National Review Myth Buster #5: Whether an institution is public or private doesn't amount to a hill of beans when we rate on standards

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With ten reports on teacher preparation programs under our belt, it's easy to check whether we rate public or private schools differently, as some of our critics have claimed.

Here is a table that summarizes our ratings for nearly all of the programs for which we've examined early reading, elementary math and student teaching and breaks them down by type:

*Note: Reading and math standards were rated on a five-point scale; student teaching on a four-point scale

Take a look at the differences between our ratings for public and private institutions on each of these standards.  While private institutions come out somewhat ahead in scores on early reading instruction and student teaching arrangements, they are well behind in scores on elementary math instruction.  Certainly there's no evidence of any systematic bias.

In fact, none of our standards evaluate institutions on elements of their preparation programs (like whether they are public or private) that can't be changed.  Any teacher preparation program, whether in a public or private institution, in one with a large or small endowment, can meet our standards.  We're looking for whether programs deploy their resources to effectively prepare teachers, not where the resources came from or how many resources they have.

Marisa Goldstein and Julie Greenberg