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This papers explores the relationship between private and public schools. It challenges the assumption that competition between the private and public sectors is desirable and argues for a cooperative model in which public and private schools work together to educate children. Each sector has strengths that can help the other. These strengths include an emphasis on focused academic programs, communal organization, inspirational idealism, and decentralized governance. Increased cooperation would ease some of the recurrent problems in schools, such as private schools' relatively limited variety of electives and public schools' lack of social mobility where the poor are more likely to be encouraged to exit at a earlier age, are more likely to pursue weaker educational programs, and are more likely to attend less prestigious schools. Also, private schools typically have stronger cultural bonds than public schools since the former are generally smaller, choice-based, and more stable. Both schools could also improve their inspiration ideology, particularly public schools where teachers are hesitant to teach about values and beliefs, mostly because they have not been trained in these areas. Likewise, religious schools could learn from public schools the importance of trained leadership and professional support for administrators in school governance. Contains 21 references. (RJM)

Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Cooperation, Educational Philosophy, Elementary Secondary Education, Foundations of Education, Private Schools, Public Schools

Autor: Denig, Stephen J.


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