The number of private school students increased from 5.3 million to 5.4 million between 2011-12 and 2013-14, according to a report just released by the National Center for Education Statistics. That change drove the private school share of all U.S. students from 9.6 percent to 9.7 percent.
According to The Condition of Education 2016, “In 2013-14, some 38 percent of all private school students were enrolled in Catholic schools,” which accounted for 2.1 million students. Conservative Christian schools enrolled 707,000 students; other affiliated religious schools, 565,000; unaffiliated religious schools, 758,000, and nonsectarian schools, 1.3 million.
The report included several other eye-catching findings concerning students and teachers in private schools. For example, “A higher percentage of 2009 graduates from private schools (85 percent) had taken courses in algebra II/trigonometry than had graduates from traditional public schools (75 percent), and a higher percentage of graduates from private schools (23 percent) had taken courses in calculus than had graduates from public schools (15 percent).” Private school students also tended to take more science courses, with the report noting that “a higher percentage of private high school graduates (44 percent) had taken at least one credit in biology, chemistry, and physics than had graduates from traditional public schools (29 percent).”
Read more about the new report in the June 2016 issue of CAPE Outlook.