Reading this article about the popularity and successes of no-frills private schools in South Africa, one could almost be reading about a Children’s Scholarship Fund family choosing private school for their children here in the U.S.
A study by researcher Ann Bernstein found a healthy private school community of more than 100 schools operating in poor areas of Johannesburg and other parts of the country. (Also see James Tooley’s The Beautiful Tree for more on private schools for the poor.)
Studying test scores, Bernstein finds these private schools are proving to be no worse and in some cases “significantly better” than nearby public schools. And the private schools have real incentives to provide high quality academics in a disciplined atmosphere, since parents who are unhappy are quick to change schools. As Bernstein says,
“Some parents are just voting with their feet,” Bernstein said. Parents are “not apathetic. They’re not sitting and waiting for the day the education system improves.”
It’s the same story with CSF. We are providing educational opportunity to children today, when they need it the most.