Thursday, June 8, 2023

Is private school worth it?

Economist:  "Should you send your kids to private school?
The benefits are probably bigger in America than they are in Britain, at least for pupils sitting in the swankiest private classrooms. That is because their alumni continue to enjoy access to the best universities at rates which would cause a furore in the old country. That might surprise anyone who assumes that American society is less ridden by class than British society. ...
By the time they turn 25 Britons with private education earn 17% more than other workers from similar homes, according to a study from 2015. The pay premium widens by the age of 42, according to earlier research, to around 21% for women and 35% for men. In part this is because privately schooled people are more likely to enter high-earning professions, such as finance. Alumni networks may help in this, but peer pressure and parental expectations probably play a big role, too.
[In US]...on average about 34% of their new undergraduates were educated in private high schools (see chart). That is astonishing given that the private sector educates just 8.5% of American high-schoolers. Pupils from “independent” schools do brilliantly. The most recently published data suggest they made up about one-third of new undergraduates at Dartmouth and more than a quarter at Princeton. “Legacy” preference, whereby the relatives of alumni get a leg-up in admissions, may explain some of this. Nothing so brazenly unfair happens at British universities.
EXERCISE:  Give two causal explanations for the correlation between private schooling and success in the US.  


  1. EXERCISE: Give two causal explanations for the correlation between private schooling and success in the US.

    1 - Privately schooled students have little to no exposure to union teachers, and thus don't absorb crippling anti-merit messages in every lesson.

    2 - Privately schooled students are less likely to be advanced through grade levels without demonstrating grade level skills.

  2. I'm thinking perhaps being rich leads one to think, "Hey going to college and getting into finance, that's a thing people do". Instead of, say, getting a job at a local grocery store stocking to help pay their mom's medical bills. Or maybe, not having to work to pay for basic needs of family members does that.

    Of course, being rich may be correlated with intelligence, so there's your explanation two.