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PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS: HOW DO THEY DIFFER? NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS SCHOOL
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data related to education in the United States and other nations. It fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report full and complete statistics on the condition of education in the United States; conduct and publish reports and specialized analyses of the meaning and significance of such statistics; assist state and local education agencies in improving their statistical systems; and review and report on education activities in foreign countries. NCES activities are designed to address high priority education data needs; provide consistent, reliable, complete, and accurate indicators of education status and trends; and report timely, useful, and high quality data to the U.S. Department of Education, the Congress, the states, other education policymakers, practitioners,
data users, and the general public. We strive to make our products available in a variety of formats and in language that is appropriate to a variety of audiences. You, as our customer, are the best judge of our success in communicating information effectively. If you have any comments or suggestions about this or any other NCES product or report, we would like to hear from you. The text in this booklet was written by Susan P. Choy, MPR Associates, Inc., and appears in The Condition of Education, 1997.Andrea Livingston, Karyn Madden, and Barbara Kridl edited the text, and Leslie Retallick, Don Eike, and Mary Sukkestad designed the graphics and layout.About 46 million students are currently enrolled in the Nation’s public schools in kindergarten through grade 12, and another 6 million are enrolled in private schools.1 Because private schools are often perceived to be more successful in teaching students, with at least some empirical basis,2 many reform...

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