Public and Private Education in America
Examining the Facts
by Casey D. Cobb and Gene V Glass
September 2021, 224pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6374-5
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6375-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Many students in large school districts spend the equivalent of nearly one week of the school year taking standardized tests.

This title will give students and other readers a clear understanding of the true state of public and private education systems in the United States by refuting falsehoods, misunderstandings, and exaggerations—and confirming the validity of other assertions.

This work is part of a series that uses evidence-based documentation to examine the veracity of claims and beliefs about high-profile issues in American culture and politics. Each book in the Contemporary Debates series is intended to puncture rather than perpetuate myths that diminish our understanding of important policies and positions; to provide needed context for misleading statements and claims; and to confirm the factual accuracy of other assertions.

This particular volume examines beliefs, claims, and myths about public and private K–12 education in the United States. Issues covered include categories of public and private schools and variations in academic performance and socioeconomic status therein; controversies surrounding school choice, including school vouchers and charter schools; accountability and assessment of private and public schools; debates about school environment, safety, and curricula; and teacher and administrator quality. All of these issues are examined in individualized entries, with objective responses grounded in up-to-date evidence.


  • Features an easy-to-navigate question-and-answer format
  • Uses quantifiable data from respected sources as the foundation for examining every issue
  • Provides readers with leads to conduct further research in extensive Further Reading sections for each entry
  • Examines claims made by individuals and groups of all political backgrounds and ideologies
Casey D. Cobb is Raymond Neag Professor of Educational Policy at the University of Connecticut. A National Education Policy Fellow and former elected member of the Executive Committee for the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), his current research interests include policies on school choice, accountability, and school reform. Cobb is former Editor of Educational Administration Quarterly, serves on the editorial boards for Education Policy Analysis Archives and Education Sciences, and is coauthor of Fundamentals of Statistical Reasoning in Education and Leading Dynamic Schools. He holds an AB from Harvard University, an MS, from the University of Maine, and a PhD from Arizona State University.

Gene V Glass is an American statistician and researcher working in educational psychology and the social sciences. According to the science writer Morton Hunt, he coined the term "meta-analysis" and illustrated its first use in his presidential address to the American Educational Research Association 1976. He is an Emeritus Regents' Professor at Arizona State University. Currently he is a senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center and a Lecturer in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University. In 2003, he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Education.


"A convenient, information-rich source for anyone interested in schooling; if it counters misperceptions about public schools, inspires policy, or even merely spurs research, it will have been a worthwhile acquisition."—Library Journal, December 1, 2021

"Recommended. General readers through graduate students; professionals."—Choice, August 1, 2022

"If you are looking for a book to provide detailed research and findings that can help inform policy decisions, this book fits that purpose."—The School Administrator, August 1, 2022

Contemporary Debates

Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. The purpose of the series is to give readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America's political and cultural discourse. Ultimately, this series gives readers the tools for a fuller understanding of controversial issues, policies, and laws that occupy center stage in American life and politics.
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