Myth #3: Private schools are unaccountable to the public

Competition ensures that all schools are ultimately accountable to those who matter most—parents and students. Parents who have choices in education can "vote with their feet" by sending their children to another, better school when their current one is not serving their children's needs. Private schools are also subject to many of the same regulations as are government schools and are routinely held to the same or higher standards of performance than are the government schools.

The Facts:

  • Private schools-of-choice that answer to parents, not politicians, are most accountable. In general, parents have their children's best interests in mind more so than does the government or even a caring teacher. Under the current system, parents lack control and influence over the education of their children. With choice, parents have the opportunity to remove their children from a poorly performing or otherwise unsatisfactory school and place them in other schools. Schools that fail to respond to parental concerns will constantly face the prospect of losing students to other schools that do.

  • Private schools already comply with essential government regulations. There is no basis in educational experience or research to suggest that regulation creates better schools; however, private schools already provide essential fire and safety protection, observe compulsory attendance requirements, and cover core mandated subjects such as history, English, math, and science.

  • Private schools are accredited by the same agencies that accredit government schools. Private schools are at least as accountable as government schools by the government's own measurements of accountability. According to Charles O' Malley, executive director of the National Council for Private School Accreditation, approximately 96 percent of all private school students attend schools that are accredited or evaluated by national, regional, or state private organizations. The result is that the vast majority of private schools are able to meet government school accreditation requirements.136 And in some cases, private schools subject themselves to dual accreditation through both government and private school agencies.137

Competition ensures that all schools are ultimately accountable to those who matter most-parents and students.

Also Available As