Public and private schools : Comparison of pupil itineraries and scholastic success
On the basis of a 1989 French Education Ministry panel, this study pursues the comparison between private versus public sectors with regard to scholastic success undertaken by G. Langouët and A. Léger in their 1994 study, École publique ou école privée ? Trajectoires et réussites scolaires. After an overview of American research which underlines the potentially strong effect of selection biases and the necessity of taking these into account, the two sectors are compared with regard to two main concerns : sector efficiency or ability to produce an overall result, sector equity or ability to reduce socially-based inequalities in scholastic success within that sector. The apparent advantage of being continuously schooled in the private sector brought to light by Langouët and Léger is not always maintained when pupils are made comparable. The overall effect varies by private sector weight in local school supply. In areas where the private sector has a strong presence, differences in pupil itineraries and social recruitment from one sector to the other are slight. However, consistent with Langouët and Léger’s results, the private sector does seem to display smaller differences in school success by social milieu.