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Independent Schools in American Education

by Pearl R. Kane - 1991

Discusses (1) characteristics distinguishing independent schools from public and other private schools (self-governance, self-support, self-defined curriculum, self-selected students and faculty, and small size); (2) self-imposed and environmental challenges confronting independent schools (demographic change, commitment to diversity, and public school reform); and (3) other articles on independent schools and education. (Source: ERIC)


 If asked about “independent schools,” most people in the United States would respond with confusion. The term has virtually no recognition value among the general public. So, since independent schools constitute only a small proportion of nongovernmental schools, independent school educators often resort pragmatically to self-definition by exclusion: schools that are nonpublic and non-parochial.


Though the term private schools embraces both independent and church-controlled schools, the public has a narrower and quite definite conception about “private schools,” an image formed by reading popular fiction and viewing films such as the recently acclaimed Dead Poets Society. The media have succeeded in giving these schools an aura of-exclusivity and elitism more in keeping with the Edwardian world of “Masterpiece Theater” than with current reality. Many still believe that only children of well-to-do, Anglo-Saxon Protestants need apply. The roster of graduates from independent schools also contributes to their reputation. Accomplished professionals, well-known statesmen, and literary figures such as Edward Albee, George Bush, John Irving, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, John Knowles, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Gore Vidal are only a few of such distinguished graduates.


Although there are approximately 1,500 independent schools in the United States, a small number in comparison to public or parochial schools, this popular reputation is disproportionate to that small number, and the reputation is formed primarily from stereotyped images of a few prestigious northeastern schools whose origins date back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In fact, independent schools are quite diverse in their educational missions, as diverse in character as any comparable number of U.S. citizens (and like those citizens, most independent schools were born in the twentieth century). It is that very diversity which leads independent school educators to resort to definition by exclusion, simply because it is easier than trying to create a definition broad enough to include all these schools and succinct enough to satisfy the limited attention span of the casual inquirer.[1]


This article has three purposes: to describe the characteristics that distinguish independent schools from public and other private schools; to point to both self-imposed and environmental challenges that are confronting the schools in the 1990s; and to introduce the articles in this special section, which has been designed to convey the “culture” of independent schools and to delineate some of the issues of current importance in independent education.




Although the conditions of the marketplace shape independent schools, they have been relatively free to define themselves. A tremendous range of schools has evolved, varying in philosophy, organization, and style. Some schools are highly traditional, others are progressive in outlook; some are boarding schools, some day schools, some a combination of the two; some are single-sex, some coeducational; some are highly academic and selective, others are “second chance” schools for students who have failed elsewhere; some are free or inexpensive, some have sliding scales of tuition depending on the income of applying families, some have extensive scholarship programs, and some are prohibitively costly, accessible only to the affluent; some have the stability of generations of alumni/alumnae, others have graduated only a few classes; some have impressive financial endowments and extensive resources in buildings and grounds, others have recourse only to income from tuition and annual fund-raising and operate in modest or even makeshift spaces. However varied in their objectives and approaches, all independent schools share six basic characteristics: self-governance, self-support, self-defined curriculum, self-selected students, self-selected faculty, and small size.[2]




A self-selecting and thus self-perpetuating board of trustees bears ultimate responsibility for an independent school’s philosophy, resources, and program. Though an independent school may have a religious affiliation, it is the independence of the board of trustees that distinguishes it from a parochial school that is ultimately subordinate to a church hierarchy. The trustees choose the chief administrator, to whom are delegated all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the school.


Self-governance results in responsiveness to the particular needs of the individual school and freedom from the accountability to bureaucratic intrusion from local, state, and federal governments that often comes with financial aid. A metaphor comparing the structure of public and private institutions is found in Gerald Grant’s essay “The Character of Education and the Education of Character.” Grant compares the contemporary public school to a watermelon: The thick rind represents the accretion of bureaucracy, court orders, union contracts, and measures of accountability that constrain the rightful use of power; the dispersion of such power is like the dispersion of the watermelon’s seeds-there is no clearly definable center. He compares the private school to an avocado, where adult power and initiative are akin to the large seed at the center, and there is only a thin skin of externally imposed policy. [3]


In independent schools, which are free of even the centralized bureaucracy present in denominational schools, there is significant autonomy in shaping the institution. The absence of bureaucracy has allowed a more fluid organization where roles of administrators and teachers are less rigidly prescribed. Many administrators have regular teaching responsibility, and many teachers do administrative work as department heads, admissions officers, or college counselors. The blurring of lines between administrators and teachers may explain why most independent school teachers have not chosen an affiliation with a national labor organization. As a result, most independent schools have been unencumbered by the union-sponsored restrictions of tenure and collective bargaining.




Incorporated as not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporations, independent schools rely primarily on tuition for support, supplemented by gifts from parents, alumni/alumnae foundations, and corporations and, for some, income from an endowment. Most independent schools are not eligible for significant financial assistance from local, state, or federal agencies. Although aid is sometimes available for books and equipment and, in many states, for transportation and mandated state services such as attendance monitoring, independent schools are cautious about accepting government subsidies because they pose a threat to self-governance.


That primary dependence on tuition is responsible for the high cost of independent schools, nationally averaging $7,200 for day schools and $13,700 for boarding schools. Those figures reflect the expense of maintaining elaborate facilities, a commitment to low student-teacher ratios, and a recent impetus to increase faculty salaries. [4]


Such high tuitions limit the ability of independent schools to shape the social composition of the student body, tending to favor the economically advantaged and thus create the association of independent schools with elitism. It is often overlooked that many public schools are less racially and economically diverse than independent schools. Since public school districts are organized within geographic areas, attendance at a particular school is determined by residence. In many affluent communities such as Greenwich, Connecticut, or Newport Beach, California, where the average cost of houses is over half a million dollars, only families that can afford to purchase these expensive houses can send their children to the local public school. The result is that the schools are white, upper-class institutions with little diversity. Even in affluent communities, private schools are often more diverse than the local public schools because the private schools recruit from a wider geographic area.


Even with public and private schools that are alike in student composition, dependence on tuition in lieu of funding from the government that is, relying on paying customers-adds an important difference in the way the schools operate and respond to constituents. Schools must satisfy their clients, and they are obliged to demonstrate successful outcomes. Driven both by such economic imperatives and a philosophical belief in the primacy of the individual’s development as an educational goal, independent schools make a commitment to nurture the students they admit. These schools give personal attention to each student and are determined to help each student achieve personal success. Faculty struggle with reluctant students and, despite popular misconceptions, relatively few students are asked to leave. However, since progress with students is hard to assess individually, the educational achievement of schools is often measured indirectly, and perhaps unfairly, by the record of admission by graduates to competitive colleges. To the degree that college outcomes are the dominant client interest, the tuition dependence of independent schools may pressure them away from individualization of instruction that does not directly serve college admission.




Each independent school designs its own curriculum, and many independent schools use curricula or books espousing a particular value orientation-for instance, in moral education or in the theory of evolution. Such materials might not be permitted in public schools. The majority of those having a secondary division offer college preparatory programs.


Though free to experiment, most independent schools offer a curriculum that is highly academic and rigorous. Even the so-called second chance schools focus on preparation for college. There is a basic emphasis on English, history, languages, mathematics, and sciences, and because of the small size of most independent schools, a limited range of courses is available to students within these academic areas. The academic, college preparatory orientation allows for cohesiveness in the curriculum, but it usually confines electives to academic offerings and eliminates options for students to take technical and vocational courses, which are regular fare at public schools. [5]


In some states, independent schools are required to include mandated courses, such as the history of the region, or more conventional courses such as American history or algebra-subjects that the schools would choose to teach on their own; but most independent schools are not bound by rigid state regulations to teach a specified curriculum. The schools align themselves in state and national organizations to ensure that curricular freedom is maintained, and many schools ignore with impunity the requirements that do pertain.


One of the factors that stimulates faculty intellectually is the continuous assessment and discussion of curriculum that transpires within schools. The autonomy of the individual teacher to select texts, alone or in consultation within a department, is a key advantage independent schools have over public schools in the attraction of academically oriented teachers. Putting curriculum in the hands of teachers in the school provides a kind of staff development that is not possible if the curriculum is predetermined, decided on outside of the school.


The explicit curriculum has two other facets that are equally emphasized and interconnected: physical development and the overriding goal of character development. Character, or moral development, is nurtured through academics, including courses in religion and ethics that public schools cannot offer. Moral education is also pursued through an extensive program of cultural and athletic activities. In many schools, particularly boarding schools, athletic competition is structured into the school day. Coaching is done by the academic faculty as a way to emphasize that the mind and body work together, and that learning takes place on the field as well as in the classroom. [6]




Although market conditions cause schools to raise or lower their standards of admission, independent schools are at liberty to select the kind of students the school believes will benefit from the type of educational program offered. Student selection implies mutual selection: The school chooses the student, but the student also chooses the school. There is a psychological advantage to such voluntarism. Although a study of attrition conducted in 1988 showed that only 2 percent of all students in independent schools were asked to leave for academic or disciplinary reasons, the knowledge that their independent school is not obliged to keep them is likely to have an effect on academic and social behavior. Conversely, the school knows the students may decide not to stay, and finds that fact similarly motivating. Beyond the financial contract that exists between the family and the school, there is an unwritten agreement. As Kraushaar has pointed out, “both the patrons and the school have a stake in seeing that the contract is fulfilled satisfactorily.” Mutual freedom of association by students and schools is fundamental to the sense of community that shapes the educational effectiveness of independent schools.[7]




Each independent school develops its own criteria for hiring faculty, and in all but a few states, independent schools are not bound by requirements for teacher certification.


Independent schools have latitude in staffing, determining the background and competencies of faculty members they want. In keeping with the academic orientation of independent schools, there is a strong preference, particularly at the secondary level, for teachers with undergraduate and graduate majors in the liberal arts and sciences, and for recruiting teachers who have demonstrated academic achievement by success at colleges with competitive admissions standards. Similarly, these graduates of highly academic colleges may be drawn to independent schools where students are preparing for college. [8]


Most independent school teachers have not taken the education courses necessary for certification to teach in public schools and may regard such courses as of lesser intellectual merit than courses in their academic fields. The schools, too, are not convinced that professional preparation in education is necessary. With the exception of training in early childhood education, many independent school administrators believe that pedagogy is a skill that can be learned on the job. Yet, most schools supply only limited assistance in learning to teach, and young teachers learn the ropes informally, from other teachers or by trial and error.[9]


This distinction between the preparation and academic orientation of public and independent school teachers, together with differences in working conditions and curricular freedom, may in part explain why teachers are willing to work in independent schools for less pay than they would receive in the public sector. It has certainly contributed to the reluctance of independent school teachers to affiliate themselves with public school teachers through unionization. Although a few schools have internal teacher associations that negotiate salary and benefits, the absence of union affiliation has allowed independent schools both to contain salaries and to maintain the freedom to dismiss unsatisfactory teachers without the elaborate procedures of public schools. That freedom of disassociation is seen by independent school administrators as essential to the educational effectiveness of their schools. The freedom to fail is, for independent school teachers, the price of the freedom to teach.




Typically small, with a median student enrollment of 318, independent schools resist going beyond a specified size, regardless of the quality of the applicant pool or the number of candidates vying for admission. [10]


When the heads of New York City independent schools were invited to discuss ways to improve public schools with Mayor Koch, they were unanimous in their focus on reducing school size. The average size of a public secondary school, for example, is more than twice the size of the average independent school, and class size is also significantly larger. Independent schools have, on average, six students for every full-time faculty member, fewer than half of the student load of public and Catholic school teachers. Despite having smaller classes and fewer students, independent school teachers report spending more time on the job than their public school colleagues, providing assistance to students, planning lessons, and grading papers. [11]


There is an important consequence of small size for the average student. Several researchers have argued that independent schools provide the optimal learning environment for such students, those who are neither top academic achievers nor in need of special support services. Public schools have accommodated those students with abilities on the ends of the achievement spectrum, or those with special needs. Independent schools provide the elements of “personalization” and “push,” which are effective in motivating these “unspecial” students in the middle, who would not receive extra attention in a comprehensive public school. [12]


As Leonard Baird has pointed out, it is unlikely that students in independent schools can become like the “socially invisible non-persons” who pass through large public schools.[13] Smaller schools also allow for increased student participation in extracurricular activities, in athletics, clubs, student government, and dramatic productions, which give students opportunities for leadership. Parents who claim to be sending their children to independent schools because of the personal attention afforded their youngsters and the opportunities to participate in the life of the school appear to be getting what they pay for.




Critics of independent schools have argued that these schools are nothing more than “status” seminaries that furnish upper-class youth with the cultural capital they will need to assume elite group membership. [14] Traditionally, independent schools have served a homogeneous, affluent stratum of the population, but there are indications of change. Perhaps in response to public sentiment, or to a desire to set up a more socially equitable school community that reflects American society, or to the threat that public school reform is imposing, or simply to the economic imperative to fill seats at a time when demographic shifts have created a precipitous drop in the number of school-age children available, independent schools are accepting the challenge to open their doors to a more ethnically and socio-economically diverse student body. The factors influencing these changes and the response of the independent school community are considered here briefly.




Nationally, demographic trends have a great impact on schools. The number of school-age children in the population began to decline in the early 1970s. Despite two decades of declining population, independent school enrollment has been relatively stable. Although the population trend is beginning to reverse itself as a baby boomlet that started in the 1980s begins to increase elementary school enrollments, schools will face a new challenge. Demographer Harold Hodgkinson predicts that by the year 2000, America will be a nation in which one of every three people will be nonwhite, and many will be living at the poverty level.[15]




The number of students of color in independent schools has increased slowly but steadily over the past two decades, up from 5 percent to an average of 13 percent in 1990. In schools with greater financial resources available, the percentage is even higher. For instance, at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, students of color represent 20 percent of the student body. One symbolic and important indication of the independent school commitment to diversity is the increased activity at the National Association of Independent Schools of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, whose responsibility it is to promote cultural diversity among the faculty and students of independent schools and to provide resources for the development of multicultural curricula. [16]


As the proportion of minority students has increased, many schools have come to understand that the responsibility for the students they recruit does not end at the admissions office door. Independent schools are becoming sensitive to the needs of students of color in schools that have been unaccustomed to having them and unprepared to meet their needs. Some schools have hired minority coordinators and counselors to assist students of color in adjusting to schools where pressure to achieve is great and social discomfort may be a reality. Attention is also being directed to modifications in the curriculum to allow for a multicultural perspective that includes different voices and a broader conception of education.


This more receptive outlook of the schools has attracted a small number of children of color from middle and upper-income families. However, since most students of color are recruited from lower socioeconomic groups and must rely on financial aid, further confirmation that the clientele of the so-called elite schools is changing may be gauged by the overall amount of scholarship aid granted. Total financial aid granted by schools that are members of the National Association of Independent Schools increased by 72 percent (50 percent in constant dollars) between 1984 and 1989. In 1990, 18 percent of all enrolled students received financial aid, averaging $4,476. In schools with greater financial resources, financial aid has been even more generous. At Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, for example, 35 percent of students receive aid, with grants averaging $9,992 per student.[17]


There is evidence that parents who send their children to independent schools are not merely motivated by the perpetuation of old-school ties. According to Leonard Baird, who surveyed the most prestigious independent schools, students at the elite schools do not come primarily from “power elite” families although most are clearly from upper-middle-class and upper-class homes, and there are not significant numbers of alumni children.[18] As the number of dual-career families increases, and there is greater disposable income, independent schools may be attractive to a larger number of middle-income families willing to pay for the kind of education these schools provide. With a greater commitment to both ethnic and socioeconomic diversity, there will be a need to increase financial aid while keeping the costs of tuition within the range families are able to pay.




Since the early 1980s, improving our nation’s public schools has moved to the top of the political agenda. Several widespread reforms, those specifically aimed at attracting higher caliber teachers and giving parents choice among public schools, have direct implications for independent schools. Modifications in state teacher certification have made it easier for liberal arts graduates to enter public schools. In former years, liberal arts graduates who wanted to enter teaching even graduates of highly competitive colleges- but were unwilling to undergo the expensive and lengthy preparation for state certification were forced to teach in private schools. It turns out that public schools are now seeking the bright young people whose undergraduate preparation includes a focus on the liberal arts and a major in an academic discipline, the kinds of teachers who traditionally have been attracted to independent schools. Higher salaries and improved working conditions may make the incentives to work in public schools even more appealing. Independent schools have responded modestly to the challenge of increased public school salaries, but as the differentials increase, the schools will have to find greater resources to compete effectively with the public schools.


Choice among public schools-for example, in the magnet-school movement -may provide another challenge to independent school stability. Parents who can choose schools within or outside their district are no longer restricted to deciding between a neighborhood school and a private school. As the magnet-school movement grows, independent schools will be obliged to demonstrate that they are providing something different or something special, to make the choice of paying tuition worthwhile.




The collective response in meeting a commitment to diversity in the face of a declining school-age population and a more positive outlook for public schools and public school teaching has been to increase efforts to promote independent schools. Many schools are producing expensive catalogues and videotapes, and some are hiring enrollment and admissions consultants or adding staff to admissions offices to do more intensive recruiting. Day schools estimated spending $400, and boarding schools more than $500, to recruit each new student in 1989 exclusive of the costs of admissions’ staff salaries.[19] Although many schools have found a consumerist approach objectionable in the past, the marketing orientation and the escalation of marketing expenditures may become a necessary approach to keep independent schools financially viable. Rick Cowan, director of boarding schools at the National Association of Independent Schools, says, “It is a different, more competitive world and probably will remain so. . . . The ‘market race’ is likely to become a permanent feature of the educational landscape,” The objective, according to Cowan, is to emerge with stronger enrollments and higher standards.[20]


How will independent schools change in the 1990s? This special section of the Teachers College Record begins to describe the nature and culture of independent schools and attempts to introduce the reader to the internal issues the schools are debating, as well as issues of the external environment that threaten the very independence and survival of independent schools. In her article on the purposes of nonpublic schools in the United States, Diane Ravitch describes the political and social changes that have precipitated a reassessment of the democratic rationale of public schools and created a favorable climate for private schools. Ravitch argues that decentralization and competition between schools are advantageous. For Ravitch, private schools have a special place in American education because they have the freedom to be different.


Terrence Deal focuses on the way independent schools solve problems and accomplish organizational goals using symbolic management. Independent schools, observes Deal, are held together by shared policies and standardized practice, Unlike most public schools, formal roles and relationships are rarely established, and the allocation of responsibilities may shift. Deal shows how independent schools rely on the potency of rituals, ceremonies, and stories to create cohesion and establish school culture, rather than rigid organizational hierarchies, rules, and policies.


E. M. Swift of Sports Illustrated discusses the role of sports in independent schools from his experience as a student at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. Swift shows the way the teacher/coach instructs in values as well as skills and reveals the integral relationship between the standard academic curriculum and the extra-curriculum. Swift’s hockey coach was also his English teacher-in independent schools, some athletic coaches are also teachers of academic subjects. For many teachers the athletic field is a metaphor for the classroom, and coaching provides compelling means for realizing instructional objectives.


Much has been written about the advantages of single-sex education for girls. Richard Hawley’s article addresses a topic that has received little attention: parallel advantages of all-boy schools. This issue has been virtually unexamined by scholars in recent decades, an oddity considering that most single-sex schools at the secondary and university level have chosen to become coeducational institutions over the past two decades, Hawley’s elucidation of the issues of boys’ development will be influential in future discussions on the schooling most suitable for adolescent males.


Recently, two prestigious boys’ schools that had resisted the movement to coeducation, Lawrenceville and Deer-field, have opened their doors to admit girls. Michael Cary reports on the process Deerfield underwent as they planned the transition to coeducation in 1989. Cary traces the events that led to the decision and the initial effects of coeducation on the Deer-field campus. Teacher certification is particularly controversial at a time when various groups are debating whether making entry into teaching harder or easier attracts more capable people to the classroom. Susan Lloyd addresses the issue of state accreditation of teachers, which has largely distinguished educators in public from those in private schools. Although some requirements for entering teaching exist in most states, private school teachers have been virtually exempt from complying with these certification requirements. Lloyd traces the history of accreditation in several states and presents an analysis of the acrimonious debates in several states between government authorities and parochial and independent schools.


Signithia Fordham applies a contemporary anthropological theory, “deconstructionism,” to explain the way black adolescents survive in the private school context. Using data from personal interviews, she illuminates the conflict and ambiguity black students and their parents report in independent schools as they learn to cope with the “burden of acting white.” Fordham’s article is particularly provocative for independent schools seeking to attract and respond to students of color.


In his thoughtful commentary on the articles that appear in this section, John Esty searches for common denominators that might affirm private educators and help public educators understand the private sector. Esty identifies as the leitmotif of the various perspectives a special concern for values and the ethical context of the school. What holds for independent schools in the future? Esty outlines the distinctive features of independent schools and argues that continued viability depends on how well the schools will continue to perform in the areas where they retain uniqueness.


If the description of independent schools offered here is accurate, then the popular conception of independent schools as exclusive, tradition-bound places that educate the aristocracy to take their place in society appears to be both inaccurate and untenable. The question of definition for independent schools in the 1990s may be reconciling, on the one hand, a profound self-conception as moral communities striving to institute social change through enhanced ethnic and socioeconomic diversity with, on the other hand, the pressures of marketing and the escalation of financial costs. The tension between moral mission and financial necessity has always been present for independent schools, but the moral mission has never been more demanding nor has the market been more unforgiving. Can independent schools be those moral communities and also be successful businesses, driven by a need to stay competitive in the face of multiple challenges?


As open systems, sensitive to environmental conditions, independent schools will no doubt be shaped in unprecedented and unpredictable ways in the next few decades. However, the characteristics that distinguish independent schools self-governance, self-support, self-defined curriculum, self-selected students, self-selected faculty, and small size-provide a strong ethos of personalization and an orientation toward academic success that is not likely to be changed.




[1] The independent schools described here do not include Montessori schools, special education schools, home schools, or street academies.


[2] The National Association of Independent Schools lists live features of independent schools: governance, finances, curriculum, student selection, and faculty selection (A Career in Independent School Teaching [Boston: NAIS, 1984], pp. 5-7).


[3] Gerald Grant, “The Character of Education and the Education of Character,” Daedalus 110, no. 3 (Summer 1981): 135-49.


[4] Median tuition costs are reported for 893 members of the National Association of Independent Schools (95 percent reporting) in National Association of Independent Schools, NAIS Statistics (Boston: NAIS, 1989).


[5] James S. Coleman, Thomas Hoffer, and Sally Kilgore, High School Achievement: Public, Catholic and Private Schools Compared (New York: Basic Books, 1982), pp. 73-78.


[6] Pearl R. Kane, Teachers in Public and IndependentSchools: A Comparative Study (New York: Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Center for Independent School Education, 1986), pp. 41-42.


[7] Percentages of attrition based on a study of over 400 NAIS member schools, in NAIS Admission Services, “Survey of Student Attrition in Independent Schools: 1987-1988” (Boston: NAIS, 1989); and Otto F. Kraushaar, American Nonpublic Schools: Patterns of Diversity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972), p. 93.


[8] Telephone survey conducted with administrators in independent schools in New Jersey, February to April 1988; and Kane, Public and Independent School Teachers, pp. 21-25.


[9] Kane, Public and IndependentSchoolTeachers, pp. 31-35.


[10] Based on a sample of 893 independent schools. See National Association of Independent Schools, NAIS Statistics, p. 6.


[11] Meeting with Mayor Edward Koch, January 12, 1988, New York City. For student teacher ratio see Coleman, Hoffer, and Kilgore, High School Achievement, pp. 78-81; for a comparison of the work life of public and private school teachers see Kane, Public and Independent School Teachers, pp. 36-48.


[12] Arthur G. Powell, Eleanor Farrar, and David K. Cohen, The Shopping MallHigh School: Winners and Losers in the Educational Marketplace (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985), pp. 207-32.


[13] Leonard Baird, “Elite Schools: Recent Research from the Outside and from the Inside” (Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Education Research Association, Washington, D.C., April 1987), p. 3.


[14] Peter W. Cookson, Jr. and Caroline Hodges Persell, Preparingfor Power: America’s Elite Boarding Schools (New York: Basic Books, 1985), pp. 22-30.


[15] Harold L. Hodgkinson, All One System: Demographics of Education, Kindergarten through Graduate School (New York: Institute for Educational Leadership, 1985), pp. 3-10.


[16] National percentages of students of color reported are for the 785 members of the National Association of Independent Schools in NAIS Statistics: 1972; and Statistics: Spring 1990.


[17] Barbara L. Schneider and Diana T. Slaughter, “Educational Choice for Blacks in Urban Private Elementary Schools,” in Comparing Public and Private Schools, ed. Thomas James and Henry Levin (London: Falmer Press, 1988), v. 1, pp. 294-310; data on scholarship aid in Peter Aiken, “Project on Pricing and Affordability” (Unpublished report, National Association of Independent Schools, 1990).


[18] Leonard L. Baird, The EliteSchools: A Profile of Prestigious Independent Schools (Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath, 1977), p. 10.


[19] Maguire Associates, Enrollment Management Consultants Division, “National Survey of Independent School Admissions Officers” (Concord, Mass.: Maguire Associates, 1990).


[20] Rick Cowan, “The Marketing Race,” Administrative Forum, Spring 1987, pp. 1-3. Marketing costs based on estimates reported by a national sample of 84 independent schools in Maguire Associates, “National Survey of Independent School Admissions Officers.”

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 92 Number 3, 1991, p. 396-408
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 316, Date Accessed: 1/24/2022 6:30:08 PM

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