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Independent Education Beats Poverty Trap

13 June 2002

“Political parties seeking to assist New Zealanders to beat the poverty trap should look at new research from the USA and reintroduce the Targeted Individual Entitlement (TIE) Scheme for students from low income families,” said Joy Quigley, Executive Director, Independent Schools of New Zealand (ISNZ).

Students who attend private (independent) schools are twice as likely to get a college degree than students who attend public (state) schools, according to data released in an annual analysis of education by the National Center for Education Statistics.

And what's more, students who attend private schools who come from families of the lowest quartile of poverty in the nation are nearly four times more likely to get a higher education degree than comparable students who attend public schools, the federal report released late last month says.

The research relates to students who were 8th graders (NZ Year 8 equivalent) in 1988. For the purposes of the study, those students counted as having finished a bachelor's degree or other higher education degree had to have done so by 2000.

"We've always felt that private schools make the biggest difference for kids who come from inner cities and low-income families," said Caroline M. Hoxby, a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. "This evidence confirms past evidence."

“Voters who want the best for New Zealand should support policies that work best for New Zealand children,” said Joy Quigley. “Every child is different and independent schools have proven that they do work in the best interests of the child.”

“Programmes like the TIE Scheme for students from low income families should be given a big tick this election.”


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