The Answer Sheet: Private Schools

Posted at 02:30 PM ET, 04/25/2014

Does it pay to obsess on where your kid goes to school?

Parents who may be fretting the most about school quality have the least to worry about.

By Valerie Strauss  |  02:30 PM ET, 04/25/2014 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:01 AM ET, 11/05/2013

Are private schools better than public schools? New book says ‘no’

The authors look at huge databases about math performance.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:01 AM ET, 11/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:19 PM ET, 04/04/2013

List of Maryland private schools getting publicly funded books, other materials

Some well-known private schools in Maryland are getting books and computers that are being paid for by public funds.

By Valerie Strauss  |  04:19 PM ET, 04/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:45 AM ET, 02/03/2011

Why aren't public school parents protesting?

A public school parent in New York writes about money and privilege, and private and public schooling in New York City.

By Valerie Strauss  |  09:45 AM ET, 02/03/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/14/2010

Where education reform is heading: From extreme to extremum

If you want to understand where public education reform is heading, look south and east to Florida, where the governor-elect, Rick Scott, is talking about a new funding student formula that is more likely to destroy the public school system than accomplish anything else.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/14/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 10/28/2010

New college rankings based on quality, cost

The folks at, which offers financial advice, did some numbers crunching and came up with their list of the best values in private universities and liberal arts colleges, taking quality and cost into consideration.

By Valerie Strauss  |  01:13 PM ET, 10/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:08 AM ET, 01/21/2010

Sidwell Friends scandal

If you ever labored under the illusion that kids who attend fancy private schools that cost $30,000 a year are any more insulated from scandal than anyone else, the arrest of a veteran Sidwell Friends School teacher on sexual abuse charges should dispel you of it. Year after year, bad things are reported at elite private schools, just like they are at public schools. Private school students have been caught printing counterfeit money to cover gambling debts, running mini prostitute rings; private school administrators have been caught stealing money, sleeping with students, and even committing murder. Human behavior--and misbehavior--doesn't stop at the walls of any elite institution. Any of the people connected with any of the expensive private schools have no bigger claim to a higher morality than anybody else. Attendance means nothing but the ability to attend.

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:08 AM ET, 01/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 05:18 PM ET, 10/26/2009

Do test scores prove private schools are better?

The NAEP results showing better math/reading scores for students in private schools may not be a result of anything the private school did.

By Valerie Strauss  |  05:18 PM ET, 10/26/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:49 AM ET, 10/26/2009

Are private schools better than public schools?

Private school admissions season is now in full swing, which is perhaps why I cringed more than I otherwise might have by this part of a recent magazine article about Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia: “About nine out of ten students arrive at Jefferson from public middle schools. Families who can’t afford the $30,000 price tag of a Potomac School or Sidwell Friends see Jefferson as a private school equivalent."

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:49 AM ET, 10/26/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 09/11/2009

A Private School Parent's Nightmare

This is a parent’s school nightmare: You decide that your local public school is not what you want for your child, and you find the money to pay tuition at a private religious school. One morning when you drop your...

By Valerie Strauss  |  11:43 AM ET, 09/11/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)