Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review of a book on private education schools

The Private Schools No One Sees: In the world’s slums, the poor have taken to educating themselves (via Evolutionary Psychology Discussion group). Excerpts:
"...what Tooley saw in the slums of Hyderabad, where he returned several times to visit schools, observe classes, and chat with students, parents, teachers, and owners. The schools’ physical structures were indeed mostly ramshackle, but they were assembled no worse (and often far better) than the homes of the neighborhood children who learned in them. The owners seemed responsible and often caring, the teachers engaged and capable. And the parents Tooley met were adamant that the tuition they paid—between $1 and $2 per child, per month—was money well spent. They would never send their kids to the local public schools, they said, where facilities were fancier but teachers were truant.
Development experts,” as Tooley calls them, have long believed that if citizens of developing countries are to be educated, their governments, helped by heaps of money from rich nations, must invest in free and universal public schooling. If the resultant public education is lousy—as it is in India, for instance—then it must simply be reformed through more money and more regulation. Meanwhile, the poor must be patient.

But the poor have run short of patience, Tooley found, and so they have rejected the development experts’ failed syllogism and created one of their own: You open a school, and we’ll pay you to teach our children. If they don’t learn, we’ll stop paying. Therefore, you will ensure that our children receive a solid education."

And the results of one study by experts:
"In mathematics, mean scores of children in government schools were 24.5 percent, whereas they were 42.1 percent in private unrecognized schools and 43.9 percent in private recognized. That is, children in unrecognized private schools scored nearly 18 percentage points more in math than children in government schools (a 72 percent advantage!), while children in recognized private schools scored over 19 percentage points more than children in government schools (a 79 percent advantage)."

P.S.Discussion in Sepia Mutiny http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/005836.html#comments
See comments 11 and 19.

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