Every parent wants what is best for their child. Though parents do not have control over everything in
their child's development, education is one they do control. A person's education is one of the most
important factors in determining whether or not they will become a productive member of society. Because
education is so important, what kind of education is best? Whether or not a public or private school is best
may be an issue worth addressing. The debate over which is better is a battle that has gone on since private
schools were first introduced as an alternative. It seems most people are of the opinion that private schools
are superior; the issue is simply if it is worth the money. However, this may not be the case. Therefore, how
does one gauge the superiority of a school? This very difficult question has no easy answers. The most
common and maybe the only way that researchers can rate and measure the effectiveness of a school is by
measuring achievement. The American Heritage Dictionary seems to define achievement as something that
has been accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice, or perseverance. This
definition is not exactly what researchers are speaking of when they refer to achievement. Though they all
seem to define it slightly different, achievement is refered to as an improvement in overall academic
excellence that did not exist before or outside the classroom. Many researchers used achievement tests and

SAT scores in longitudinal studies for this measure. These reports seem to suggest that public schools
seem to perform at equal levels with private schools. But are SAT scores and achievement tests all that are
important to a school and what it can provide for children? This question cannot be addressed with these
tests.

The fact that I was raised in a private environment seems to suggest that I may not be better off than my
private counterparts. Since a young age, I have attended private schools. From Kindergarten through all
four years of high school, I have been in home schooling with my other brothers and sisters. I was raised on
the idea that private schools are better than public ones. My parents and most of my peers still believe this.

I might still think this also but with much less fervor. After high school, I then went on to Meramac, my first
public school. It was here that I learned, in that large and diverse environment, and from talking to my
friends now at public colleges, that maybe the average public and private system are not so different. I am
not saying that high school and college are comparable, they are not. Maybe just the idea that private
schools provide a superior education is false. I seem to be getting the same if not better education where I
am now, at Meramac, than I would at some private college. I am afraid to ask how much my parents have
spent on my education. Would I be I the same place today had I gone to public schools, only having a more
comfortable lifestyle?

However, one must keep in mind that the issue over weather private schools are superior to public ones
cannot be calculated for just myself or any other individual. The facts and data stated here are averages, not
necessarily the best and most accurate information for all children. Also, not all public schools are the same
and not all private schools are the same. Again, the results here are supposed to be averages of each. Many
schools are not even addressed. Public magnet schools, independent schools, and special education
schools, are some examples. Another thing to bear in mind is that there are many more public schools than
there are private ones, thus skewing the data some.

With that I mind, I have found six journals written on, or pertaining to, the subject of achievement and
whether private or public does a better job of promoting it. However, all of these researchers did not just
pick a hundred public students and a hundred private ones, test them, and then see who scored higher.

Many variables must be taken into account to make the two groups as equal as possible. This logical step
included the factoring out of variables such as economic backgrounds, gender, age, race, IQ, and others. By
eliminating or lessening these characteristics and others like them, more equivalent groups can be made,
with a smaller chance of non school influences