Here's an education story they won't be posting at OTBL

Little separates public, private schools -- report
Study finds worst performance in conservative Christian schools
Long-delayed education study casts doubt on value of vouchers

The federal Education Department reported Friday that, in reading and math, children attending public schools generally do as well as or better than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private-school children did better.

The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores from nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools in 2003, also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools when it came to eighth-grade math.

The study, carrying the imprimatur of the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the Education Department, was contracted to the Educational Testing Service and delivered to the department last year.

It went through a lengthy peer review and includes an extended section of caveats about its limitations, calling such a comparison of public and private schools "of modest utility."

Its release, on a summer Friday, was made without a news conference or comment from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.

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