in less effort in college because of the perceived long-term benefits of their high school education and other socio-cultural reasons.

One explanation could be that graduates of private schools (pictured) put in less effort in college because of the perceived long-term benefits of their high school education and other socio-cultural reasons.

Additionally, selection and exclusion practices can ensure an academic atmosphere undisturbed by disruptive, hard-to-teach students, or even students with low academic aspirations.

However, there appears to be evidence to the contrary: students in public schools tend to do better on NAPLAN tests than students in private schools in schools of similar socioeconomic status (especially at higher socioeconomic levels), according to data analyzed on the My School website. by researchers Bernie Shepherd and Chris Bonnor for an upcoming publication.

Other explanations are therefore likely. One involves a narrow focus on higher education entry results in many elite schools.

Higher education entry results are a central aspect of the status and marketing of high-fee private schools – supported by high-visibility rankings and human interest stories in the media.

High pressure, close supervision, and narrowly defined learning leave little room for independent and motivated learning and the development of the personal and social skills required for success in college.

Single-sex school cultures and practices may not prepare students well for university life.

This is suggested in the literature, but was “evident” to a recent college graduate I spoke to who attended both single-sex and co-ed high schools and said that many single-sex school graduates “n ‘don’t learn to socialize at school, and when they get to college, they just party.

Research from Australia and England has also found that with the same higher education entry scores, graduates of mixed schools tend to do better than graduates of single-sex schools.

Research from Australia and England has also found that with the same higher education entry scores, graduates of mixed schools tend to do better than graduates of single-sex schools.

What are the implications?

The government has set its sights on a highly differentiated system of fees and grants for higher education. Graduates of many universities are likely to have debts of over $ 100,000 (£ 54,900) for popular and socially important courses such as science, and debts of over $ 250,000 (£ 137,100) for longer courses such as veterinary science.

Universities with high demand courses and high fees will need fairer criteria for accessing all courses and for awarding all scholarships on the basis of entry level academic merit.

It is not only a question of justice for individuals, but also for our future as a well educated, productive and just society.

English-language education commentator Nick Morrison has suggested that the disparity between the success of public and private school graduates in college should make fee-paying schools question whether they are doing all they can to prepare students for it. university.

The Australian Financial Review recently urged people to “do the sums on the real cost of private schools”. It is obvious that high tuition fees in private schools may not buy an effective education. In the context of university debt over $ 100,000 (£ 54,900), families would have to ‘squeeze in’ on comparable tuition expenses.

Barbara Preston is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics at the University of Canberra.

This piece originally appeared in The conversation.

The conversation


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