Private schools are rebounding — but can it last?

Paul E. Peterson
Year of publication: 
September 07, 2022
The Hill

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has just reported steep drops in student achievement at the nation’s public schools. How will parents respond to the news? Is the downward trend in private education enrollments about to be reversed?

Before COVID-19, private school enrollments were headed downhill. Between 1964 and 2019, the percentage of students attending private schools fell from 14 percent to 9 percent of all school-age children, an all-time low.

Then, in fall 2020, most public schools kept their doors closed. Only 24 percent of public school students attended school in person, as compared to 60 percent of private school children, according to Education Next parental survey (which I helped design). The following May, nearly 80 percent of private schoolers were in class every day, as compared to only half of those at public schools.

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